[29 Aug] DPS meeting: Corrinna Waycott, ‘The evolution of nature and gender roles in Disney’. 5-6.30pm, ib3.307

Corrinna Waycott (Deakin) presents ‘“Angel, ha! She’s a female! And all females is poison!”: The Evolution of nature and gender roles in the Disney Fairy Tale Tradition’
Wednesday 29 August from 5-6.30pm in ib3.307 on the Waurn Ponds campus

This Wednesday (29 Aug) from 5-6.30pm in ib3.307 on the Waurn Ponds campus Corrinna Waycott will discuss her work analysing gender roles in Disney films. Here’s her abstract.

‘“Angel, ha! She’s a female! And all females is poison!”: The Evolution of nature and gender roles in the Disney Fairy Tale Tradition’

ABSTRACT
Walt Disney has become “synonymous with the notion of childhood innocence” (The Mouse that Roared, p. 17). From Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937), through to this year’s computer animated Brave, generations of parents have placed their unwavering trust in the hands of the Disney Company to educate as well as entertain their children. As a new generation is indoctrinated into the Disney fantasy world through screen adaptations of classic fairy tales, the films these children connect with become their films, the songs, subsequently, the soundtrack to their childhood. It is essential, therefore, that parents as well as educators are aware of the messages the Disney culture and its products relay to their audience, as “they do carry cultural and social messages that require scrutiny” (The Mouse that Roared, p. 92). Within the Disney Universe you can either be a hero or a villain, a Princess or a Witch, with very little room in-between. With gender expectations for each sex having undergone extreme changes within the last hundred years, however, does the responsibility fall on Disney to present children with options outside of the traditional “wait for true love to kick in and then get married” role? Are the Disney fairy tale films required to remain within the confines of the original literature, or should they be products of the time in which they were produced, and if so, is this an accurate reflection of social ideals? I will be analysing three Disney fairy tale adaptations from different periods in the company’s history to trace the three fundamental archetypes; the Princess, the Villain, and the Love-interest, in accordance with their role to nature, and evaluate how this has changed through the years.

There will be a brief brainstorming session at the end of Wednesday’s meeting in preparation for the Deakin Philosophical Society debate with the Christian Union next Wednesday.

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