Document Type

Thesis

Date of Degree Completion

Spring 2015

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

English Literature

Committee Chair

Dr. Patsy Callaghan

Second Committee Member

Dr. Laila Abdalla

Third Committee Member

Dr. Christine Sutphin

Abstract

Fairy tales, as a reflection of our values and belief systems, are crucial in shaping and maintaining cultural ideologies. In the twenty-first century, cinematic fairy tales have the unique position of representing such values in an expansive and expeditious manner. Audiences must therefore be critically conscious of the messages promoted by these tales. An analysis of the five most popular contemporary fairy tale films, Disney’s Princess and the Frog (2009), Tangled (2010), Universal’s Snow White and the Huntsman (2012), and Disney’s Frozen (2013) and Maleficent (2014), revealed minimal attempts to propitiate critical audiences in regard to changing cultural values, but each film ultimately fails to break away from hegemonic assumptions about gender norms, class boundaries, and Caucasian privilege.