Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Masculine Traits in Disney Villains

After looking into the masculine themes that Disney shows in its films, I began to think of how much those traits are heavily used to create the Villains that we've come to know and lovingly despise. In the article below, Dana Gorzelaney-Mostak analyzed the music that has been associated at the Disney Villains' theme songs. The author points out the starking contrast between the quintessential feminine princesses and their villains, "The original Disney princesses (prior to the 2000s) are known for their child-like, helpless, and submissive nature, exemplifying a socially conventional ultra-feminine persona; the music that underscores the characters affirms these qualities... In the world of Walt Disney, as in any other fairy tale, the “happily ever after” each princess wishes to attain is threatened by a frightful villain... What we learn from their music, however, is not just that they are evil, but that they transgress gender." I found this to be incredibly interesting as the author learns that Villains Such as Ursula may be representative of stereotypes within our society. Ursula is seen as having masculine body traits but moves gracefully in a feminine way. Her low voice, exaggerated makeup, and short silvery hair are somewhat remiscnet of Drag, according to the author. Her song, "Poor Unfortunate Souls" is a combination of Percussion and Brass based instruments which have been known to be typically masculine. Not a single feminine instrument was used to make the song such as violins, flutes, or harps that are typically associated with the Disney princesses. Overall, this article was a wonderful read that really makes me examine some of the undercurrent themes that Disney placed within the movies that I grew up with. Maybe the things we learned about the villains from our childhood came from a society that was frightened of the unknown. I'm curious to see what future Disney villains will be like as society starts to accept gender fluidity. 

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