Disney Has Lost Touch with the Male Audience, No Male Princes

24 Mar


Disney has released the movie Frozen not too long ago, and though the movie was better than anything they’ve released in a long time (with one great musical number, and a twisted new story line, with a few plot holes), it still is missing several things. One of those things is its ability to relate to a male audience.

Over the past few years, Disney has failed to relate to their male audience. We’ve had several movies geared to women (The Princess and the Frog, Tangled, Brave), and few movies geared to males. The last movie Disney ever had geared to boys was Wreck it Ralph and that was also made by Pixar. Disney really hasn’t had a musical with the male as the lead since Hercules.

And okay, I’m not just talking about having male heroes as main characters. Even the female characters fail to relate to boys. Mulan was the last (and really, only) female heroine that related to both men and women.

With all of this emphasis on female heroines, it leaves the male audience disconnected from Disney, labeling it as something feminine and “just for girls”. This isn’t really the first time it has been like this. Look at this old trailer for Alice in Wonderland, and we see that Disney began that way.

And since when has Disney ever had a male Prince as the lead character? Talk about sexism and unfair treatment!

And Disney has done it again. Once again, look at Frozen. Disney’s lead characters in Frozen were considered icons of “feminism” (though not really, Is Frozen a feminist movie?), rather than relating to boys. Mulan had that strong, brave, with-a-little-clumsiness type of personality (which relates to girls), but Mulan had the same experiences men in war have had, the same desire to bring honor to her father and her family, and hardly any “pretty-ful” dresses. She had substance and depth, not merchandising gimmicks.

To add, the few lead male characters in Frozen were forgettable and one-dimensional.

So I ask, why has Disney disconnected from it’s male audiences? The last good movies of the 1990’s have had male leads, so it couldn’t be because movies with males don’t sell very well (box office sales were at their best then). Maybe it’s because they’ve had too many movies with males taking over the box office…(?)

But as I said, from the start, Disney has had a hard time catering to males. This needs to change. Once it does, Disney will really grab the audience’s attention, much like they did with movies in the 1990’s.

Frozen is popular now, but I don’t see it being a timeless classic, like the Lion King, Mulan, Tarzan, Hercules, or Beauty and the Beast. This is because Disney is so focused on imitating the crude humor of Dreamworks. The difference is they want to cater it exclusively to a female audience.

The Disney Channel also seems to be infested with tween girls. It’s so bad, they had to make a completely SEPARATE channel for boys (Disney XD) instead of just merging the two, and gaining both audiences…What’s the deal, Disney? This is exactly why boys can’t take Disney seriously nowadays and would rather watch Dreamworks movies.

Just something that’s been bothering me lately…

Leave me a comment and let me know what you think about Disney’s “attack of the females”…

Also, mosey on over to: Is Frozen a feminist movie or a sexist one?


2 Responses to “Disney Has Lost Touch with the Male Audience, No Male Princes”

  1. mm 2016/02/19 at 06:47 #

    I am not a feminist. I thought your points about the flaws in Frozen were interesting, but did not agree with the point of view that you find “equality” in trying to gain the respect of men or that female main characters should think like men do or always have the same wants and dreams or goals. As a girl, my goals , thoughts and dreams aren’t necessarily the same as those of a man. I don’t think they have to be the same to be strong.
    Women don’t find strength in putting men down or controlling them, but I hesitate to say they find strength in trying to be like them, either. I loved Frozen when I first saw it, but it was one of the first films I’d watched after several years of banning myself from TV for religious reasons and I didn’t understand the gender politics behind it. Now I’m more skeptical. Mulan, on the other hand, I was never crazy about like I was with Frozen. I viewed it as entertainment, but as I became more aware of gender politics, how they lined up with my religion and beliefs about gender, and all the complicated debates, I became too uncomfortable with it.
    It would be good to see more male main characters in Disney, but I don’t think changing all the female characters to appeal to the male POV is a way to “appeal to everybody.”


    • generationnext 2016/02/19 at 18:11 #

      I don’t think I was ever implying the girls should literally have the same wants and desires as men.

      I was just simply making suggestions on how Disney can get a female character to appeal to a male audience. The problem is that male characters, like Hercules and Tarzan, already appeal to females. But it’s hard for female characters to relate to boys.

      But if boys see that girls are just like them, perhaps they will find a female character they like. We all are drawn to what we relate to. I’m also thinking it will be really progressive.

      It would be great to see more male characters, but I don’t think Disney should necessarily stop making female characters. I feel Disney should balance making girlier characters and tougher female characters, characters that can appeal to both male and female audiences.

      With male characters, they tend to be appealing to both genders. Tarzan and Quasi Modo were both popular among the female and male audiences. This is because they designed Quasi-Modo with softer qualities such as kindness, caring, compassion, and friendliness. Women can more readily relate to those qualities. And yet, he was still a man. It didn’t make him less of a man. I feel he was a balanced character that can appeal to a general audience.

      It was the same with Mulan.

      I think being gender-neutral helps widen the audience out and would give Disney way more popularity.

      Maybe making some female characters (not all) have a male POV wouldn’t appeal to everyone, but it will appeal to boys. And feminists. That’s two audiences right there. To add, everyone likes to watch something different from time to time. No one wants to watch the same kind of female characters over and over. We also don’t want to limit possibilities for children. Girls want to do many things. We need to show the world how diverse girls are in their interests through movies and story-telling. There are enough princesses to feed the girly girl. What about the girls that aren’t so girly? There’s not enough to appeal to her through a character that looks like her.

      I’m not sure what your beliefs are, but I can assure you that all of it is for entertainment. People will always find something in everything. But as long as you enjoy it, don’t let anyone run you away from something you really like.

      Frozen doesn’t really have gender politics behind it. But feminists have attached themselves to the movie because it passes the Bechdel test.

      Anyway, thank you for commenting and reading.


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