Portrayal of Two Disney's Princesses - Comparison of Snow White and Beuty and the Beast

Essay by JstMistCollege, UndergraduateA+, December 2003

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Disney presents numerous princesses as role models to young American girls. From the sweet and demure Snow White to the intelligent Belle, animated women have changed. Disney's first classic, "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs", portray women as innocent, domesticated, and helpless, whereas, in their modern animated film, "Beauty and the Beast" the main female is intelligent, independent and heroic.

Snow White is presented as a young innocent woman, as her name suggests. Snow symbolizes a gentle nature, and White symbolizes innocence. Also, she is shown to be domestic. First, at the beginning of the production, Snow White works as a maid for her wicked stepmother, the Queen. Secondly, when the princess arrives at the seven dwarfs' cottage, she proves herself to be an excellent housekeeper. Instead of sitting down and waiting for the unknown members of the household to return, she sweeps, dusts, washes, and scrubs until the little house is all neat and tidy.

Then, later that night when she meets the seven dwarfs for the first time, she cooks dinner for them. Furthermore, Snow White becomes the helpless victim when she naively accepts the delicious looking apple from the disguised Queen. One bite from the poison apple places a spell on the princess. However, the heroic Prince breaks the spell by magically kissing the unconscious Snow White. Thus, the woman is helpless without the man.

In the examination of the modern Disney film, "Beauty and the Beast", it is evident that the 'age old' women stereotypes are becoming less noticeable. In the newer classic, women are depicted as being independent, intelligent, and heroic.

Replacing sweet innocence with intelligence, Belle enjoys reading rather than singing to small animals. As a matter of fact, she is smart enough to refuse a marriage proposal from Gaston, the most...