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Pretty Women and Perfect Men: The Evolution of Gender Representations in Disney Studios’ Animations

Laverick-Stovin, Faye Olivia (2021) Pretty Women and Perfect Men: The Evolution of Gender Representations in Disney Studios’ Animations. Masters thesis, York St John University.

Text (MA by Research thesis)
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution No Derivatives.

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Since the release of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves (1937), Disney Animations, more specifically their prince and princesses, have become global icons who influence and inspire generations. Decades of animations with characters so often idolised by children who through childhood development come to desire similarities between the fairy tales and their adulthood aspirations, forged from fairy
tales and folklore that offer a glimpse of true love, happily ever after and a sense of positivity, while morality is otherwise lost in translation against the detail and
prettiness of the films. Such detail that more often than not centres on the female protagonists overshadowed by monstrous women or oppressive men who are catalysts for the unrealistic ‘happily ever after’ sought after by not only the leading characters, but the demographic audiences observing them.

Not only does Disney Studios produce beautiful films likely to be treasured for generations, but they seem to have a lasting impact involving the representations of gender and sexuality that – whether intentional or not – does not seem to reveal an entirely positive influence for said generations. Change is just around the riverbend however, and in depth exploration of their animated adventures is necessary to discern the evolution of gender representations since the initial 1937 release to modern day expectations of worldly culture and society.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Status: Published
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
School/Department: School of Humanities
URI: https://ray.yorksj.ac.uk/id/eprint/6651

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