Whether you’re a seasoned Disney fan, or just like to escape the realities of everyday life with Disney Princesses every once in a while, we’d be willing to bet that you wouldn’t have noticed this before.
It turns out that our favourite fairytale stories have been hiding something from us. And once you’ve seen it, you’ll (probably) never be able to watch them in the same way again.
There’s no denying that, whilst there are plenty of swoon-worthy princes in the mix, Disney’s classics are filled with leading ladies, each with their own unique features and tale to tell.
But, in a new twist that’s come to light thanks to linguists Carmen Fought and Karen Eisenhauer, we’ve discovered that it’s the guys who are getting most of the screen time.
The worst offenders? The Little Mermaid, Aladdin and Pocahontas, apparently. Well, Ariel does have her voice stolen by Ursula the evil sea witch for a huge chunk of the film, but that’s still not really an excuse.
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, which was released way back in 1938, actually scored quite well in the dialogue count, with the female characters being equally as vocal as the blokes.
Shockingly, Cinderella had a 60-40 male-to-female dialogue ratio, and Sleeping Beauty really wasn’t a huge talker at all, with the men in her life taking over 71% of the talking.
Ugh. Can you imagine?
So, why do we think this is?
Carmen Fought told the Washington Post, ‘There’s one isolated princess trying to get someone to marry her, but there are no women doing any other things.
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‘There are no women leading the townspeople to go against the Beast, no women bonding in the tavern together singing drinking songs, women giving each other directions or women inventing things. Everybody who’s doing anything else, other than finding a husband in the movie, pretty much, is a male.’
So basically, there needs to be more girl squads in Disney films.
The study does also shed light on some positive trends in Disney princess films, so you don’t need to feel too bad just yet.
Modern tales The Princess and the Frog, Tangled and Frozen, saw the girls being twice as likely to receive a compliment based on their skills instead of their looks. And the girls are getting more and more sassy with their speech.
Keep it coming, Disney…