August 22, 2011


As a child I loved Disney. I had the Aladdin and Beauty and the Beast soundtracks and knew all the words off by heart. I would play act being Pocahontas. My brother and I would quote parts of The Lion King to each other.

As an adult I looked back on those movies with a fondness, but if I watched them again I was a little unsettled by the violence in 'kids' movies.

And then one day a little girl I was looking after was drawing and began to sing a song from Snow White. "One day my prince will come".
I know that at this point, she doesn't really understand what she is saying. But I didn't like it.

I'm not saying Disney is bad, or that children shouldn't watch them. But I felt incredibly uncomfortable sitting with a child as she sang about wanting to find 'love anew', when 'wedding bells will [make] . . . my dreams come true'.



Katie said...

It's a very old fashioned idea that a woman's life is entirely geared to getting married and having kids. What if she never finds the right man (and Disney is all about the perfect couple, not ever settling) or even if it takes longer than she expected? What does she do then? It's a bit disturbing for young kids to still be taking this into their psyches - even if she doesn't really understand it now, it's bound to echo around in there for years to come.
I also am not thrilled with Disney's insistence on the happy ending, even when they have to change the original story to do it - such as with The Little Mermaid (seriously, read Hans Christian Anderson's version - she doesn't get the guy!)
I do however love Beauty and the Beast, and I like their version of that - I like that Belle/Beauty has to see through the superficial to the heart beneath, and that (in their version) she has to stand up to the townspeople to save him.

Erin said...

I agree with The Little Mermaid - the is quite awful at the end. Though I always was unhappy with the Little Mermaid, I didn't like that she left her family behind for a guy.
I dislike how so few kids movies there are without a romance in it. Are we telling kids that only lives with romances in them are worth anything? Even the movies without people have romances in them (e.g. Cars, Toy Story).