Monday, January 21, 2013

Feminism in Film: Sleeping Beauty

For my other Feminism in Film posts, go here.

Initial Thoughts
I honestly could not remember anything about this movie. I wasn't really looking forward to watching it, either. But it was the next movie in our line-up, so off we went!

The Critique
The three fairies, Flora, Fauna, and Merryweather, bestow gifts upon the baby princess- beauty ("hair of sunshine gold and lips red as the rose"), song, and true love's kiss will break the sleeping curse. The latter is a very practical gift and I like that a woman did what she could to save another woman. However I don't understand why beauty must be a qualification to be a princess. Why couldn't the fairies have made sure Aurora was intelligent? Or curious?

So why does Maleficent cast a curse on Aurora? Because she wasn't invited to a party and she was jealous of a baby's beauty. Seriously? Don't these high-powered women have anything better to concern themselves with? And why can't the women stop hating on other women?

The fairies take Aurora away to raise her, which I like. Three women working together to rise a child!

I think the pink/blue debate for Aurora's dress is great. Merryweather challenges traditional gender stereotypes!

Aurora is betrothed to a young Prince Phillip. Not a fan of betrothals! I know that in this movie they ultimately end up together, but why did they have to be forced together by their parents? Shouldn't their children be allowed to choose their spouse?

When do Aurora and Phillip meet (after their initial meeting when they were betrothed)? He spies her singing in the forest and goes up to her. He says they met "once upon a dream". CREEPY. STALKER. STRANGER DANGER.


Aurora knows absolutely nothing about Phillip! She won't even tell him her name! He asks when he can see her again, and she says "never"! NO MEANS NO.

Prince Phillip saves her. These princesses need to start learning how to save themselves.

Also, white washing. White washing everywhere.

The Bechdel Test
*two named women? YES (Aurora, Maleficent, Flora, Fauna, Merryweather)
*who talk to each other? YES 
*about something other than men? YES (fairies discuss how to save Aurora)
This is the first Disney princess movie with more than one "good" female character. It's refreshing to finally see a change! The fairies want to protect Aurora, and do everything in their power to keep her safe from harm. Ultimately, they fail. But to err is human.

Final Rating
Two Stars

1 comment:

  1. Honestly, I love Phillip! He actually has a personality, and his horse is the best :)