Disney Attacked Over Lack Of Disabled Princesses
Now, I'm one for more visibility in movies and pop culture for all groups. But when you take a look at WDAS' (Walt Disney Animation Studio) endeavors although they are very hetero-normative with white leads falling for white leads, there are a decent number representing minority populations.
Coming up with these numbers I had to consider a few rules.
1. I'll only consider movies that are mostly involving humans.
2. I'm extending "Princess" to include female leads (though princesses will be denoted with a "*P" only if they are a princess by the end of the film).
3. I had to exclude Black Cauldron, Treasure Planet, Emperors New Groove and Atlantis, because I haven't seen them
|Movie||Year||Female Lead ||Nationality|
|Snow White||1937||Snow White *P||German|
|Alice In Wonderland||1951||Alice||English|
|Sleeping Beauty||1959||Aurora *P||French|
|The Little Mermaid||1989||Ariel *P||Mermaid (but Eric is clearly European)|
|Beauty and the Beast||1991||Bell *P||French|
|Aladdin||1992||Jasmin *P||Middle Eastern|
|Pocahontas||1995||Pocahontas *P||Native American|
|The Hunchback of Notre Dame||1996||Esmerelda||Gypsy (Romani)|
|Lilo And Stitch||2002||Lilo||Island Pacific|
|The Princess And The Frog||2009||Tiana *P||African American|
Info gained from chart above:
15 movies with female leads
9 with white/mermaid leads (or about 60%)
8 movies with a Princess (about 53% off the 15 movies)
5 Princesses are white (62% of the princesses)
Yes, I can see that these numbers are high. Above 60% off all the women in this sampling of WDAS' movies are white! And it did take nearly 70 years to create a movie with African American leads (despite already having MANY other groups represented in the "casting").
But I don't think this is just about Disney. Media as a whole doesn't give enough air time to differently-abled persons. Thinking about the shows I watch on television right now, only one person in wheel chair comes to mind: Joe Swanson - Peter Grifin's neighbor on Family Guy (and he's constantly made fun of for his chair... although everyone is made fun of on Family Guy).
But I'm not going to hold my breath for a differently-abled "Princess." Just like I'm not waiting for a lesbian princess; hell we haven't even had one that wore glasses (how cute would Bell have looked wearing classes when reading?). The media just has to step up and begin using differently-abled characters both as secondary characters and as titular characters!
Edit: One Disney titular character did have a physical abnormality, but was a man so was not included in this list. Quasimoto from Hunchback.