Carving out their own unique niche in the filmmaking world was one way for women to resist mainstream pressures that were pushing them out of the directing craft. Lotte Reiniger can lay claim to being the greatest silhouette animator.
As an orphan of common origins, Drew Barrymore’s spunky protagonist, Danielle de Barbarac, is forced into a life of servitude to her father’s widow, the Baroness Rodmilla de Ghent, and the Baroness’s two natural daughters, Jacqueline and Marguerite. As Baroness Rodmilla, Anjelica Houston is equal parts breathtaking as she is fearsome, as cruel as she is oddly sympathetic.
However, just as with the rest of the movie, I also felt an anxiety about those scenes as I felt the weight of my daughter, sitting on my knee at this point in the movie. If the goal to be attained is the love of a wealthy man in just about every film marketed to her, and if her initiation into girlhood isn’t going to be completely mediated by me (though how I wish that were possible), what are my choices?
Nothing is glaringly wrong with this ‘Cinderella,’ but if our sole criteria for these middling, dull, straight-guy directors and writers is that they didn’t fuck up too much, we’re in trouble. This affirmative action for mostly mediocre, mostly white guys could also help explain the selection of this year’s Oscar nominees–and why the ratings for the ceremony, along with audience attendance at theaters, is rapidly shrinking.
Written by Myrna Waldron. Maleficent appears at King Stefan’s castle Last year I wrote a fairly well-received piece defending the Disney Princesses from a feminist perspective, “You Say Princess Like It’s A Bad Thing.” It was always my plan to write a sequel/companion piece to it. I like Belle and Ariel, but I admit that […]
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This review by Olivia Bernal previously appeared at Bitch Flicks as part of our series on Animated Children’s Films. Cinderella (1950) I would guess that in its long years of making animated features, Disney has made a mint on the princess formula. There is always a brooding prince, handsome, but distracted by his more worldly […]
The Wicked Queen This is a guest review by Rebecca Cohen. I’m not the first to note that the female protagonists of Disney animated features tend not to have mothers. When adult women do appear, they are evil wicked stepmothers, as in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and Cinderella, or evil sorceresses, as in […]
Cinderella (1950) I would guess that in its long years of making animated features, Disney has made a mint on the princess formula. There is always a brooding prince, handsome, but distracted by his more worldly pursuits (i.e. war, evil, magic, etc.). There is a beautiful yet tragic young woman who is either on-her-knees humble, […]