Ursula In The Grotto. Image Credit: Playbuzz

Disney Shames Fat People! Oh, Wait…That’s Not Exactly True

I recently found several articles online, some old, some newer, that claim that Disney fat-shames people using the villains in their movies, especially women. They talk abut Disney’s The Little Mermaid, with Ursula as the star villain. So, the question is, does Disney have an obsession with fat-shaming women?

One article talks about just four villains. This article is written by Julia Brackett, and is titled, Fat-Shaming in Villain Design.  From the article, “Disney villains seem to follow some pretty strict patterns throughout their movies…Women and men alike (but lets be honest—women moreso) are designed to be fat and ugly to show that they are evil. Characters like Ursula, the Queen of Hearts, Madam Mim, and even Aunt Sarah (Lady and the Tramp) are designed to be heavy, ugly, and portray some deeply disturbing behaviors.”  I wondered if there were more than four.

Ursula. Image Credit: NewNormative

Ursula. Image Credit: NewNormative

The second article titled  The Problematic Disney Body Image Trend We’re Not Talking About talks about the way in which fat characters are shamed for their weight, so much so that the waistlines of several Disney villains were slimmed down for toy line of multiple villains.

The author states, “Disney slimmed down its curvaceous crooks for a line of “Designer Villains” dolls sparking harsh criticism when the limited-edition ladies were released in 2012…[Melissa] May laments that Ursula’s “silhouette [was] robbed of every ounce of delicious curve,” asking whether Disney sat her down over a cup of tea to explain the marketing technique as “a vehicle to make you more palatable to a culture that demands perfection.” “

But is this actually part of a bigger problem, as some feminists and others have said? Or is it simply a case of misplaced anger?

To answer these questions, I explored the Wikipedia page listing all Disney theatrical animated feature films. In other words, every Disney animated film that has been in the movies. Starting from the earliest actual feature film (Snow White And The Seven Dwarves), here is a chart with the headers of Fat Villain, Skinny Villain, and Athletic Villain.

A few films were omitted, specifically those without an actual villain or minor releases, such the Three Caballeros and other similar movies. Also left out were such films as Dumbo (whose villain we never see), Bambi (whose main villains we never see), and quite a few others.

This list includes only those movies with a single hero or heroine and a villain. These are commonly referred to as the Princess Movies, though some are not princess movies. Most of the movies between Walt Disney’s death and the reviving of the animation department by his nephew Roy Disney, with The Little Mermaid, are not included.

Disney Princess Timeline

Disney Princess Timeline. Image Credit: We Heart It

Below this list, I have added the cast of Disney supporting cast members in a positive role in the heroes’ life that have also been heavy-set, whether female or male.

After viewing this chart, please let me know if I have missed anything. However, it should be quite clear that not only does Disney not have a penchant for villainizing fat women, the exact opposite is true. It would seem that Disney has a problem with skinny people, as the vast majority of their villains are just that, extremely skinny and often tall people.

All Of The Disney Villains. Note All the Skinny People!

All Of The Disney Villains. Note All the Skinny People! Image Credit eBay

 

Fat Villains Skinny Villains Athletic Villains
Stromboli (Pinocchio)(male) Evil Queen (Snow White) Gaston (Beauty and the Beast)(male)
Queen of Hearts (Alice in Wonderland) Lady Tremaine (Cinderella) Clayton (Tarzan)(male)
Madam Mim (Sword In The Stone) Maleficent (Sleeping Beauty) Commander Rourke (Atlantis)(male)
Ursula (The Little Mermaid) Cruella DeVil (101 Dalmatians)
Governor Ratcliffe (Pocahontas)(male) Shere Kan (Jungle Book)(male)
Shan Yu (Mulan)(male) Judge Doom (Who Framed Roger Rabbit)(male)
Aunt Sarah (Lady and the Tramp) Jafar (Aladdin)(male)
Scar (The Lion King)(male)
Captain Hook (Peter Pan)(male)

Monseigneur Claude Frollo (Hunchback of Notre Dame)(male)

Hades (Hercules)(male)
Yzma (Emperor’s New Groove)
Queen Narissa (Enchanted)
Dr Facilier (Princess and the Frog)(male)
Mother Gothel (Tangled)
Elsa (Frozen)
Te Ka (Moana)

Supporting characters who could be considered heavy or stout:

Many of the Seven Dwarves

Fairy Godmother in Cinderella

The Three Fairies in Sleeping Beauty

Baloo in the Jungle Book

King Triton and Flounder in The Little Mermaid

The Genie in Aladdin

Mufasa in the Lion King (he is well-fed more than heavy)

Mrs. Potts in Beauty and the Beast

Grandmother Willow in Pocahontas (although she doesn’t have an actual body)

Tanana in Brother Bear

Grandmother in Mulan

Lilo in Lilo and Stitch

Mama Odie in the Princess and the Frog

Maui in Moana

Older (and in many cases, heavier) Disney Characters.

Older (and in many cases, heavier) Disney Characters. Image Credit Buzzfeed

So, it would seem that most Disney villains are tall, skinny men, and very few are fat people, and four are heavy women. Most of the heavyset villains are men. It is clear from this list that not only does Disney not fat-shame women, but in fact have a positive view in general towards heavier women, as you can see from the heavy supporting character list.

On a side note, there is a great video I found by Audrey … about how the Disney Princesses are still role models today.

27 Comments

  • Jesse Jesse says:

    Nice article.
    I’m not into fat shaming or anything like that. Big is beautiful!

    I had swallowed the pill and believed the MSM that Disney was promoting anorexia. Lies!

