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Category: TV & Film

What started as a graduate school capstone project has now expanded into a blog and a professional development workshop series for Washington State community colleges. Join me, Kaytie (Disney scholar, mom, and college academic adviser), as I talk about Disney princesses, representation in media, my relatability to and love for Disney villains, and more.

July 8, 2022

The Future of this Podcast

As things are getting better in the world and everyone is going back to work it's time to face facts. I do not have the time to produce, edit, and publish episodes twice a month. Looking into the future, episodes will not be posted on a schedule but I hope you continue to stop and listen whenever an episode does make an appearance.


Take care and thank you for listening.

July 1, 2022

Adoption Representation in Film

Welcome back!


I’m joined by guest Lauren, a fellow adoptee, to discuss adoption narratives and parent separation narratives in mainstream film/TV.


*This episode was recorded in 2021. There is a moment when events are mentioned, we are talking about events from Feb-Mar 2021, not 2022*


Follow Lauren and get her book, Inconvenient Daughter:

Website: https://theljsharks.com/ 

Instagram: @theljsharks 


You can find the podcast online:

Website: www.wonderfulworldofdisneyvillains.com 

Instagram: @wwofdisvillains



01:14 - Movie Onward (having the agency to choose to meet vs not meet your biological parent)

05:14 - Adoption narratives in mainstream movies (i.e. the movie Elf, MCU character Loki, etc.)

07:45 - TV show Once Upon a Time (open adoption and co-parenting)

10:30 - Harry Potter (guardianship, adoption paperwork, etc.)

14:22 - Movie Instant Family (foster family narratives and instant family/forever family mindset)

19:55 - Musicals (Annie, Les Miserables, etc.)

21:50 - Secrets in adoption (secret affair/adoption narrative for drama in media)

26:12 - The Hunchback of Notre Dame

30:46 - Transracial adoption vs domestic adoption in TV shows (i.e. Modern Family, This is Us, Glee, the Flash, etc.)

40:26 - Trans-species adoption in Disney

42:40 - Using adoption/parent separation to move the plot forward instead of as the plot itself

46:57 - Ending


If you want to learn more about Lauren’s adoption story and my own adoption story listen to the Janchi Show podcast! 

Lauren’s guest appearance on Episode 23

My guest appearance on Episode 28

November 12, 2021

Tangled and Lilo & Stitch Adoption Narratives

Welcome back!


November is National Adoption month so we are talking about adoption narratives in Disney movies and TV shows (there are a lot, btw).


I’m joined by guest Lauren, a fellow adoptee, to discuss two Disney movie adoption narratives in depth: Lilo and Stitch and Tangled.


Follow Lauren and get her book, Inconvenient Daughter.

Website: https://theljsharks.com/ 

Instagram: @theljsharks 


You can find the podcast online:

Website: www.wonderfulworldofdisneyvillains.com 

Instagram: @wwofdisvillains


Time Stamps:

00:00 - Intro

02:37 - Lauren’s intro

03:07 - How do we identify adoption in Disney movies and TV for this conversation?

07:49 - Let’s talk about the movies Lilo and Stitch and Tangled

08:52 - Lilo and Stitch summary and Lauren’s reaction

19:55 - Discussion on the adoption and child protective services representation in the film

28:40 - Tangled summary and Lauren’s reaction

45:56 - Discussion on adoption, gas lighting, abusive relationships, Rapunzel’s lack of agency, and more

55:44 - Are movies like Tangled triggering to adoptees and domestic abuse/family abuse survivors?

  • Only showing certain adoption tropes, family reunion scenes, no mourning for the parent who raised them - only the parent who gave birth to them
  • 59:42 - Lion King 2 and Simba’s trauma

01:07:06 - How media influences society’s perception of adoptees. What would an authentic adoption story be like? What are things writers need to factor in to portray an accurate and authentic adoption story?

If you want to learn more about Lauren’s adoption story and my own adoption story listen to the Janchi Show podcast! 

Lauren’s guest appearance on Episode 23

My guest appearance on Episode 28

October 19, 2021

What‘s with all the Cinderella Movies?

Welcome back!


Which version of Cinderella is your favorite? Do you think there are too many?

Take a listen as I talk about the feminist and anti-feminist Cinderella stories as well as the new Amazon Studios Cinderella (even though it’s not Disney).


Visit the podcast at www.wonderfulworldofidisneyvillains.com or DM the podcast on Instagram @wwofdisvillains. 

You can find me, Kaytie, on Instagram @disvillainsscholar.


