Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Honors Thesis



First Advisor

Jason Lantzer


"In this thesis, I analyze three eras of princesses in Disney animated films in terms of how gender and femininity are portrayed in each era, and investigate whether each era parallels the goals/issues addressed by the first, second, third, and/or fourth-wave feminism movements. I also investigate how increasing numbers of women in filmmaking roles have changed the ways female characters are portrayed in Disney films. I analyze Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937), Cinderella (1950), and Sleeping Beauty (1959) for the first era; The Little Mermaid (1989), Beauty and the Beast (1991), and Aladdin (1992) for the second era; and Brave (2012), Frozen (2013), and Moana (2016) for the third era of Disney 'princess' movies. I analyze the ways in which gender, specifically femininity, is performed and portrayed in each of the princesses as those themes pertain to overdetermined femininity. I apply gender concepts and themes and examine how each theme is presented or not presented in each film. I also analyze how these themes change in each era of the Disney movies by looking at these carefully selected, representative films and investigate whether there is an increase of accepted diversity, in terms of gender, present in these three eras of films" --Provided by author.