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Cold Feet: Is Disney's Frozen is a Step Backward for Feminist Princesses?

Although Frozen has been praised for introducing the idea of familial true love, both women exhibit poor logic, emotional flightiness, and naivete. While Disney has come a long way from the submissive Snow White to the empowered and knowledge-seeking Rapunzel, Frozen’s leading ladies seem to succumb to manipulation and victimization much more easily than those in earlier films. Are Ana and Elsa representative of a step backward in Disney princess evolution? What characteristics do they exhibit that might be damaging for young girls to emulate?

  • Are all humans not subject to exhibiting poor logic, emotional flightiness, naivete, manipulation, and victimization? Hercules was emotionally flighty near the end of his movie, and he was also heavily manipulated, as have several other men throughout Disney's movies such as Aladdin, Simba, and Tarzan - who are all thought of as very masculine characters, yet they are still subject to emotion, poor logic and so on. Allocating such characteristics as being predominately feminine might need to be analyzed before the question itself is explored. – Steven Gonzales 4 years ago
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  • Very good point. I think it will be helpful to focus mainly on the comparison of these main characters to earlier princesses, rather than the characteristics, themselves. – wtardieu 4 years ago
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  • One thing to consider is whether it's actually a step forward; perhaps their flaws make them more human and relatable. Anyway, that's another viewpoint that could be explored. – Laura Jones 4 years ago
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  • I agree with Steven Gonzales that characters like Elsa and Anna succumb to manipulation and victimization simply because they're human (or in the case of characters like Simba, non-human with human personalities). I don't know of anyone who hasn't been made a victim or manipulated at least once. The key is in how you handle it. I definitely think though, you could make an argument that one sister handled the victimization better than the other. Whether that's Elsa or Anna is a matter of opinion, but there are cases for both sides. – Stephanie M. 3 years ago
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