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Why do people dislike Disney?

post #1 of 66
Thread Starter 
I have heard people mention this quite a few times. I know some don't like the themes of some of their movies, such as the princess movies. Any other reason?
post #2 of 66
I love Disneyland, but Disneyana is to twee for me.
post #3 of 66
nak

i'm cheap, and a disney vacation looks like this side of hell---crazy money, it's always crazy hot there, and there are crazy lots of people and crazy long lines. Just not my idea of a good time.
post #4 of 66
Reason 1: Because they market the heck out of everything. The stories are so-so -- some are decent, some aren't. But every.single.thing. is marketed to the umpteenth degree. And the stuff that is produced is generally of low quality that breaks easily. So, I don't like them because it teaches what I consider to be crass consumerism.

Reason 2: Because the themed toys don't encourage truly creative play. A lot of the toys encourage the children to re-enact the Disney stories. That's OK if those themes are somehow important to the child at that moment in time, but often there's no encouraging or stretching their own themes.

Reason 3: I find them to be far too stereotypical in gender roles for my tastes.

Reason 4: Most of the Disney story books are not well written and painful for me to read.

All of that being said, my dh is currently on a 4 day vacation to.... Disney World. But he loves the theme park aspect of it. He loves the attention to detail. He's intrigued by their marketing techniques. We'll probably take the kids in a year or two.
post #5 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by LynnS6 View Post
Reason 1: Because they market the heck out of everything. The stories are so-so -- some are decent, some aren't. But every.single.thing. is marketed to the umpteenth degree. And the stuff that is produced is generally of low quality that breaks easily. So, I don't like them because it teaches what I consider to be crass consumerism.
this article drives home your point.
http://nymag.com/daily/entertainment...at_disney.html
post #6 of 66
We love Disney them parks and vacations. They have the highest standards in the industry. (although, I have noticed a slight decline in the special feeling you get there in the last few years, but only slight.)

I don't think their movies are that great, and like PPs have said, If I liked the movie, that doesn't mean I want to own the backpack, the bedspread, the happy meal toys, the cups, the potty-chair, the doll, the shirt...

But, anyway, they can do their thing, and I will do mine.
post #7 of 66
Don't like Disney movies, in general. The original stories are *way* better. When Disney "disneyfies" something, it's almost always a huge step *down*.

Don't like Disney merchandise because to me it's either hokey, plastic, or both.

Don't like the marketing.

I think for the kids, Disneyland and Epcot might be enjoyable and it would be fun to watch them having fun, but it's out of our league price-wise to travel that far, stay in hotels, and pay to get in.
post #8 of 66
I don't care for the monopoly they seem to have on the stories. Walt Disney has some sketchy history I've heard about, too...

that said, dd (of course) is in love with the disney princes movies... and I have fond memories from my childhood, so I have been bending on it, but I refuse to buy all that disney junk... some ok (dd loves the polly-pocket style dolls), but I don't want to get her all the disney paraphernalia
post #9 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by LynnS6 View Post
All of that being said, my dh is currently on a 4 day vacation to.... Disney World. But he loves the theme park aspect of it. He loves the attention to detail. He's intrigued by their marketing techniques. We'll probably take the kids in a year or two.
We went to Disney World in 2007. The trip was a - very generous - gift from my in-laws. It is not my style, and I had to do a lot of "grin and bear it". However, I was pretty blown away by the seamlessness of the whole thing. We didn't have a single glitch in any of our arrangements from the moment we got off our plane in Orlando.

And, with respect to a completely other aspect of their attention to detail...I was astonished at the number of places/ways they managed to work the Mickey Mouse logo into things.
post #10 of 66
I've been to Disneyworld 3 times--the last time when I was 22. Loved it! I'd love to bring DD when she's older, although DH says no way. (Although I think if DD ever mentions she wants to go, he'll buy tickets the next day.)

Some of their movies are pretty funny, and I remember going to see Aladin in my 20s with a bunch of friends. I must say, though, that the underlying theme is always the same: 100% good guy vs 100% bad guy, and good guy always wins. There's no subtlety or nuance and certainly no indication that people have good and bad in them, which--to me--can make kids feel like they're "bad" when they do something wrong. I prefer movies that reflect real life: that sometimes things are hard, and sometimes people do bad things, and sometimes we do bad things, and our goal is to try to do better and to learn.

