Letter - Disney's efforts to modernize princesses lauded

A recent guest columnist characterized Disney’s remake of “Snow White” as an insult to the tradition of its iconic princesses. To be sure, the tradition goes way back — my three sisters and I had been obsessed with Disney princesses in the ’50s and ’60s.

Fast forward to the ’90s: we raised our two daughters from China, turning to Disney flicks and traveling to Orlando for the additional treat of having tea with these princesses. Then we got lucky. “Pocahontas” came out and then “Mulan” followed. This was during the peak years of American adoptions in China. They were remarkable models, showing confidence, resilience and loyalty. Finally my girls could watch a Disney movie starring someone who looked like they did. And both characters were leaders, too.

Fortunately, Disney has updated its productions to reflect assertive roles for women and now includes a multitude of non-Caucasian characters. Of course, I look forward to seeing 21st century “Snow White” without the seven dwarfs.

I’m disturbed to hear Disney and others bashed as “woke.” Sadly that pejorative term is used to denigrate efforts of inclusion and nondiscriminatory practices and yes, the advancement of women and non-whites. To me, being woke should mean being kind, equitable and, most of all, forward-looking. — Carolyn Stanek, Hinsdale