Time Stamps:

00:00 - Intro

01:00 - Feminism

02:08 - Disney 1950 Cinderella summary

05:19 - Cinderella is an anti-feminist story

09:05 - Cinderella is a feminist story

11:43 - Domestic and family abuse as it pertains to Cinderella’s story

15:24 - Happiness vs optimism

19:04 - The Mary Sue - the male gaze 

20:42 - Cinderella and her agency: does she have a lot of agency?

24:31 - History of the story Cinderella

26:13 - Why do we have so many Cinderella movies and stories?

  • List of popular Cinderella movies
  • Why people may love Cinderella stories
  • Mary Sue
  • Pop Crush

32:18 - Disney’s 2015 Cinderella

42:24 - The Wonderful World of Disney Rodgers & Hammerstein's 1997 Cinderella

  • Most racially diverse Cinderella cast
  • Multi-racial families
  • HuffPost.com: Cinderella’s feminist mindset
  • Relationships between characters are more developed
  • Fairy Godmother empowering Cinderella / empowered Cinderella
  • HuffPost.com: dreaming vs doing mindset
  • The crew behind the Disney Cinderella movies vs Whitney Houston and Debra Martin Chase dynamic duo

57:21 - Amazon Studios 2021 Cinderella

  • Initial audience reviews (all 1 out of 5-star ratings)
  • My initial reaction to watching the movie
  • The Mary Sue: first Latina Cinderella and a “diverse” cast
  • Metro.co.uk: marketing Amazon Studios Cinderella and Broadway Cinderella as “better” aka “less romantic”

01:15:21 - Ending

September 16, 2021

Disney & Women in STEM w/Naomi

Welcome back for another episode!

Today we’re talking about women in STEM… in Disney. In the past 10 years it all-of-a-sudden seemed to become cool to show female protagonists who love science. Big Hero 6 (2014), Wrinkle in Time (2018), Black Panther (2018), and more have all shown women who love science. Before that there was representation here or there but most of the time they were villains known as witches (Evil Queen, Ursula, etc.).

Women in STEM are amazing and they’ve made significant contributions to society that often goes without recognition. Today I have a special guest, Naomi, who worked with the Walt Disney Company and helped create Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge.

You can find Naomi on the web at https://outsidemycubicle.com/linkinbio/ and on Instagram @naohms


Time Stamps:

00:11 - I have big news!

00:46 - Disney’s women in STEM history (mostly witches, mostly promoting women in STEM in a negative way).

01:57 - Where are all the positive women in STEM role models in Disney?? I sure didn’t grow up with any.

04:15 - Blog phdprincess.com - list of well known and lesser well known female Disney characters with passions in STEM.

04:30 - Tomsguide.com - Scully Effect: girls are more likely to pursue STEM careers when they see portrayals of women in STEM careers.

05:11 - Census Bureau report - 27% women in STEM careers, only 5% women of color.

06:16 - Disney’s recent growth in women in STEM character representation. Polygon.com - downside of Disney’s recent portrayal of women in STEM characters.

07:36 - Women’s Agenda - Disney princess films hinder girls from not only pursuing STEM careers but also believing they are smart and capable

08:51 - Women of color in STEM - Maryville University

09:54 - Guest introduction: Naomi. How Naomi started in engineering and construction. Dreams of being a Disney Imagineer.

14:10 - How Naomi got to work with Disney to build and design Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge.

21:50 - Barriers to succeed in STEM as a woman of color.

27:24 - Naomi’s major job shift from construction to social media and her success as a social media influencer.

36:51 - Naomi’s Disney favorites (i.e. foods, characters, soundtracks, and more).

43:10 - Naomi’s advice for those who want to work in STEM, want to work with Disney, or change careers.


If you’re looking for new Disney podcasts to check out, why don’t you listen to A (Not So Brief) History of Disney World podcast? A (Not So Brief) History of Disney World podcast divulges all the secrets, history, and information about building the Disney World theme park and attractions.

Please leave a rating, comment, DM on Instagram (@wwofdisvillains), or on the website (https://wonderfulworldofdisneyvillains.com/) and let me know what you thought of this episode! I am asking for any feedback, suggestions, and more to keep sharing content you all will love in a format that you find enjoyable. Do you like solo episodes or episodes with guests? Is there anything you’d like to hear an episode on in the future? Let me know!

You can also find me, Kaytie, on Instagram @disvillainsscholar.

August 15, 2021

Is Cruella de Vil a Redeemable Character?

Welcome back for another episode! This episode is all about the female villain we all love to hate, Cruella de Vil. We will be going through every adaptation of the character Cruella de Vil leading up to the new movie Cruella. 


