The Princess and the Frog

princess and the frog

The Princess and the Frog
Rating: G
Released: 2009
Run Time: 97 minutes
Directed By: Ron Clements, John Musker

Cultural Rating: pawpaw

This film is notable because it stars the first black Disney princess. However, Tiana is a frog for the majority of the film. Further, the film adheres to many stereotypes regarding race, disability, class, and religion.

Summary

Tiana, an aspiring restaurant owner, turns into a frog to save Prince Naveen from a curse.

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Pocahontas

Pocahontasposter

Pocahontas
Rating: G
Released: 1995
Run Time: 81 minutes
Directed By: Mike Gabriel, Eric Goldberg

Cultural ratingpawpaw

Overall, this film tries to engage with a marginalized identity (Native Americans) that is rarely depicted in mainstream media in a positive or uplifting manner; however, the film lacks the historical context necessary to situate the audience as far as the detrimental effects of colonization are concerned and also makes broad generalizations about Native American groups. Also, while Pocahontas challenges traditional gender roles regarding femininity in a number of ways, the film does little to engage with other marginalized cultural identities.

Summary

The daughter of Chief Powhatan, Pocahontas, is expected to marry an Algonquin suitor. However, despite the pressures from her father, Pocahontas resists the marriage and falls in love with Englishman John Smith.

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Tangled

tangled

Tangled
Rating: PG
Run Time: 100 minutes
Released: 2010
Director: Nathan Greno, Byron Howard

Cultural Rating: pawpawpawpaw
Overall, this film includes positive messages regarding gender roles, the body, and disability. This film receives 4 paws because it challenges a number cultural tropes in a positive way.

Summary
A kidnapped princess with magical hair and a thief go on an adventure to follow their dreams and find their true selves.

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Into the Woods

into the woods

Into the Woods
Rating: PG
Run Time: 125 minutes
Released: 2014
Director: Rob Marshall

Cultural Rating: pawpaw

The film challenges traditional gender roles and media narratives regarding femininity and masculinity but does little to engage with cultural identities regarding race, sexual orientation, the body, and disability. Additionally, the film is full of moral lessons about taking responsibility for your own actions.

Summary

A young couple heads into the woods to release the curse placed on their family.

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Frozen

frozen

Frozen
Rating: PG
Run Time: 102 minutes
Released: 2013
Director: Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee

Cultural Rating: pawpaw

Despite the popularity of this film, it is very neutral regarding cultural progressiveness. While some traditional gender roles are challenged by the lead female characters, the movie does not engage with racial diversity, disability, sexual orientation, or the body.

Summary

Two sisters torn apart by their differences must find a way to reconnect.

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Annie (2014)

Annie2014Poster

Annie
Rating: PG
Run Time: 118 minutes
Directed by: Will Gluck

Cultural rating: pawpawpawpaw

Overall, this film does an excellent job of including marginalized identities (women, people of color) as major and minor characters in a progressive manner. Further, the film challenges traditional conceptions of masculinity.

Summary

In this adaptation of the classical musical Annie, a young foster child and a millionaire change one another’s lives for the better.

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