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There is something a bit disturbing about Disney’s modern princess stories

Joseph McCormick April 14, 2016
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Princesses in some of Disney’s more modern princess stories have become known as more badass than their vintage counterparts.

But despite being more outspoken than their predecessors, new research has found something shocking about the newer female leads.

Two linguists Carmen Fought and Karen Eisenhauer are currently analysing all lines of dialogue from the 12 Disney animated films made between 1937 and 2013 with a princess lead character.

Among their sometimes surprising findings, is the revelation that in the older films, such as Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella and Snow White, female characters speak 50 to 70 percent of the lines.

But in the more modern heroine tales, female protagonists were found to rarely have topped a third of the dialogue.

For example, in Mulan, female characters speak only 23 percent of the lines, and in the Little Mermaid, Arial speaks slightly more at 32 percent of the lines.

The research found that Princess Jasmine speaks only 10 percent of the lines in Aladdin. Researchers noted that she is not the main character in the film.

The Washington Post previewed a sample of the data, despite that the research is ongoing.

In Frozen, the 2013 super-hit, which is often held up as a different kind of love story (about sisterly love, if you haven’t seen it), the two lead female characters Anna and Elsa, only speak 41 percent of the lines.

Researchers didn’t include songs like ‘Let It Go’ in their findings, only spoken lines.

They also found two exceptions to these rules, Tangle and Brave, in which females speak 52 percent and 74 percent of the lines respectively.

Related topics: Anna, brave, Cinderella, Elsa, Let It Go, sleeping beauty, tangled

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