Disney vs. Masculinity Essay

Words: 1383
Pages: 6

Joseph Delia
Spring 2011
Emile Zaslow

Disney vs. The Future of Men: How have our beloved animated movies affected the men of yesterday, today and tomorrow.

Thesis: The constructs of masculinity found in most Disney movies create an environment of images that shape and define what young boys view as masculinity. By presenting sexist relationships, physical expectations, and violence and dominance to represent power, young boys are left feeling emotionally unattached and physically inadequate.

How many Disney movies did you see as a child? How many of those movies did you watch over and over again? And how many of the songs you so lovingly watched over and over again can you still sing today? The Walt Disney Company has
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I could care less what she’ll wear or look like, it all depends on what she cooks like” Another highly destructive construct that Disney movies present to young boys is the representation of the male body. Disney movies glorify one particular body type above all others. Chiseled abs, a barrel chest and massive arms are typical of a male Disney character. Men with any other body type are generally viewed as outcasts, weak or subservient. One of the most extreme examples can be found in “Beauty and the Beast”, where the contrast between the powerful male heroine figure, Gaston and his sidekick, LeFou is undeniable. The song entitled simply, “Gaston” is entirely dedicated to glorifying Gaston’s manly physique and strength. In contrast to this, LeFou is shown as short, chubby, and bucktoothed. In “Mulan”, when Mulan attempts to join the Japanese army by passing as a man, she is taught very quickly that masculinity is defined by strength and physical ability alone. In the song, “I’ll Make a Man Out of You” Mulan is taught that in order to achieve true manhood she must overcome strictly physical obstacles and challenges as opposed to any emotional ones. Other movies such as “Hercules” and “Tarzan” depict their main characters as buff, muscular men, with almost super human strength and ability. While Tarzan surfs tree branches and swings from vine to vine