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An Opinion Essay on Disney


Kids have been raised off of Disney movies since the film company came into existence. The fairy tales of love conquering all, the good guys always winning, and the prince charming coming to the damsel-in-distress's aid just in time have been passed down generation to generation. However, whether one wishes to believe it or not, Disney cartoons are indeed violent and deal with dark storylines.

If one would look closely at the collection of "classic" fairy tales dreamed up by the people within Disney, he or she would find that many of them do not deserve the mild rating that has been plastered on them. An example of this would be "Mulan." It features a strong female as the lead character, which is a large step up from the princess roles females usually get, who "kicks butt" as an undercover soldier serving in her lame father's place in the Chinese army. During the final battle scene, the villain, Shan-Yu, attacks Mulan after finding that she was the soldier who prevented his soldiers from proceeding through the mountain pass. Thinking quickly, the girl uses her fan to snatch his blade from his grip has the thrusts forward. While she never gets to use the twisted metal sword, her dragon-guardian, Wushu, and lucky cricket blast Shan-Yu off of the roof with a rocket sending him tumbling head over heals to the ground far below. Another example is the widely known "Cinderella." The movie doesn't feature any battle scenes or physical abuse but does show the kind of emotional abuse Cinderella receives from her Stepmother and Stepsisters. This unconsciously teaches children to keep quiet about abuse since Cinderella didn't go to help even though she had many times where she could go to town or even tell the Prince about what was wrong. The most famous example is possibly "Bambi." Ask almost anyone and they can recite exactly where they were and what they were doing when the heard the gunshot that ended Bambi's mother's life. While the death is not pictured in the movie, the result of the rifle shot is evident to children. The imagination and the mental images of the event are often more frightening than anything pictured in violent movies. Being only seven when I first saw "Bambi," I had nightmares after watching that one scene.

There are some good movies within Disney, however, that show that each villain receives his or her just rewards. If it wasn't for these films, Disney could be facing suits from parents who resent the violence featured. For instance, in "The Beauty and the Beast," the beast turns out to be a very loving character. During the battle scene, the Beast is fighting with Gaston, the village's hotheaded hunter. The rain, darkness, and the old roof cause his demise, not the Beast. Another example is "Aladdin." No lead characters, villain and heroes alike, die in the movie. Well, besides the flunky at the beginning, that is. But the audience doesn't see him long enough to really feel any emotional attachment, so he doesn't count. Jafar, the palace's scheming sorcerer, has his plans for domination foiled throughout the film by the hero, an orphan from the streets. In the final battle scene, Aladdin tricks Jafar into wishing he was a Genie and, in doing so, condemns him to life in the lamp. The best possible example could be "The Fox and the Hound," a story about the trials and triumphs of an unlikely friendship, the only "villain" is a giant brown bear. While some of the characters are injured during the encounter, none are killed.

As one can see, picking movies for a child has become harder over the years depending on how protective the parent is and what his or her values are. Personally, I believe nothing is really wrong with Disney movies. Yes, there were times where, as a child, I would lunge for my mother's hand or bury my face in my father's shoulder until the imminent "danger" had passed and the "bad guy" had lost. Unfortunately, in a generation like this one, violence seems to permeate the media, including children's films, so, it is unjust to blame Disney and their creative minds for exposing our children from often-censored violence.


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Sometimes, when you make an omelette, you have to kill a few people...


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Comments

The following comments are for "An Opinion Essay on Disney"
by Capricorn

Disney
Capricorn,

This essay really gives you something to think about. The impression cartoons have on a young mind sometimes is never thought about, because they are suppose to be made for children. I have looked back on some of the movies I watched as a child and thought to myself how on earth did that get into a kids movie. I am not sure how good of a critic I would be at judging kids movies though. I was a rather twisted little kid, my favorite Disney character was and still is Maleficent, the villian from Sleeping Beauty (I remember I got sooooo mad when the prince killed the dragon)....Sorry *blushes* I got off on a tangent. What all this means is that I liked your essay and that it made me, and will make others, think about what the tv tells children.

Later,
Dras

( Posted by: Drastine [Member] On: August 28, 2002 )

about the essay
As far as the essay itself. I would like to comment on the fact that by the end of the piece, it seemed as if you contradicted your original purpose. From the beginning to near the end, I thought the essay was supposed to convey that Disney films were violent. But in your last paragraph, it seemed as if you contradicted this point by saying that nothing was wrong with it. If indeed, something is violent, and nothing was wrong with it, does that make nothing wrong with violence? Throughout your essay you point out certain examples, but in the end if you are saying that it is ok, then that makes these arguments irrelevent to your examples. Anyways, hope this helps. Good luck.

( Posted by: pengster13 [Member] On: August 31, 2002 )

Disney IS to blame!
Working in the field I do, and having seen programs and presentations from educators and other people concerned with the welfare of children, I can tell you right now that Disney and all of its films, especially the recent ones, are mental poison for children.

And Walt Disney was a Hitler collaborator, which is another point I'd make against them.

( Posted by: the alienist [Member] On: September 28, 2003 )

HistParl.Com - History of Parliament
The History of Parliament is a major academic project to create a scholarly reference work describing the members, constituencies and activities of the Parliament of England and the United Kingdom.

( Posted by: joker [Member] On: March 8, 2006 )





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