Disney’s History with Asian Characters and Actors

The newest episode of the podcast is dedicated to the Asian characters in the Disney vault.

The episode takes a look back at the history of Asian characters in Disney films and TV shows. I learned a lot from researching this episode, such as how movies starring women of color tend to be movies about overcoming sexism, the complexity of duality with Mulan being too Chinese American for China (also the live-action movie’s portrayal of Western patriarchy but making it seem like it’s Chinese patriarchy), the common tropes of Asian characters in Disney films, and so much more. If you’re interested in learning more, please take a listen. You can find the podcast, The Wonderful World of Disney Villains, on Apple podcast, Google Podcast, Spotify, iHeartRadio, and Podbean.

We can all argue about the pros and cons of every form of representation (I.e. in movies, theme parks, plays and musicals, etc) and some will say not every form of media or entertainment can please everyone. In light of all the hate and recent hate crimes against the Asian American and Pacific Islander communities, it’s more important than ever to have these conversations and question why we don’t have cultural consultants and representation in the writers room and staffing of these films targeted at kids and families. As Veronica Wang says, it brings up two questions, “Who do you think is telling that story?” And “Who do you think they’re telling that story for?”

Please check out the Stop Asian Hate Resources to support Asian Americans and the victim’s families. You can also check out Instagram accounts @zenerations, @stopasianhate, @diversifyournarrative @afropuffchronicles @antiracismdaily and more if you’re looking to do your own research and learning.

Take care everyone and stay safe.

Published by Kaytie

Disney scholar, mom, educator, and Disney villain fan.

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