Handsome Heroes and Vile Villains
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Exploring depictions of men and boys in Disney movies

From the iconic Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937) to Tangled, the 2010 retelling of Rapunzel, Handsome Heroes and Vile Villains looks at the portrayal of male characters in Disney films from the perspective of masculinity studies and feminist film theory. This companion volume to Good Girls and Wicked Witches places these depictions within the context of Hollywood and American popular culture at the time of each film's release.

1. Masculinity, Animation, 9 Old Men & Walt
2. Separating the Men from the Boys
3. Mad about the Boy
4. Handsome Princes
5. Evil Villains



Publié par
Date de parution 31 janvier 2014
Nombre de lectures 0
EAN13 9780861969074
Langue English

Informations légales : prix de location à la page 0,1250€. Cette information est donnée uniquement à titre indicatif conformément à la législation en vigueur.


Handsome Heroes Vile Villains
Handsome Heroes Vile Villains
Men in Disney s Feature Animation
Amy M. Davis
British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data
Handsome Heroes Vile Villains: Men in Disney s Feature Animation
A catalogue entry for this book is available from the British Library
ISBN: 0 86196 704 9 (Paperback edition)
Cover design: Jonny Wood.
Ebook edition ISBN: 9780-86196-907-4
Ebook edition published by
John Libbey Publishing Ltd, 3 Leicester Road, New Barnet, Herts EN5 5EW, United Kingdom
e-mail: john.libbey@orange.fr ; web site: www.johnlibbey.com
Printed and electronic book orders (Worldwide): Indiana University Press , Herman B Wells Library - 350, 1320E. 10th St., Bloomington, IN 47405, USA www.iupress.indiana.edu
2015 Copyright John Libbey Publishing Ltd. All rights reserved.
Unauthorised duplication contravenes applicable laws.


Chapter 1
On Wooden Boys and Assistant Pig-Keepers
Chapter 2
Dashing Heroes
Chapter 3
Handsome Princes
Chapter 4
Evil Villains

Appendix A
List of Films in this Study
Appendix B
List of Disney Animated Feature Films to Date