Have you witnessed every version of Cruella in this list? Which version of Cruella is your favorite? Let me know on the podcast’s Instagram page @wwofdisvillains or on the podcast’s website www.wonderfulworldofdisneyvillains.com


Cruella de Vil anthem song

Selena Gomez’s version of Cruella de Vil’s song


0:46 - Cruella de Vil fun facts

4:11 - Who is Cruella de Vil?

4:41 - The first time we met Cruella de Vil (1956)

  • Cruella de Vil was married?
  • Many many hints comparing Cruella to the devil

9:23 - Inspiration for the character Cruella de Vil

11:04 - Disney’s adaptation of the 101 Dalmatians story

  • The first actress to play and voice Cruella de Vil

13:03 - Live action 101 Dalmatians movie 

  • When Cruella as a feminist icon became a popular opinion
  • Cruella’s relationships with men vs women
  • Animal cruelty
  • Fashion 

20:56 - Similarities and differences between the live action and animated 101 Dalmatians movie

24:23 - Additional appearances in media

24:49 - 102 Dalmatians movie was essentially made to give us more Cruella de Vil

29:15 - Additional Cruella de Vil appearances

29:40 - Once Upon a Time TV show

  • Cruella as a child
  • Obtaining a magical ability
  • Cruella’s obsession with murder
  • Queens of Darkness friend group (Maleficent and Ursula)
  • Death and afterlife
  • One of the few villains on the show who doesn’t want to and is not redeemable

38:27 - Disney’s Descendants

39:50 - More 101 Dalmatian remakes!

40:16 - Disney’s Cruella movie

  • Prequel to the live action 101 Dalmatians movie
  • Cruella (named Estella) was born with poliosis, that’s why her hair is half black and half white
  • Estella’s childhood - being labelled a “rebellious child”
  • Channeling Estella and not Cruella
  • The trauma Estella faces that sets up the rest of the movie
  • Working for the Baroness
  • Becoming Cruella
  • Mental health representation
  • The issue with adoption representation and secret birth stories in media
  • Movie ending

01:12:43 - Episode ending

August 1, 2021

Disney Makeup: Princesses & Villains

Season 2!


I’m back. I decided to take a hiatus to spend more time with my family. Now I am back with a whole new set of episodes, topics, and guests!


What do you know about makeup? Have you ever noticed the makeup looks in Disney princess films? Why do Disney princesses and Disney villains have such drastically different makeup colors and styles? Well that’s what my guest Ashley and I are talking about in this episode!


You can find guest and makeup expert Ashley on the web https://www.glamsessionsnyc.com/ and on Instagram @glamsessionsnyc. 


Time Stamps:

0:00 -  Intro

1:15 - Guest Ashley’s intro 

2:23 - The history and challenges of makeup shades for people of color and Fenty’s equitable game changing moment in the makeup industry 

13:00 - Patterns in Disney princess makeup varies depending on the character’s circumstances (examples: glow-ups, living situations and time period, and more)

18:55 - Do female Disney characters have fingernails? Do they paint their fingernails? Is that a thing?

20:17 - Patterns in Disney villain makeup and the taboo of red lipstick and red fingernail polish

24:03 - Brows and lashes

26:12 - Disney princesses of color

30:37 - Guy liner… it’s a thing

32:44 - Patterns of male villains and makeup

35:39 - Disney villain first impressions and makeup’s impact on the first impression

38:31 - Has Disney influenced our perceptions of good vs bad makeup? Not enough makeup vs too much makeup + being different from society’s normal doesn’t mean you’re a villain

46:53 - Disney villains are no longer just villains, they’re humanized and you feel empathy for them

48:01 - Ashley’s favorite Disney makeup look and Ashley’s favorite Disney villain

49:38 - Ashley’s advice for individuals wanting to get into the makeup industry

51:11 - Where to find Ashley on the web (https://www.glamsessionsnyc.com/). 

52:10 - Outro and all the plugs - please give me feedback! What episode has been your favorite? Do you like the guests? Do you want more guests on the pod?


Please leave a rating, comment, DM on Instagram (@wwofdisvillains), or on the website (https://wonderfulworldofdisneyvillains.com/) and let me know what you thought of this episode! I am asking for any feedback, suggestions, and more to keep sharing content you all will love in a format that you find enjoyable. Do you like solo episodes when I monologue to myself or do you prefer hearing my conversations with guests? Do you like episodes about Disney princesses or should I branch out and talk about Marvel, Pixar, and Star Wars? Let me know!

