Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Dr. Randall Monty

Second Advisor

Dr. Alyssa Cavazos

Third Advisor

Dr. Diana Noreen Rivera


The Brothers Grimm and the Walt Disney Company have produced popular fairy tales for large audiences. In this work, cluster criticism—a rhetorical criticism that involves identifying key terms and charting word clusters around those terms—is applied to four Grimm fairy tales and four Disney princess films. This study aims to reveal the worldview of the rhetors and explore how values present in Grimm tales manifest in contemporary Disney films. Disney princess films in this study have been categorized as “White/European” and “Non-White/Cultural ‘Other.’” Because film is a form of non-discursive rhetoric, an adaptation of cluster criticism designed for film was been applied to the selected animated features. This study reveals that many patriarchal values present in Grimm fairy tales appear in contemporary Disney films, and while Moana (2016) features far fewer displays of these values, intersectional feminism should be kept in mind, with more diversity in princesses needed.


Copyright 2018 Valerie F. Garza. All Rights Reserved.