Movies Disney movies and Values

Discussion in 'Movies & TV' started by ysabel, May 25, 2010.

  1. ysabel

    ysabel /ˈɪzəˌbɛl/ pink 5

    I like the Disney classic cartoons and their princesses. It makes you dream really when you're a child. I wonder though how much of these characters we love shape our values and view in life as we grow up....and maybe without knowing it.

    Take for example, this image was sent to me recently and it was entitled "what disney princesses teach girls":


    It's funny but there's truth to it. The thing is when I watch these cartoons, I never thought of it that way. I just get carried away with the romantic story and the happy ending. But it's true that if you look at their stories closely, could they be sending us the wrong message? Or are we immuned to such influences because from the start we know it's a fairy tale and therefore there's no realistic lesson to learn from cartoons?
    Boredie and Stegosaurus like this.

  2. Stegosaurus

    Stegosaurus Registered Member

    There certainly is truth to it, and I think arguments could easily be made either way. I think it’s a mixed message, really. I’ll cover Jasmine:

    When I see Jasmine, I think of her role in the original Aladdin movie as being one tough b*tch who resisted the arranged marriages and had a freaking tiger for a pet:-o. What sticks out in my mind is that scene where her father and Alladin are talking about her marriages and she storms in like, “Who do you think I am? Some prize to be won?” That was a really strong sceen, and as far as teaching young boys, I remember being like 8 years old when I saw that and thinking, “Ohhh, ok, that’s not how you treat women—‘check’.” Then when Jafar enslaves her, I think it is made rather manifest that sexual objectification is plain wrong. Now of course, Aladdin saves her—the “damsel in distress”—but it is Jasmine who distracts Jafar just long enough so that Aladdin can do so. It was kind of like a team effort, I suppose.

    That's how I feel about her alone, though. Lots of the other stories have even more antiquated gender roles.
  3. ysabel

    ysabel /ˈɪzəˌbɛl/ pink 5

    I particularly noticed Arielle's description: it's okay to abandon your family, drastically change your body, and give up your strongest talent in order to get your man...

    And we found that rather courageous than stupid, in the movie. :lol:

    And yes, the prettiest girly princesses are often damsels in distress and the feisty ones somehow don't get as much exposure as role models for the girls.
  4. Wade8813

    Wade8813 Registered Member

    I was talking with a couple of my co-workers a while back, and was pleasantly surprised when one of them agreed with me that his favorite Disney cartoon is Mulan (although we both admit their may be some bias there, since he's Chinese and I'm half-Chinese).

    We have a woman who is strong, independent, who stands up to the injustices in the culture around her (while still trying to showing that she loves her family and is trying to do what's best for them; wanting to bring them honor, and to protect her dad from going to war). She shows ingenuity, courage, and determination. Mulan saves the guy - and the entire kingdom - rather than him saving her.

    But this isn't one of the big Disney movies. Mulan sometimes gets included on the list of Disney "princesses", but often more as an afterthought.

    There are other aspects of the movie that I love, but that's another topic.
    Boredie likes this.
  5. Stegosaurus

    Stegosaurus Registered Member

    That's an excellent point--the Disney princesses have their own sort of "clique" that excludes strong female characters like Mulan. Another "strong" female character who got sidelined = Pocahontas.
  6. SmilinSilhouette

    SmilinSilhouette Registered Member

    Thanks for the new perspective. My beef :spin: is with Bambi: animals are innocent victims, man is evil. I tried to hide that book from my daughter. Now I have even more to worry about!
  7. ysabel

    ysabel /ˈɪzəˌbɛl/ pink 5

    Yeah, Mulan and Pocahontas. I'm thinking maybe because it's a minority thing (well, in the world of whites) but then Jasmine got in the circle after all. So I think the whole more girly (aka weak) reasoning has got something to do with it more than the race.
  8. Altanzitarron

    Altanzitarron Tamer Of The LOLzilla

    I think stuff you watched over and over as a kid can definitely shape your values. Why else would I still harbour a deep and strong desire to be a superhero? :lol: Obviously as you get older you can begin to question your role models but they definitely hold a lot of power. Disney in particular was in a very influencial position back in it's heyday.
  9. ysabel

    ysabel /ˈɪzəˌbɛl/ pink 5

    And no wonder children are afraid of the idea of having stepmothers. Imagine how they're portrayed? They're jealous, won't let them go to the ball, will enslave them, will attempt to kill them, etc.
  10. Boredie

    Boredie In need of Entertainment

    When I used to watch Beauty and the Beast, I didn't care much about Belle, as much as I cared for Beast. You know when you want to be one of the characters in the movie, and wanting it to be you who is there instead?
    I always placed myself as Beast (and no, not because I'm secretly lesbian) but because I related to him more on many levels.
    And though Belle is what she is a beauty, it personally never occurred to me to view the movie in that light (as it says in the OP). So when I placed myself as Belle (I was the plain looking gal) I still won Beast's heart (who by the way looked better as a beast than a man :lol:)
    Rebeccaaa likes this.

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