2010 Student Research Conference:
23rd Annual Student Research Conference

The Look of a Hero: An Aesthetic and Feminist Criticism of Disney's Hercules
Sarah Y. Moore
Dr. Elizabeth M. Clark, Faculty Mentor

During the 1990s, Disney expanded their animated movie dynasty, producing nearly 20 animated classics (Walt Disney). Although these films typically portray stories set in other cultures, these widely disseminated childrens films include themes emblematic of American culture. Hercules, a Disney film from this era that grossed more than $25 million in its opening weekend, provides a good example of these movies. While there are several strong feminist criticisms of Disney's animated series in general, there are none looking specifically at the use of aesthetics and symbolism. Specifically, analysis of aesthetic elements of scale, angle sound, shapes, camera movement, and perspective or point of view have great potential to illustrate a male gaze. Hercules' use of aesthetic elements and symbols create a male gaze that oppresses women and emphasizes a perceived overwhelming power men have on society.

Keywords: Disney, Aesthetic Criticism, Feminist Criticism, Male Gaze, Film Techniques, Hercules

Topic(s):Communication
Women's and Gender Studies

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 10-4
Location: VH 1320
Time: 8:45

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