You can also find me, Kaytie, on Instagram @disvillainsscholar. You can listen to my most recent podcast guest appearances talking about Disney villains on the Higher Education podcast and The Game of Nerds podcast.

April 11, 2021

Disney’s Asian Characters

I'm still here. After the recent events against Asian Americans I decided to take a break from podcasting to reflect on everything that has happened and to research for this episode. I wanted to do something to support Asian Americans and to #StopAsianHate but am also aware this is a Disney podcast. So I decided to record this episode looking back on Asian characters and Asian actors in Disney while also highlighting the history of oppression against the Asian American community.


Here's the breakdown:

00:00 - Intro

2:59 - Washington Post and "A History of Asian, South Asian, and Pacific Islander Characters in Disney Films" by Christian Kim

3:20 - Disney Company beginnings

3:39 - World War II, Japanese Internment camps, and the War Bride Acts of 1945 and 1946

4:58 - Disney's first Asian coded characters in 1955

6:18 - Disney's second Asian character

7:39 - Super racist Siamese cat played by a white man... yeah

10:10 - Vietnamese shrimpers and Vincent Chin

12:02 - Why does everyone count Aladdin as Asian?

14:01 - Did the representation of Aladdin as a Middle Eastern hero help society?

17:31 - L.A. Riots

19:09 - Mini model minority myth lesson / Instagram @zenerations

22:27 - How the director of Mulan chose to cast Eddie Murphy as the Chinese dragon, Mushu ("Asian Representation in Animation" by Veronica Wang)

24:16 - What the movie Mulan did well

28:49 - What the movie Mulan could have done better / Why is sexism such a big story arch centering characters of color?

37:44 - Does anyone remember the TV show Out of the Box?

38:48 - Post-9/11

39:05 - Lilo and Stitch is not an Asian movie, it is a Pacific Islander movie

40:14 - Mulan II. Sidekick turned villain, new songs, and why does it seem like the creators of Mulan II had issues showing Asian couples and PDA?

46:41 - Brenda Song and Vanessa Hudgens DCOM movies

49:50 - Hannah Montana and Camp Rock star Anna Marie Perez de Tagle

51:00 - Pirates of the Caribbean 3

52:20 - Pixar's Up / Who doesn't love Russell?

53:30 - First Marvel movie with an Asian character - Avengers: Age of Ultron / read more about the "expendable" Asian female character in Hollywood here

54:44 - Big Hero 6 and whitewashing ("Asian Representation in Animation" by Veronica Wang)

56:35 - Asians as aliens in the MCU

57:25 - Even though Moana is Pacific Islander and one of the most recent Disney films to be released, the creators create a world of Pacific Islander "sameness" just like they did with Mulan, Aladdin, etc.

58:15 - Doctor Strange whitewashing (and Hollywood's history of whitewashing) 

1:00:48 - Doctor Strange's Wong is the first Asian character to appear on an Avengers movie poster

1:01:33 - DCOM's Descendants series / Disney channel and Disney on Broadway casting whoever can pass as the race and ethnicity instead of intentionally casting someone of the same race and ethnicity as the character (i.e. High School Musical)

1:03:14 - MCU's Spider-Man movies / reverse whitewashing

1:04:03 - Live-action Jungle Book movie

1:04:25 - Star Wars... it only took 40 years to have an Asian character AND to have a woman of color on screen. Why did Kelly Marie Tran face so much racial harassment for making history?

1:05:48 - Live-action Aladdin. Authentic casting, "brown-face"-ing extras on set, and sexism playing a major story arch in a movie about/with a woman of color ("Disney admits to "browning up" white extras for live action Aladdin film" by Ben Kaye)

1:09:48 - Live-action Mulan. Chinese vs Chinese American experiences, the portrayal of Western patriarchy NOT Chinese patriarchy, the original concept of this movie was going to be about a WHITE MAN saving China, the erasure of bisexual icon Captain Li Shang, and more. ("'Mulan' Challenges Asian Americans in Hollywood to Overcome 'Impossible Duality' Between China, U.S." by Rebecca Davis) / ("Disney's Attempts at Asian Representation" by Linda Chong)

1:17:03 - Raya and the Last Dragon - I admit, I haven't seen this movie yet.

1:17:38 - Additional representation in Disney media I may not have already mentioned

1:19:06 - Non-Disney Asian American films and representation

1:19:42 - Asian American actors

1:20:13 - Conclusion. We need more representation of all identities behind the screen, at Disney theme parks, on screen, everywhere. Where are the spaces for characters of color around the Disney theme park? Where are all the toys of characters of color in Disney theme parks? How are children internalizing representation? What conversations should we have with them about representation?

