Passivity Is Passing; a Disney Story

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Passivity is Passing; A Disney Story Most Americans are familiar with the Disney Princesses and their stories, but what most fail to notice in the early Princesses - including Snow White, Cinderella, and Sleeping Beauty - is the passivity of their characters. Snow White, for example, was a docile woman who waited for the male characters to take action. It is a recurring theme in these early movies that the Princesses are passive and the villain is an active character. As Disney progressed and made it’s second generation of Princess films the theme of passive heroins is dramatically lacking, unlike the first generation of films. A good example of this change is the film Pocahontas, which has a active heroin who displays wisdom and strength. Finally, in the modern Disney movies the passive heroin is almost nonexistent, as in the movie Tangled about Rapunzel. As the Disney Princess franchise has progressed the theme of passive women as an ideal has practically disappeared, and the active women characters are not the villains. In the early Disney films the passive woman was presented as an ideal, while being an active woman was always presented as the villainous woman. Disney’s first animated feature length film, Snow White, was made in 1938 (Disney). Snow White, the main character, is supposedly the ideal woman, and in being this ideal she is passively waiting for the male characters to take action. There are multiple scenarios in the film where Snow White is portrayed as a passive woman. The most prominent example of Snow White’s passivity is when she lets the Prince take her away from the Dwarves with no questions asked. In reality a woman would not succumb to a man so quickly, but they are discreetly sending the message that a woman should listen to a man and be the more passive being. To enforce the importance of passivity as an ideal, the villain

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