Jan. 25th, 2016

birdwatcher: (Mr. Twister)
To modern eyes, the classic trio of Disney princess films — released in 1937, 1950 and 1959 — can seem painfully retrograde. Why are characters so obsessed with Snow White’s looks? Why doesn’t Cinderella have any talents or hobbies? And why doesn’t Sleeping Beauty do anything besides get drugged and await rescue?
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In 1989, when Disney finally released “The Little Mermaid,” critics praised this modern new heroine. Unlike her predecessors, “Ariel is fully realized female character who thinks and acts independently, even rebelliously,” Roger Ebert wrote.
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And yet, in one respect, “The Little Mermaid” represented a backward step in the princess genre. For a film centered on a young woman, there’s an awful lot of talking by men.
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