Are Disney Movies Good For Your Kids?

For one of my subjects in this course I had to read a chapter of a book, the title of chapter 6 was “Are Disney Movies Good For Your Kids?” . As soon as I saw the title of the chapter that I was going to have to read brought childhood memories to my mind, I remembered all these different Disney movies that I used to watch as a young girl with my little sister beside me, and I remembered that I used to love them and even cried when I watched “The Lion King”. I just to love them because they were all fairytale stories and it kind of became part of my childhood, thinking back it was basically all we used to watch, Disney movies such as “The Lion King”, “101 Dalmations”,” Pocahontas”, “Gypsy and Notredam”, “Snow White” and many more and we even had the Disney Channel at home at as well. And yes I thought of them as “innocent”, fairytale stories from dream world but when I read this chapter based on Disney movies, I learnt how to look at these Disney movies differently, in a more critical way, and seeing the other perspectives.

By reading this chapter, it showed me that in every Disney Movie there is a message behind it, that they are trying to hide by portraying themselves with an innocent appearance, but really that is only a mask to cover all the consumerism behind it. It says that Disney films and public schools/others have the same cultural authority by teaching children specific roles, ways of behaviour, values and ideals. They try to make it look like Disney films are very fun, joyfull, dream world, the best place they could be juxtaposing to the other side which are schools, they are shown as joyless and boring. Disney films have a double meaning, one meaning would be what we see from the outside , not really seeing what it really means and the other meaning would be looking at it in a critical view and seeing the message behind it. Using the innocence as an appearance is all based on business to get profits by selling a range of products which children are most interested by and they are the most popular and faithfull customers.

So as I mentioned before , looking at the films critically, you will be able to see the behind message which is that they are trying to represent the typical American boy and girl, they are also addressing issues which children would not be able to recognize such as racism, sexism, and family values. This chapter mentions that children should  be spoken to about this issues and discuss it with them so they can have a better understanding of the Disney films.

Reference:
Giroux, H.A (2004). Are Disney movies good for your kids? (pp164-180) Australia: University Western Sydney.

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