Sunday, October 19, 2014

Is There a Problem With Disney?

Christensen's piece "Unlearning the Myths That Blind Us", discusses the issue of a "secret education" that is "delivered by children's books and movies, instructs young people to accept the world as it is portrayed in these social blueprints.  And often that world depicts the domination of one sex, one race, one class, or one country over a weaker counterpart".  This discussion reminds me of the video that we watched in class in which the young African woman describes the misconceptions people had because she was from Africa and all that they knew about Africa was the one-sided view from literature and the media.

As this video discusses, one major source of stereotypes for young children, particularly young girls, today is Disney and the Disney Princesses.  Most American children grew up watching Disney movies, dressing up as their favorite Disney character, and for girls, being asked who their favorite Disney princess is.  Looking back as an adult, the issues of class, sexism, racism, etc. are very evident; however, children do not understand these deeper issues and only take away the superficial messages.  In this day and age, most parents want their children to go to college so that they can get a good job.  I do not think that there are many parents who would tell their daughter that all she was good for was cleaning the house and that she shouldn't try to do anything else.  But these same parents have no problem putting Cinderella on for their kids.  

Disney is starting to realize that their portrayal of women and classes and races needs to change and adapt to the world we are now living in.  Movies such as Brave and Tangled present more independent, strong young women. 

It is very evident that young children idolize these characters, so it is important that we present them with characters who portray positive images and send appropriate messages.  


  1. I totally agree with you. Children are so impressionable and it is important to give them the kinds of role models that will portray positive messages

  2. I agree that young kids can get the wrong message from these films. However, I think that an unfair emphasis is put on the princesses. In all of these movies, there are strong male roles, which teach small boys that they must be strong and tough and it is their job to rescue the girl. I think that these are things that also need to be begin to be addressed.