Disney has come a long way when it comes to portraying societal norms. While in the very initial Disney stories and movies we would see male dominance and interference and a male savior most of the times, the Disney versions of the 21st century are no more portraying quiet girls who would tolerate everything unfair and would wait for a prince to save them. Disney movies today are more about girl power. They discuss how one woman can rule kingdoms, and he can fight her inner fears as well as the demons outside.
The movies mentioned below are some of the most feminist movies that Disney has come up with.
The Princess Diaries
The princess diaries is a Disney movie about a girl Mia who has severe social anxiety and likes staying off the spotlight. Mia’s single mother is an artist and they live in a small house with her mother and a cat. She is an introvert at school, and has only two friends but one day Mia’s grandmother comes to visit her and Mia finds out that she is a real life princess. Her grandmother is Queen Clarisse Renaldi and she grooms and prepares Mia, as she is the only heir to the crown of the small European territory of Genovia. Mia instantly becomes the spotlight of the school and the town, and the movie comically portrays how difficult it is for Mia to adopt the royal ways, but she does it for the sake of the people of Genovia. She fights her fears gracefully and breaks all the misconceptions about her personality.
Alice In The Wonderland
Alice in The Wonderland is an animated and non-animated movie about a girl Alice who jumps down a rabbit hole to save herself from a marriage proposal. Alice is an unconventional girl who believes that there is much more to life than getting married. She wants to take her father’s business further and wants to follow her dreams but the human world wants something else from her. When Alice jumps down the rabbit hole, she finds herself in a magical Underland where she has been before. The place helps her recognize her abilities when she is the chosen one to end the Red Queen’s reign. The movie is all about the power an individual contains, and that gender is just a social construct.
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Maleficent is a beautiful movie about a good girl gone bad because of love, and then gone good again because of love. The movie revolves around the beautiful Maleficent who has magical powers and wings and lives in a forest kingdom. While no power in the world can challenge her, a betrayal takes her wings away. Maleficient turns bad and curses the King’s daughter to an enternal sleep, bur soon she falls in love with the beautiful Arora who calls her a fairy Godmother. Desperate of saving Arora from her own curse, Maleficent does anything in her power. The movie discusses how truelove is not always about a prince who comes to save you. It can be between sisters, friends, a fairy godmother and a little girl, or a woman and a crow turned into a man. The movie is also pro feminist as it all revolves around how Maleficent fights anyone who disturbs the peace of her forest kingdom.
The Non Animated Aladdin is a beautiful movie and revolves around a princess called Jasmine, and a boy Aladdin who stumbles upon a magic oil lamp that unleashes a genie. Aladdin is asked to make three wishes and since he likes princess Jasmine, all his wishes are related to her. Genie becomes a great friend to Aladdin, and Jasmine does eventually fall in love with him, but there is a bigger problem there. Jasmine has to stop her brother, the evil sorcerer Jabbar and take rule over her Kingdom of Agrabah. From rebelling from the patriarchal rules, to being a true queen, the movie discusses how Jasmine beautifully fights for the civil rights of women and stays on the path of truth. Jasmine is very unconventional for an Arab princess and has a say in everything, unlike other women of the Arab world. With the help of Genie and Aladdin, Jasmine fights her patriarchal and evil brother and helps restore peace in Agrabah.
The movies that we have discussed here are unconventional, and teach us how there is much more to life than a prince coming to save you from all the problems in your life.