• Sarah Marmolejo

Damsels of Disney



Although it was all started by a mouse, Disney Princesses helped to attract audiences to

the franchise making it popular. Walt Disney believed that “entertainment usually fulfills some vital need and normal curiosity for every man, woman and child who seeks it.” He strived to bring entertainment and joy to all audiences. Disney had a big imagination and he brought his brilliant ideas to life. On December 21, 1937, Disney made history in releasing the first Disney Princess movie, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.


After the introduction of Snow White, many more princesses were soon to follow. These movies gave little girls a glimpse into happily ever after, what to look for in a prince and what a women is.


Disney princesses are separated into three categories: the first generation, the second

generation, and the third generation. Each generation portrays the princesses in different ways.


The first generation, which consisted of movies produced from 1937 to 1959, emphasizes the

importance of “True Love’s First Kiss” and “Happily Ever After.” The first generation Disney

princess expresses the "damsel in distress mindset." They show how ones true love is the one who will save them.


The second generation of Disney princess consists of movies made from 1989 to 1992. These movies and princesses are a new type with more personality. For example Pocahontas and Mulan are princesses who allow their culture to shine and guide them throughout their adventures. The second generation princesses paved the way for the "new wave" third generation princesses.


The third generation is movies from 2009 to 2013. The princess movies of the last

classified generation are more independent and determined to do the best for themselves in life. Disney princesses are constantly evolving with the times they exist in.


Every child grows up with an element of lessons from Disney. These lessons come

through the characters in movies. Many girls who grow up with princess movies enjoy them, but as they grow up they notice the weak damsel in distress in desperate need of a prince. Many say this did not affect their views of themselves and women as a whole. The ability to see life in different perspectives can help to develop one’s character, especially a woman’s.


Some princesses can be role models, such as Mulan or Tiana. Third generation princess exemplify the independence girls need in order to be strong and make their own life decisions. The third generation showed how women can be the hero and hardworking. Furthermore it shows how women do not always need a man to be happy and they can chase their dreams and do great things without them.


The first and second generation princesses are good movies that emphasize love and the need to be saved, but as society matures, the third generation shows how girls who are hardworking and independent can have their own happily ever after.

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