During a recent interview on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, actress Keira Knightley explained that while she loves certain Disney princesses, there is no way that she’d let her 3-year-old daughter watch some of their movies. As far as Knightley is concerned, a few Disney classics actually reinforce a handful of harmful gender norms that she’s certain won’t send her toddler the right message.
“Cinderella,banned,” Knightley said. “Because, you know, she waits around for a rich guy to rescue her. Don’t! Rescue yourself, obviously.”
Still, when it comes to The Little Mermaid, Knightley is a bit more conflicted but says she’s “keeping to it [the ban]”
“This is the one that I’m quite annoyed about because I really like the film, but The Little Mermaid. I mean, the songs are great but do not give your voice up for a man. Hello?!”
Regardless, Knightley notes that her daughter loves Moana and Finding Dory. While both films fall under the Disney umbrella, they were both at least partially praised for having non-romanticized female characters leading their respective movies.
Knightley’s assessment of certain Disney films isn’t totally uncommon either. Actress Mindy Kaling pointed out that when she finally allows her daughter watch The Little Mermaid, she’ll readily point out that “You don’t have to be mute to attract a man and get all your dreams to come true, It’s fine! The people in your life who are your enemies are not just an older woman who’s jealous of your beauty. The ultimate dream in life is not to become married to a white prince.”
Actress Kristen Bell, even though she has voiced a Disney pricess before, took shots at a different Disney classic. She aptly pointed out that Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, sends a very bad message about consent. That’s namely because Prince Charming kisses Snow White while she’s still asleep. Plus, we don’t even need to get started on the fact that, like Bell, every parent should worry that their kids just watched a Disney princess take food from a total and complete stranger.
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