Representation Of Power


Power is something that is always represented in movies. There is always someone who has all of the power or the majority. Usually stories have shifts in power or someone gaining power over time. When you think about it, power is necessary for everyday life, if nobody was in power, there would be chaos. The representation of power in Disney movies specifically is something worth looking at. For the most part, men have the power in these movies, there are rare occasions when women actually attain the power in Disney movies. I previously discussed the way women are stereotyped in Disney movies, half the reason are stereotyped as they are is because the men are made to have all of the power.

The Disney movie that comes to my mind when I’m thinking about representation of power is Beauty and the Beast. In the beginning of the movie, a man named Gaston (the antagonist) pushes himself onto Belle (Beauty). He clearly has the power in this scene has he has his hands against her collar bone and says "then marry me", he is trying to pressure Belle into marrying him by showing her who has the power. I personally would be very intimidated if a man who was twice my size was over me in that way and was annoyed that i wasn't agreeing with him. Then Belle becomes a prisoner of the Beast in his castle later on in the movie. Beast has to find true love in order to break the curse that was put upon him. If he doesn’t before the last pedal on the rose falls off, he will be this ugly beast permanently. The beast tries to force Belle to marry her and fall in love with her and if she didnt cooperate she would be held in the castle. This is another instance where a man is using his largeness to intimidate a woman and to show the woman who calls the shots. The fact that he is a beast adds to this intimidation factor as well.

Mulan is a movie that demonstrates a lot of where power is meant to be. The story behind Mulan is that a daughter of a man who is meant to fight in the war takes his place in order to save him from getting more injured then he already is or die. The only thing is, is that she cannot go because she is a woman. Woman aren’t fit to fight the war. Men have all the power and are the only ones with the power to fight the war and be in the war. So Mulan decides to cut her hair and wrap her chest so she looks like a man. She has to change her identity to a man in order to earn any sort of respect or power. She is portrayed as a man basically throughout the whole movie and when they find out she is a woman, she is almost killed. The men hold her down and she almost has her head chopped off, but the leader owed her for saving his life so he spared hers. Any and all power that is possible to attain in that movie, is given to men.

Fathers, fathers are a key attribute to the representation of power in regards to men in Disney movies. In almost every classic Disney movie, there is always a father but rarely a mother. This gives all of the power the men in the movie. If there is only one parent, and the one that is dead is the mom, it is clear who they are intending to have the power. Even in movies like Snow White, where there is no present father, there are still the seven dwarfs, all of which happen to be men. The fathers also tend to have a role of giving away their daughters. In The Little Mermaid and Aladdin, the fathers give away their daughters when they get married, but they give them away to the princes, as if they are a possession. Their daughters being their prize and only one other male will be able to share the prize. I hate the thought of men having all the power. If men were meant to have power, there would only be men on this planet and no women.
The sorts of messages that Disney is sending to children (especially little boys) is that in order to be a man you need to have the power. You need to wear the pants in the relationship if you ever hope to be a true man. These things are absolutely ridiculous. Men shouldn’t have to push women around and own them and intimidate them just for the sake of having a little power. Disney’s influences on these children may not seem important now, but they could definitely have an impact in the future.