    • Avatar Gigi says:

      You really have to do your own due diligence.

      Sometimes, what we hear is just propaganda.

    • Avatar 3M3RALDD says:

      I want to argue with the author…

      I know she’s wrong.

      But I can’t argue.

      She’s actually the one with the facts. It’s strange how we come to believe certain things and not others.

  • Maria LLama Maria LLama says:

    Young lady, big is beautiful. You’re great as you are! You get it. People come in all shapes and sizes, colors and tones. You have lovely hair and eyes and a nice smile, but so do girls with brown hair, black hair, curly hair, and same for eyes. Brown eyes are beautiful. There’s something special about each of us. You have to love yourself for who you are. I am a bigger woman. I diet and exercise but that isn’t changing reality. So if you’re bigger, Beverly, that’s just what makes you unique. Plenty of women are larger without having an eating disorder. God made a lot of variety.

    • Beverly OHannah Beverly OHannah says:

      Thank you very much. I have always been big. I never even noticed because my Mom, my aunts, my sisters are all large women. I eat a balanced diet and exercise. I do dance, gymnastics, run track, and swim. Still, I am a plus size. By the way, my real name isn’t Beverly Ohannah. It is my pseudonym. My Mom would not allow me to use my real name because I am only in eighth grade.

      • Maria LLama Maria LLama says:

        Very interesting story! Thanks for sharing. How did you come up with your pen name?

        • Beverly OHannah Beverly OHannah says:

          Beverly Cleary, my favorite author since 4th grade and Hannah Montana, my favorite musician.

          • The Liar The Liar says:

            Young lady, I’m going to be serious for a moment, and I hope the repercussions aren’t concussion or stroke.

            Be happy with yourself. You won’t ever be your siblings or other kids in your class. You have your own strengths…and weaknesses. You have your own look and style. When you compare to others, you’ve already lost the game of life.

            • Avatar Ted Rodgers says:

              I don’t know HOW these kids today deal with life. They are growing up in a huge social experiment. What’s it like just to be a kid? I have three sisters (and one brother). I am a male. But I saw how it was for girls in the 70s. And life then made sense and it was still tough!

          • Avatar RODGERS says:

            My sisters were crazy about Bevery Cleary. My eldest sister turned 16 in 1970 when “Are You There God, It’s Me Margaret” came out. My other sisters were 13 and 11. I was 12. Right in the middle of the madness!

            They never stopped talking about that book! I even read it, and most of my classmates, both boys and girls, did as well.

            How do you kids deal with the weird filth in our culture? I mean, if you’ve been raised in any faith, isn’t the world a challenge?

  • TheReal KIMpossible TheReal KIMpossible says:

    Sometimes you just gotta’ say F*** the HATERS!

    • Avatar DUSTIN says:

      ABSOLUTELY! I am a college grad, and looking for a job, some places were insulting. If the person in human resources is anything but polite to you, know you didn’t get the job. Just walk RIGHT out.

      But WHY do I get hate in the first place? Probably because I have a better resume and they’re competitive. I mean, working in PR is just…not that cool.

      Or maybe they don’t like how I look. I am fashioable and dapper, maybe TOO much for some companies? But I do work in the fashion industry so….

    • Avatar NoSweat NoSweat says:

      I’d rather eat YOU! You’re so scrumptious! Really a beautiful woman!

  • Syphilitic Sue Syphilitic Sue says:

    not here as eye candy for men

  • Queen Narissa Queen Narissa says:

    You will never defeat me!! Good will never triumph over evil!!

    Once I have made Disney the target of feminists everywhere due to the made up problem of fat-shaming and body image issues, next I will move on to True Love’s Kiss! HA!

    See how I have already started creating backlash over the Snow White ride? The ride actually shows how True Love’s Kiss destroys the witches evil magic, but see how I have switched everything around and focused on the fact that she is dead (read by feminists, unconscious and unable to consent) when he kisses her?? This was all part of the plan!

    You will see, in time, that this place is fast becoming worthy of my statement, that this city and this world to which I sent Giselle is “…a place where there are NO happily ever afters!!” HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

    • CRANK CRANK says:

      Fat shaming is real.

      It’s a shame to be fat.

      • The Liar The Liar says:

        Crank, last time I checked, your Mom wasn’t skinny.
        Would you tell HER that she’s fat?
        I think I proved my point.

        • Satanic Imp Satanic Imp says:

          buuuuuuuuuuuuuurrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrn.

        • Avatar Sean Smith says:

          Jokers like these seem to flock to anon-permitting commenting systems. The way to root out “Crank,” and other weirdos, is to make commentors have to use their real names.

          Thennnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn they’ll leave voluntarily.

          I do get a laugh out of their lunacy, but I’d rather have honest and frank discussion without the habitual interruptions by idiocy.

  • Avatar Patrick says:

    Is this seriously an issue??

    Sheesh! People need to be confident in themselves and stop worrying about whether this or that media company are trying to make them feel bad about themselves.

    Don’t let ANYONE make you feel bad about yourself!

    • Avatar Gerald T. says:

      Listen, kids…and apparently the readership of this site varies in age..and some of you out there are literally kids, or not too many years past. Babies. It’s good to see boomers arguing with the young whippersnappers. HAHA

      Stop checking to see if others “like” you. You be you. Does anything go?
      HELL NO! No selfish crap, no whining laziness..the list goes on and on.

      But what if you’re helpful, and don’t resent helping others?

      IS that better?

      I think it is.

      Learn to be kind and sweet, girls…and GUYS! You young dudes need more advice than ever. Playing video games 18 hours a day isn’t going to make you slick with the ladies.

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