Course: Intro to Speech Communication, COMM-105
Professor: Siobhan Weight
Assignment Title: Disney Princesses – Role Models Reflecting Society
My assignment was to create and give an informative presentation about a topic I either had some knowledge about or want to learn more about. Originally, I was going to do a short biography on Walt Disney, since I am such a fan of Disney but didn’t know much about the founder. Shortly into researching, I was running into a problem of having too much information and no real purpose for informing my classmates about Walt Disney. I had a meeting with Professor Wright who suggested doing an analysis of Disney movies. Deciding what movies to use as examples ended up being a much easier decision than I had expected it to be.
The topic of my presentation was Disney and how their portrayal of female leads has changed over the years. This was a very special topic to me as I am a huge Disney fan. I enjoyed going through some of the movies I love and looking at them with a different view. By analyzing the three movies I used as examples: Cinderella, Mulan and Moana, I was worried it would affect how I feel about not just these three movies but all Disney movies. Thankfully, I can still enjoy these movies and others. I have noticed I am more critical of how the female characters are shown and spoken to. It is interesting how much this assignment has changed my whole mindset about some of these movies.
This assignment helped me to learn just how much of an impact society has on the media produced. Thinking about it, it makes sense, but I had never put much thought into it. Now while I watch any movie or TV show I find myself paying extra close attention to things such as how they portray the women versus the men. I now have a much more critical eye but also have found myself being more understanding about certain things. For example, when I am watching an older show or movie, instead of questioning why the studio would allow something like that in their product, I remind myself that this is just how things were at that time.
Challenges and Successes
The biggest challenge I found was finding sources that had analyzed the movies I chose so that I could reference them to show that this wasn’t just my opinion. It took a good bit of careful Google searches, but I was able to eventually find some analyses I could use.