(Try Pod - Eugene Lee Yang talking about seeing a non-Asian Mulan at Epcot @19:09 - 21:41)

1:24:08 - #StopAsianHate: message to my fellow brothers and sisters and message to our allies. #StopAsianHate resources


I have been guest co-hosting the Black and Yellow podcast. We did a deep dive episode into the history of anti-Asian hate and how to combat the anti-Asian hate crimes. You can find the podcast on Apple podcast and Spotify.


Additional Instagram accounts to follow:









Follow the podcast on Instagram @wwofdisvillains

Follow me, Kaytie, on Instagram @disvillainsscholar


You can find the podcast online at www.wonderfulworldofdisneyvillains.com

March 5, 2021

Female Representation in Disney Princess Films

This episode we are talking about female character representation in Disney princess films.

You can follow Caitlin on Instagram @caitlindurante

Follow The Bechdel Cast wherever you get your podcast!


I did show notes! Enjoy!

00:51 Caitlin’s introduction

01:38 The Bechdel test and troubling Disney princess tropes

05:18 Team Starkid’s "Twisted: The Untold Story of a Royal Vizier" parody musical and troubling Disney villain tropes

07:09 Tiny child sponge brains

09:00 My baby consuming media

10:13 Younger parents having more access to tools to have meaningful conversations about representation in film

11:36 Our issues with live-action Disney remakes

12:40 How many Cinderella movies does society REALLY need?

16:35 The hero’s journey… for Moana

17:33 Why Maui is the actual villain of Moana

21:04 Female vs male villains paired with female vs male protagonists

23:06 Are female villains not enough of a threat to go up against male protagonists? Emperor’s New Groove doesn’t count.

26:20 Lion King 2 - Simba processing internal trauma from the first Lion King movie

28:15 Disney female character development THEN vs NOW

30:35 Where’s the movie about characters processing the trauma they experience?

31:50 Brave is really a movie about bears (visit the TryPod Episode 9 from 22:02 - 23:02 for my reference)

33:07 My rant about Sleeping Beauty

34:44 Non-consensual kisses

36:58 Disney on Broadway creating horny Disney characters (Frozen on Broadway "Love is an Open Door" reference - 2:36 - 3:00)

38:52 Disney on Broadway covering heavy topics and diverse character representation (Frozen on Broadway "Monster" reference)

41:08 Brandy’s Cinderella diverse character portrayals… why did we go back from that?

43:03 The Little Mermaid live-action movie casting

44:17 Ursula, contracts, and our issues with The Little Mermaid 

47:21 Disney princesses and villains are all LONERS

48:23 Caitlin’s explanation for the lack of human friends

49:22 Older generation Disney princesses are not… really… in the movie...? How did they get to be the main character?

51:18 Physical appearances and Western beauty standards

53:04 Once Upon a Time TV show

55:50 Check out the Bechdel Cast!


If you like what you hear please leave a review! You can find the podcast on Instagram @wwofdisvillains or at www.wonderfulworldofdisneyvillains.com. I'd love to hear from you and any recommendations you have for future episodes!


If you'd like to support the podcast visit Buy Me a Coffee (https://www.buymeacoffee.com/wwofdisvillains) and buy me a coffee :)

February 19, 2021

Inside Out: Talking Emotions, Moving States, and No Villain?

Welcome Back!


This episode we are joined by guest Ryan Pak, host of the Soundtrack Your Life podcast, to talk about the Pixar movie Inside Out. Join us as we talk about why this movie resonates with Ryan, the concept of moving from one state to another, the process and expression of emotions in this film, and so much more.


You can find Ryan's podcast, Soundtrack Your Life, on all major podcast platforms. 

Soundtrack Your Life podcast IG: @soundtrackcast

Check out the most recent episode guest starring me as Ryan and I talk about the Aladdin Broadway soundtrack (https://open.spotify.com/episode/0c7A2gMYya1G3rP78vaP7t?si=9NAq-B50SbWH_UBeoVhewQ). 


Article reference: "Why the Key Character In 'Inside Out' Is The One Who Isn't There" by Linda Holmes (https://www.npr.org/2015/06/19/414702149/why-the-key-character-in-inside-out-is-the-one-who-isnt-there). 


If you like what you hear please leave a review! You can find the podcast on IG @wwofdisvillains or at www.wonderfulworldofdisneyvillains.com. I'd love to hear from you and any recommendations you have for future episodes!


If you'd like to support the podcast visit Buy Me a Coffee (https://www.buymeacoffee.com/wwofdisvillains) and buy me a coffee :)