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Girl Power! The new leading ladies of children's cinema

03 SEPTEMBER 2012

We all remember Disney classics from our childhood with fondness. 

But where the plot once revolved around a gallant male coming to the rescue of a damsel in distress, girls are now triumphantly raising their bow and arrows, waving that magic wand or wielding a sword.

And now a feisty redhead stars in Disney's newest release Brave.

The Pixar collaboration premieres this summer and tells the story of Merida, a Scottish princess who decides to compete against the kingdom's rivalling first-born sons for her own hand in marriage, in the hope of avoiding tying the knot.


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A generation ago, the magical kisses, enchanted royalty and fairy godmothers of Disney classics filled cinema seats and video stores alike.

Through the years, movie characters have developed and there has been a gradual change of gender roles in children's films.

Characters such as Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty are no longer in the picture as this new breed of leading lady transforms from princess into a heroine of gender equality.


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Belle is replaced by brave as the young Scott embarks on thrilling adventures. The animation also explores the many aspects of the mother-daughter relationship, offering a completely new take on the image of women in Disney.

Today modern cinema is brimming with female characters that play leading roles and teach real lessons of equality to the new generation. 

Meet these modern heroines with our gallery packed with girl power.

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