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Feminism in 1990s Princess Movies

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Feminism in 1990s Princess Movies In the late 1980s and 1990s, with the third wave of feminism introducing women to take actions to obtain their goals, the Disney Company experienced a renaissance by returning to its most successful genre—fairytales. After the huge success of The Little Mermaid in 1989, the Walt Disney Company released another well known story, Beauty and the Beast, in 1991. With the enormous success of the film, many scholars criticized that these princess films actually promoted an anti-feminist message and were worried that the films would influence the thoughts of young girls and women. However, these films in the late 80s and 90s evolved from previous films. In fact, Linda Woolverton, the first female Disney animation writer, was the script-writer of Beauty and the Beast. The Walt Disney Company always cared about what the fans wanted and thought. By hiring a female script writer, Disney could make audience better understand feminism, especially at the time of third-wave feminism. The 1980s and 1990s movies, especially Beauty and the Beast, convey a feminist message because of the themes of inner beauty, progressive gender roles and freedom of choice. Beauty and the Beast presents the importance of personality and ambition over physical appearance. Some people argued that the message that being pretty is very important in princess movies is anti-feminist. They thought the pretty princesses suggested to young girls that women’s appearances were the most important feature. In previous princess movies, Snow White and Aurora did not have unique characteristics except being pretty. However, Belle and other 1990s princesses displayed new princess characteristics. In the beginning of Beauty and the Beast, the town people sang: “But behind that fair facade, I’m afraid she’s rather odd, very different from the rest of us,…” (Beauty and the Beast)....

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