Walter Elias Disney, born December 5, 1901, was a cartoonist, voice actor, producer and overall a man way ahead of his time. This is a man who came from humble beginnings, he dropped out of high school to join the military but unfortunately was to young therefore was sent to France to drive an ambulance for a year. Even with what little he had this is someone who had a dream to do something great. His passion for art was something that could not go unseen therefore everything he imagined little by little he with the help of his brother and those around him accomplished it.
Walt Disney represents imagination, laughter, creation and self-made success in life. He was someone who brought people closer to the future while telling of the past. He will never be forgotten wherever you go you will see a little bit of Disney in the world. Disney has taught us so much through his cartoons and films. The way he makes real world problems relatable in his animations is still amazing and admirable. What really speaks is the way he portrayed women in films back then and even now.
In a world where women have always seem to come second to man, Disney made them the main characters in most of his films. Even though at the end it does all end with a prince or man kissing them and living happily ever after, it is the woman who face the obstacles and must overcome them by themselves. Let us begin with one of Walt Disney’s first leading lady, the one and only Snow White. Snow White was presented to the public in 1937, a girl with no parents only to be raised by her stepmother, who was filled with envy so much as to kill her daughter.
Snow White was kind, beautiful and filled with innocence so much that even the huntsman spared her life. She tells the story of someone longing to find her true love and after all the obstacles she faces she is found by her stepmother who has transformed into an old lady and poisons snow white, her seven dwarfs are then left to grieve until she is finally brought back to life and reunited with her prince after her true loves kiss. He showed the world something different like dealing with death and in the resurrection with true loves kiss.
In a time when people were still in the great depression Walt gave us hope he showed us hope. In 1950, the world was introduced to one of Disney’s iconic creations, Cinderella. The story of Cinderella is that of a young woman that without the protection of a mother or father, she represents anyone who feels misunderstood and alone in the world. She is raised by her stepmother along with her evil step sisters who torture her, make her their servant. She must escape and do whatever it takes to go to the ball and meet her prince.
She doesn’t let anything stop her from being a woman capable of being loved and making her dream come true. In 1989, we met the Little Mermaid, here we are shown the sacrifices that we must make for our dreams. it tells the story of this red headed adventurous little mermaid who one day rises to the surface and comes upon a boat where she instantly falls for the man she sees. She saves his life and admires him for days and days all she dreamed about was him. She wanted nothing more than to be with this gentleman, she wanted it so much that she was willing to give up her special and unique voice to be human.
Her actions were what spoke louder than words, considering she could not speak but the young man was falling for her. At the end even with all the evil that came from the villain Ursula, she managed to make things right and ended up human, another great example of making your dreams come true at any cause. Moreover, we meet in 1998 the warrior Mulan, unlike the many princess we have met when Mulan came around we see someone who literally broke tradition. Mulan had both parents as appose to the other princess, she is an independent woman who did not wish to follow the traditions of her culture.
Her family had a dream for her to marry her off to a suitor but Mulan was more interested in making her own dream leaving behind her own mark. She gets a chance to do so when she goes under covered and takes a different identity as a male soldier to fight against an evil warlord. At first she struggles not having the skills and strength that the men have but then she works harder than anyone and proves herself. She soon is discovered and even though she was supposed to be killed for what she did her loyalty and heroic acts saved her from being executed.
A end of it all thanks to impressive skills and bravery in the battlefield she earns respect and honor from her father and her potential love interest. Mulan was a great example for girls everywhere because this is someone whose dream wasn’t to fall in love but to make a difference in the world. And finally in 2009 our first African American princess that brings us to future, Tiana. She was nothing like the others this is a regular girl in present America. The most realistic of them all, Tiana did not dream of meeting a prince and falling in love and living in a castle.
Instead she embodies a regular teenager of today, working in a restaurant as a waitress hoping one day to become an entrepreneur by opening up her own restaurant. She not only dreamed and hope but she saved up every penny she earned and worked hard to make her dream a reality. Once she was turned into a frog that is where she became more open when she met another frog prince Naveen, who told her she couldn’t do everything alone and would have to let others help her once in a while.
At the end all her hard work and dedication got her what she wanted. She opened up her restaurant and made a better life for herself and somewhere in the middle of it all she found love. But all in all love found her she wasn’t looking for it. She teaches us that hard work is needed to make dreams come true and that not everything can be done alone and we need to trust others that love us to help us when we need it. Walt Disney once said a famous quote that goes “All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.
Which is in so many ways, however you interpret it is very true. From the films and the legacy of Disney we have seen what dreams, dedication and hard work can get you. The women Disney created and that are being created today have taught many of us many things; Dream, Believe, Achieve and somewhere in between love and be loved. They send the message that everyone should make their own happily ever after at whatever cause with hard work and dedication and let no obstacle get in the way of attaining what we want in life.