Making your research project interesting and relevant

Ariel with a more realistic waistline

Ariel with a more realistic waistline

Every year, there are at least a few students who want to do their research projects on Disney. This is, of course, fine. I want you to be interested in the topics you’re researching and discussing. But “I like Disney characters” and “There are X number of Disneylands in the world” are not interesting discussion topics. Find something about Disney that makes us think and teaches us something new and interesting.

For instance, you could find out more about the recent uproar the company caused by firing 250 employees and making them train their replacements (immigrants under a special visa program):

Or you could talk about the representation of women or ethnicities in the Disney animations:

Or “Rejected Princesses: The Weirder Tales Disney Will Never Do” (from Observation Deck)

And compare the Disney princesses to these:

Or you could teach us something about the principles of animation:

Or talk about why Hayao Miyazaki is (or is not) “the Japanese Walt Disney”:

Or one of Disney’s not-so-successful undertakings: “Inside Walt Disney’s Ambitious, Failed Plan to Build the City of Tomorrow” (from Esquire)

Or what’s going on with his descendants: “The Disneys: Not the happiest family on Earth” (from NBC News — this is a little old, but you could find newer information and talk about what “legacy” means).

In other words, don’t just find a Wikipedia page about your topic. Find interesting and relevant issues for us to discuss that are related to your topic. If you need help finding sources, please ask.

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