Dr. Nam Lee
Children’s animation offers the viewer a unique window into the nuances of current societal norms. Because children’s animation is made for the young, sensitive, and impressionable, it is carefully controlled and often heavily censored. Any statements made regarding the protagonist’s heroism or the villain’s malignity are meant to be accepted as universal truths for the growing minds of our youth. The recent 2018 Netflix and DreamWorks Animation animated reboot of the classic 1980's series "She-Ra: Princess of Power," now titled "She-Ra and the Princesses of Power," shook the animation industry with its groundbreaking representation and astounding visuals. Following its predecessor’s legacy, the program makes the effort to root itself in feminist ideals. However, while the 1980’s series was based in second-wave feminism, the 2018 series updates its ideals to fit a modern third-wave feminist audience. An integral element of third-wave feminism is its focus on intersectionality. While the new She-Ra’s feminist messages are inspirational, it struggles to consistently hit the mark at the intersection between feminism and post-colonial theory, queer theory, and disability studies. The social implications that arise from these pitfalls are demonstrative of the Hollywood Studio system’s inclination to use outdated constructs in order to secure profits. Studios, like DreamWorks Animation, that rely on the viewership of children are bound to rely on the opinions of their parents. Therefore, the ethics of their creative decisions is representative of what modern audiences believe is beneficial, educational, and moral for their children.
Marshall, Laine, "She-Ra and the Princesses of Power: An Intersectional Analysis of a Modern Reboot" (2021). Student Scholar Symposium Abstracts and Posters. 480.
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