Yet ‘Gargoyles’ is also a fantastic showcase of what can happen when creators possessing privilege write stories about the oppressed without their input. … ‘Gargoyles,’ with its “protecting a world that hates and fears them and has been fairly successful in enacting their global genocide” premise, seeks to be about marginalized peoples. At the same time, it consistently centers and prioritizes the lives of the privileged over those of the oppressed, and places the burden of obtaining justice on the latter.
Looking at ‘Lilo & Stitch’ can provide a valuable lens in which to analyze the upcoming ‘Moana,’ as well as other mainstream films attempting to represent Indigenous cultures. … Regardless of its individual merits, ‘Lilo & Stitch’ is a moneymaking endeavor to benefit the Disney Company, which has not always had the best relationship (to say the least) with representing Indigenous cultures or respecting Indigenous peoples.
In ‘Pocahontas,’ Disney missed an important opportunity to represent Indigenous women in a relatable, empowering way, and instead focused on commodifying their culture for mass-market appeal. … Pocahontas’ life only became a story worth telling when a white man became involved. She only became a princess when a white man recognized her as royalty. She only became the center of a Disney movie because white men realized they could profit off of her myth.
Over and over, violence against Indigenous women is made to titillate, built into narratives along with action, suspense, swashbuckling, and romance. Indigenous women become exotic props, and when we are identified with these dehumanized caricatures, it becomes easier to treat us inhumanely.
From the gender-neutral, Alien-fighting Ellen Ripley, to the deadpan Vulcan Mr. Spock, to whiny Jedi Master Luke Skywalker (yes, that Luke), the genders of some of our best-loved characters have actually been swapping around for decades behind the scenes. The difference with ‘Ghostbusters’ is that – as a remake – the swap was public knowledge, thus inviting the barrage of misogynistic grumbling that flooded the internet.
Belle saves the Beast – not just physically by breaking the spell, but emotionally and psychologically by changing his behavior and smoothing his sharp edges. … Both of them begin as loners and societal misfits, but they end as the perfect fit in each other’s lives. However, this nice, mushy message comes at a cost: Belle’s agency as a character. …When we are introduced to Belle she has no more growing left to do in this film other than learn to be less judgmental and find a suitable husband.
By softening hyena matriarchy, however, Disney accurately represents the aspirations of human feminists: Shenzi, Banzai, and Ed joke around and work together in casual solidarity. Shenzi is confident in her opinions and never belittled for this, nor is her acceptance conditional on romantic availability.
As for ‘Inside Out,’ it gives us not one female protagonist, but three – Riley, Joy, and Sadness – and NONE of them are princesses! And, minor criticisms aside, the film is a true joy to watch – and, like deeply felt joy – it has its moments of hilarity, of reflection, of nostalgia, and, yes, of sadness too.
Few human beings are quite so stigmatized as bad mothers. Despite the fact that motherhood is demanded of women as an intrinsic part of the female experience, women who struggle with motherhood are seen and depicted as the worst kind of scum. No failure, it seems, is as great as that of a woman who is bad at being a mom…or, worse yet, who decides after having children that she no longer wants to be a mother.
Esmeralda is a multi-faceted female character who deserves more attention, especially as she has been denied Disney Princess status. There has been little news about it since 2013, and like the stage musical, it seems to have been shelved, or at least is still being worked, and reworked, upon. Certainly, before they can premiere or re-premiere, these pieces need work in regard to racial sensitivity. As someone who has followed the progress of Disney’s stage musical, I know that small steps have been taken, such as the inclusion of the word “Roma,” in the stage musical, though the word “Gypsy” is still offensively used much more frequently.
Though the villain of ‘Oliver & Company’ is a loan shark, the film mainly portrays poverty as something that just happens through strokes of bad luck, and which doesn’t have institutionalized causes via intersectional oppression from a capitalist society.
Check out what we’ve been reading this week–and let us know what you’ve been reading/writing in the comments!