The Evolution of the Disney Princess

From "Cinderella" to "Frozen," this is how Disney's heroines have evolved since Snow White in 1937. 👸💪

More women are working in show business, more feminist productions

This is what the new Disney princesses look like. A lot has changed between Snow White, created in 1927, and the hero of Frozen. After Snow White, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty things started to evolve in the 1990s. According to Emma Watson, the real turning point came in 1992, with the character of Belle. Linguistics professor Carmen Fought has analyzed all the dialog in Disney's princess movies.

“I definitely feel that the princess character has evolved, and that Disney is trying to present role models for little girls that are more appealing and stronger. Frozen is a movie, finally, with not just one but two princesses, two princesses. And so, if any movie you would think would have more female characters, it would be that one. But no. There were twice as many male characters, about. Male characters in Frozen speak much more than the female characters. They speak about 60 % of all the words spoken in that movie. Female characters were much more likely, throughout the Disney movies, the Disney Princess movies, to be complimented on their appearance rather than their skills. And that holds true up through the most recent movies,” Carmen Fought tells Brut.

In the last 92 years only 3 Disney films featuring princesses were co-directed by women: Brave and Frozen, parts one and two. Film is a highly influential cultural medium and has major influence in the empowerment or disempowerment of women. Pop-culture entertainment, led by cultural giant Disney, not only reflects what audiences want to see, but it also sets standards of acceptable behavior that are followed around the world. For more than sixty years, Disney has been hugely influential in dictating to children the idealized characteristics of men and women. As a film production company, Disney and their famous princesses have changed significantly as a response to, and a reflection of, changing social norms.