Tag Archives: Disney

Disney and the English Major by Eliza Schow

In all my life, I don’t think I’ve ever been among so many Disnerds. If you don’t know that term, or if you do and you simply don’t think it’s a title that apples to you, shame on you. Go watch Aladdin. I come from Kansas, a land of people that find my love for Disney amusing. To them, Disney is classified as a genre of fantastical films that give children unrealistic expectations for life. When I came to BYU, I was ecstatic to find that if one stood in a group of students and randomly started singing “LET’s get down to business”, everyone would respond with “To deFEAT… the Huns!” At last, I had found my people.

I will admit up front that my love for Disney was founded on the catchy musical numbers, the pretty princess dresses and the even prettier boys these princesses ended up with that enraptured my seven-year old psyche. Gradually, my love for Disney became based on a personal investment I felt for the characters’ well being, (and perhaps it didn’t hurt that I still wanted to dance around in a pink ball-gown with a smiling prince looking down at me while “Once Upon a Dream” played in the background). However, it wasn’t until I wrote a 1,000-word analysis on the themes of self-fulfillment, objectification of women, and self-identity in Tangled that I realized how important it was for me as an English major to appreciate the messages woven into the stories that we think we know so well.

I feel like there is a stereotype for English majors, that in our efforts to look at a side to life with “a fresh eye”, we tend to present human nature as selfish, scheming, or hypocritical, giving off the message “Life is awful because humans are awful and that’s all there is to it”. What we’re missing, or perhaps what we’ve lost, is something that Disney can give back to us. For decades, Disney films haven’t just been entertaining and uplifting humans, but enlightening and inspiring us as well. If we English majors can take a leaf out of Disney’s book and try to present human nature as both flawed and inherently good, I do believe we can do so much more for the human spirit by giving the gift of hope, something that perhaps we are the most capable of doing.


Hello, Lauren Redding

I am a Disney Fanatic, fairy tale scholar, ballet dancer, Ravenclaw, and general obsessive fangirl. And, an English Major.

Lauren Redding

Fairy tales and ballet! A winning combination!

I read like, well, like an English Major. As in A LOT. I’m frequently teased for my reading face, it’s “a signpost for all to read” (Shannon Hale’s Razo? Anybody?) I laugh, cry, snort, roll my eyes, and, more often than not, talk to the characters or the author while reading, telling them exactly what I think of their behavior. I then type it all up in very long Goodreads reviews. [I once went over the 20,000 character limit for a review and had to go back and cut unnecessary punctuation]

My love for grammar is the logical lovechild of my love of language and my love of the preciseness found in math. However, I am a huge proponent of incorrect grammar as a stylistic tool.

I am as much an expert on fairy tales as an eighteen year old person can be an expert on anything, and I love to argue about them, especially Disney versions and/or gender politics. I love the fantasy of the tales, the timelessness, the connection with ballet culture, the history, the diversity, the repetition, and the way that we can track written versions of stories to learn things about the societies in which they were written and crafted. I especially love how loosely written they are, leaving room for interpretation and imagination, which leads to such wonderful retellings from Robin McKinley, Gail Carson Levine, and Cameron Dokey.

My favorite author is L.M. Montgomery (Anne of Green Gables), and my obsessive reading of historical fiction when I was a little girl (as well as a lifetime of ballet classes) has embedded in me a curtsey impulse that nothing in 21st century society has succeeded in squelching.

Any writing I do is usually either unpublished rants I pretend are blog posts, or in my daily journal.

One of my favorite books is Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine.

Hey! I’m Eliza Schow

I’m a Disnerd, a collector of threadbare books, a realist living in a world of fantasy. And I’m an English major.

Eliza Schow

Thinking of a secret

We’ve all been faced with a well-known question. What do you want to be when you grow up? My ready answer as a child was always, “I don’t want to grow up.” Grown-ups were much too boring, stern, and had absolutely no imagination. I was determined to escape the inevitable by flying away with Peter Pan to Neverland where I could fly all day, have adventures, and never become a cold-hearted adult. The decision made by Wendy to return to the real world of England at the end of the novel made me a bit melancholy. Years later in my life, my sympathy shifted from Wendy to the protagonist himself. In choosing to be a little boy forever, Peter chose to be lonely forever. Peter didn’t want to grow up because he didn’t want the humdrum life and responsibility that came with it. What he didn’t realize was that a grown-up isn’t sentenced to a dull life and responsibility can bring an infinite amount of joy. As a grown-up, I have a responsibility to help and bring hope to others, and I love it. I want to be a writer because I want to keep the maturity of an adult in addition to the heart of a child and because I want improve the point of view people have on life.

One of my favorite books is Inkheart by Cornelia Funke

Hello, I’m Ashley Barlow

I’m a Ravenclaw, a Disney Nerd, a Trekkie, an actor, a nerdfighter, and a gamer. And I’m an English major.

I have wanted to be an English major for as I can remember. My love for the written word started very early and has now branched into many different forms of expression. I love the theater, spoken-word poetry, comic books, movies, newspapers, and vlogging. I’m one of the geekiest nerds and one of the nerdiest geeks you will ever meet. If it’s geeky/nerdy, I probably have my fingers in that fandom. I’m from Nauvoo, Illinois in the beautiful midwest. I love country music. Despite my love for trying to be grammatically correct, I say “y’all” a lot. I love to read and I’m so excited to have a major that will allow me to do that. I believe in the magic of books that can transport us anywhere we want to go.

One of my favorite books is James Dashner’s The Maze Runner

Hello, I’m Mauri Pollard

I’m a poet, a football fanatic, a believer in paper books, and a wannabe Parisian. And I’m an English Major.

Mauri Pollard

Me in front of the house in The Notebook.

Throughout my whole I have had passion for words. Whether it was writing them or reading them, words have always seemed like a genre of music to me. I love poetry, reading and also writing, and my favorite poet is Sylvia Plath. Another passion of mine is the language of French, and along with it, the city of Paris. Although I have never been, I feel like I belong there and am planning on going on a study abroad to Paris sometime in the next few years. I know everything there is to know about Harry Potter and The Great Gatsby is one of the best books ever written. I love my friends, family, football, and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

One of my favorite stories is F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby.

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