Though this book may have a single author, undoubtedly there has been a team of people who have been of help and support at various points during the book s creation. I cannot name individually everyone who has been there for me during this process, but if you played a part and you know it, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. Special mention must go to some who helped in enormous ways, often above and beyond the call of duty. They are my mother, Kathleen Davis, my grandmother, Betty Erwin, and my brother, Brian Davis, who bought me many of the dvds (and some of the books) that were to play a part of the research for this project, talked Disney with me, and kept me going; special thanks to my mother for reading drafts and giving detailed feedback, too! Likewise, I must thank colleagues (many of whom are also friends) past and present for their giving me space and encouragement, and for letting me bounce ideas off of them from time to time (not to mention letting me complain when I realised just how useless Prince Charming is!). Special mention must go to M ire Messenger-Davies, David Eldridge, and James Zborowski, who discussed ideas and themes at various stages of the process. I must also thank John Libbey, the publisher of this book, for his unending patience when teaching, administrative, and life commitments meant that the manuscript s submission deadline had to be changed again and again. I promise never to mention another new book to you before it is at least ninty percent completed (if not actually done)! Also, a very special thank you must go to my students, past and present, who studied on my American Animation History module and my Disney Studies module. On more than one occasion, our classroom discussions helped me to work through ideas, sometimes see things in a new light, or remind me of something I d forgotten because I first thought about it or read about it quite some time ago, and it had since slipped away from my poor, tired brain. One of the greatest joys of teaching - apart from sharing with others a subject you love - is that, invariably, you learn from your students themselves, as well as from the process of explaining things to your students. For that, know that you have my sincere appreciation; I hope that you, too, have benefited from our time together. There are, of course, others (colleagues and/or friends) who deserve to be singled out for thanks for discussing (formally and informally) all sorts of things about the world of Disney (films, parks, and merchandise), gender roles, handsome princes, animation, bad guys, the process of academic writing, and the like. In no particular order, I would like to thank Rachael Kelly, Dorene Koehler, Iris Kleinecke-Bates, James Aston, Jemma Gilboy Alexander Ornella, Georgina Waterhouse, Charlotte Waterhouse, and Emma Waterhouse (and Cara Rob, too!).
My most sincere thanks to each and every one of you whom I ve mentioned here, whether or not I ve listed you by name. Without you, as they say, it would not have been possible.
Story-wise, we sharpen the decisive triumph of good over evil with our valiant knights - the issues which represent our moral ideals. We do it in a romantic fashion, easily comprehended by children. In this respect, moving pictures are more potent than volumes of familiar words in books.
- Walt Disney. 1
When many people think of the Disney studio s animated feature films, they think of princesses. And on the surface, it s no wonder. The films which were key financial, critical, and popular successes for Disney - Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937), Cinderella (1950), The Little Mermaid (1989), Beauty and the Beast (1991), Aladdin (1992), Tangled (2010) - as well as turning points in the studio s history, all feature young women who are either born or become princesses. The young women around whom these stories centre are charismatic, beautiful, interesting, and beset with monumental problems, and so they have what it takes to capture much of our interest. The problems they face, by and large, in most of the examples cited above, 2 are caused by equally-compelling women: evil to the point of monstrous, their determination, jealousy, and dynamism nearly steal the show from the heroines who are the targets of their animosity.
But what about the men? The young boys who go on amazing adventures? The princes and heroes who win the hearts of the princesses and heroines and who, we just know by the ends of the films, will go on to live in love and romantic unity happily ever after? The friends and companions who assisted them along the way? Villains who bring danger - and in most cases excitement - to the story? Yes, they re remembered by the public, to a degree. Being able to name all seven of the dwarfs is something of a trivia game in some quarters (Doc, Happy, Bashful, Sleepy, Sneezy, Grumpy, and Dopey, in case you can t quite remember). Characters such as Snow White s Prince, Cinderella s Prince Charming, and other royal suitors comes up (though many would have trouble naming character traits for any of them). Those who are that bit more into Disney will remember that the prince with whom Ariel falls in love has an actual name, Prince Eric, but he is not the most memorable character in the story, even though we would never have the story at all if he had not been there for Ariel to rescue and fall head-over-heels for (once she got her legs, anyway).
Certainly, the Disney Company has recognised this: their marketing strategies include the incredibly-successful Princess Collection which, in-and-of itself, has spawned numerous parodies and references (my personal favourite is the 2012 Saturday Night Live sketch featuring Lindsay Lohan, The Real Housewives of Disney 3 ), and the memorable Disney Villains Collection, an idea which has become associated with Halloween in particular but, in some circles, is popular all year round. But there is no official Disney Princes Collection, or Disney Boys Collection. When heroes are merchandised and marketed, it is almost always as counter-parts to the heroines and not as a group worth celebrating.
But why have the princesses 4 come to dominate the public s imagination? It is not down to marketing as such: when Cinderella was reinvented as a Disney heroine in the 1950 film, she was perceived in the popular press - and presumably by many amongst the general public - as being a typical Disney princess, despite the fact that she is preceded by only one other Disney princess - Snow White. Indeed, the princesses were outnumbered by the commoners throughout the history of Disney feature animation, so much so that not even all of the characters who comprise the official Disney Princess Collection marketing are actually princesses. Mulan, for example, is from a high-status family, but they are by no means royalty. There have been a great many more princesses to join the Disney character family beginning with Ariel in 1989, but this seems to have become a trend in Disney animated feature films simply because the idea of the Disney princess had so captured the public imagination. Ariel, in fact, is the fifth princess, 5 but is followed (as of the time of writing this) by another seven: Belle, Jasmine, Pocahontas, Kida, Tiana, Rapunzel and Vanellope.
And princes? Where do they figure into all of this? What about male heroes generally? Looking at the list of the twenty-eight films analysed in this study, 6 nine are actually named after a male character; only five are named for a single female character, three make reference to both the male and female leads in the title, and eleven are gender neutral. When you include all fifty-two films to date, 7 the number of male to female designated titles is in even sharper contrast: twenty-one films are named solely for their male leads, six for their female leads, five titles make explicit reference to having both a male and a female lead, and twenty titles are gender neutral. All of the films with a female character s name as the title are humans (if you count Ariel, the Little Mermaid, as human; for our purposes here, since she spends most of her film human and is human at the end of the story, I consider her human). Titles which name only the male lead, however, have a mix of species: humans, an elephant, a deer, several bears, a lion, a chicken, and a dog. As of the time of writing this book, titles which are either male or gender neutral are the ov

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