Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Arts


Art History


Dr. Sprengler, Christine


This thesis discusses the representation of artworks in Disney films. It is an innovative study of Disney’s films through an art historical lens. The first chapter considers how representations of art convey Disney’s messages, specifically through medieval art, architecture, and literature. The second chapter examines the art’s role in character development with respect to gender and sexuality. The last chapter criticizes the process by which Disney characters shift from childhood to adulthood. The entire thesis observes the relationship between the art and the characters, plot, and setting of the film. All in all, this thesis considers the implications of representing artwork in animated films, unpacking the significance of their contributions.