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Should We Be Banning Disney Princess Movies?

Should We Be Banning Disney Princess Movies?

Veronica Murphy

The Little Mermaid, Cinderella, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, one if not all of these movies bring every girl back to when they were little and the excitement they had over their favourite Disney Princess. Hell, even now at 22 years of age I’d still get excited to curl up on the sofa and rewatch the classic Disney Princess movies! Someone who may not be so keen to do the same is Keira Knightly…


Keira Knightley, mother to her 3 year old daughter recently announced while on the Ellen DeGeneres show that she will be banning her 3 year old from watching certain Disney movies as she believes they are sending unhealthy messages to young girls. She justifies her statement by  criticising how the Princesses wait around for men to come rescue them, which doesn’t sit well with Knightley who is clearly very much about women’s empowerment. But is this taking it a step too far?

As a little girl, what was it that stuck with you? Speaking for myself I know that as a little girl I didn’t take away a message of women being weak and hopeless without men before they came to their rescue. I remember the catchy songs and loveable characters, from Sebastien in the Little Mermaid to The Genie in Aladdin. However, she has said she’s “team Frozen” and is also happy to let her watch Moana. 

Do Disney Princess Movies Really Impact Us?

Perhaps one of Keira Knightley’s most well known roles was when she played Elizabeth Swann in Disneys The Pirates of the Caribbean, her character being somewhat of a damsel in distress, ironically. Will she ban her daughter from watching that movie too? I think in the sudden surge of feminism and the encouragement of women to be independent and powerful, things may be getting a little bit excessive. I don’t believe that any of the movies I watched growing up had much of an impact on who I am as a person today, and I don’t think letting your child watch Disney Princesses will have a negative effect on them.

For myself, Disney movies were a childhood staple, just because I watched Ariel give up her voice for a Prince didn’t mean I would make equal sacrifices for a guy when I got older. Disney seem to be making improvements in this area with the release of movies such as Moana and Brave where the representation of female characters is more positive as they have more leader-like qualities, hence why Moana is in the good books with Knightley.

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This isn’t to be misinterpreted that I too don’t encourage women to be strong, influential and competent, but maybe if you want to teach your children about feminism and being independent, I think there are better ways to approach it, and coming for Disney films probably isn’t the place to start. 

What are your thoughts on the subject? Has she taken it a step too far or does she make some fair points? Have your say in the comments down below!

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