It has taken me a while to actually get around to writing this blog post because i am completely torn as to which i prefer ‘Old Disney’ or ‘New Disney’. As an avid Disney fan, as most people still are at my age, i am in love with the fact they are still continuing to make the films that we all fell in love with when we were children and subsequently learned so much from. However, there is this huge debate that i have been researching and reading about over which is better, the classics? Snow white, Sleeping beauty or the modern ones. Frozen, Tangled, Brave.
There are obviously pros and cons – actually i wouldn’t say that, more of that there are clear differences between the two. But no, the quality of the image and film is not one to distinguish them. I’m happy to feel that the classically filmed ones bring an element of childhood that the new ones do not.
In that case, what are the differences? How can we put them against each other?
Firstly, there is also a middle category. If Snow white was made in 1937, Lion King made in 1994 and Frozen made in 2013 – is there classics, second wave and then new? Or do people still consider Lion King as a classic? However, this is how i shall depict them throughout the post.
Obviously the ‘classics’ are all in our hearts whether you were around in the 30’s, 40’s and 50’s or like me were a part of the post 1990 era. With the traditional feel of ‘damsel in distress’ that you find with films such as Sleeping beauty, Snow white and Cinderella it creates the real aspect of Disney Princess. Young girls idolising over their love for their prince and hoping for one day they would have the same fairytale. However, being rescued by their love and showing some what helplessness may not be something to idolise over.
But is this the reason why ‘new’ Disney films are considered ‘better for us’? With the times changing, so must the norms and since the first and second waves of feminism (if you believe this to be a theme within new Disney) has some what changed the image of a Disney Princess. The new ‘Damsels in Distress’ aren’t really in distress. OF COURSE, the films still have that adoration story with a prince however, the women seem to be more interested in being independent.
For example, take the story of ‘Frozen’ (Come on, we all know it), at first yes, it can be agreed that all Anna wants is to fall in love and ends up doing. Elsa on the other hand is the perfect example of an independent woman who doesn’t need the help of a man to get where she is, she needs the help of her sister showing a different aspect of ‘Damsel in Distress’. Another example being Merida from ‘Brave’ where she completely dismisses the idea of love in order to carry on with her passion and fight for herself. Also, she rescues her mother all by herself without the need of a man. Do stories like these provide possibly a better role model for children or at least young girls?
What about then the ‘Second Wave’ of Disney films? There is still the aspect of ‘Happily Ever After’ but what would a Disney film be without that? Young girls watching films such as The Little Mermaid and wanting to be just like Ariel so that they become a mermaid and marry Prince Eric – but still, is this a disturbing thought that young children think that everything has a happy ending and that this type of media has such an influence on little girls as to what they think their future should be like?
All of these questions just make me confused as to which ‘morally’ i prefer. Because lets face it, Disney has all taught us valuable lessons from the idea of love to more useful notions of friendship and adventure. However, being Post 1990 – the second wave films stick closely to my heart and remind me of the upbringing i have. So therefore, i believe that which ever you grew up loving, will always be your true Disney love.
What is your favourite Disney film?
What is your opinion on it – New vs old?