The marketing also gets on my nerves, and I work in advertising so you'd think I'd be immune. It's just so... everywhere. But I guess I'll let DD decide for herself if she wants a Jasmine lunchbox or one with a monkey on it. (Er... I had a backpack with a HUGE picture of an orangutan on the back when I was in grade 1 and was teased mercilessly. Thanks, Mom!)
post #11 of 66
I've only been to Disney World, and I've been there a good chunk of times as an adult and my DH and I pretty much love it there. It is fun, it's clean, it's safe, it's beautiful, it is soooo accommodating to those with special needs.

As for Disney Corp, we are disgusted with the way it treats its employees, unless you have a specialized skill (musician, wedding hairdresser) you are treated like shit. The *~magic~* dissipates once you're behind the scenes. I know it's wrong! I try not to think about it because the presentation is sooooo good.

The movies, I think are lacking of values. We get tired of the motherless people, the scary scenes, the oversimplification of Happily Ever After. But on the other side, we still like the movies. They are nice to look at, they have good songs, don't even get me started on how much we love Pixar.

It all starts with Walt himself. He was kind of a dink to his employees, my DH digs up all these youtube vids on him, and being revered as a national treasure is sorta OFF-balance.

But we can't help it. We *love* the parks. And I'd give anything to take an Adventures By Disney trip to Jackson Hole or Germany. Our next trip is fantasized to be a Disney Cruise--my DH is very impressed that there's no casinos aboard, there is plenty SAFE programs and features in place for both kids and parents to have a good time. They have a good, decent product--one designed to allow anyone from 0 to 108 to shed reality and to just dream.
post #12 of 66
I have a love-hate relationship with Disney.

Some of their films are beautiful and some are really quite wonderful - I'm not talking about merely the Princess Canon or whatever but ones like The Sword in the Stone and some of the live ones. There is something magical about many of the iconic scenes - Malificent changing into a dragon; Fantasia.

I recognize that much of what they have done has survived not just on the marketing machine but because there was artistry and care underneath, and I think you see that in what people above talked about with quality.

On the other hand...Disney has engaged in unethical labour practices, and taken stories so out of context and culture as to make them almost meaningless, changes the endings of things, and also has made itself so - pervasive. Not just the merchandise (I really think Star Wars actually started the worst of it), but things like Celebration, FL (am I think the only person who can't think of that place without thinking of Pleasantville?) and Disney weddings (yes, for a mere $20,000 you too can rent Cinderella's coach and complete your Princess experience).

The other thing that upsets me about Disney is their deliberate choice to make Pocohontas (and to a lesser extent Aladdin in my lifetime). I could handle some of the old racism, even Song of the South, in the past as belonging to a more ignorant time. But why on earth would you choose to take the Pocohontas legend in 1995, give Pocohontas one of the smallest waists in the Disney canon (hard to do), and romanticize what was a colonial kidnapping? I don't get it. Come up with something else.

We don't boycott Disney or anything but it's an unsettled relationship.

By the way I love this Vanity Fair story on Disney colorists.
post #13 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tway View Post
I must say, though, that the underlying theme is always the same: 100% good guy vs 100% bad guy, and good guy always wins. There's no subtlety or nuance and certainly no indication that people have good and bad in them, which--to me--can make kids feel like they're "bad" when they do something wrong. I prefer movies that reflect real life: that sometimes things are hard, and sometimes people do bad things, and sometimes we do bad things, and our goal is to try to do better and to learn.
I see that about Disney a lot. I don't really see it that way. You mentioned Aladdin in your post. He was a thief and he spent most of the movie lying to Jasmine...hardly "100% good". Ariel misbehaved and got in trouble a lot, but was clearly not supposed to be a "bad" person. The Beast wasn't a very nice person - that's how he ended up being turned into a Beast.

The bad guys are more or less 100% bad, but I don't really have a problem with that. Maybe they do all have good qualities (first thing that comes to mind is that the governor or whatever in Pocahontas dotes on his dog)...so what? Would there really be any reason to portray that a man determined to burn every gypsy in Paris or a man who wants to destroy the "savages" or a woman who wants to kill her stepdaughter for being pretty (Snow White, and almost Cinderella) as having "good qualities"? Do they make up for any of that?

I can't imagine a child taking away the message that hitting their sibling means they're the moral equivalent of Jafar.

Quote:
The marketing also gets on my nerves, and I work in advertising so you'd think I'd be immune. It's just so... everywhere.
I hate the marketing and my dh and in-laws love Disney, so I see a lot of it. But, otoh, I tend to overlook the Spider-Man marketing, just because I love Spidey, so I'm a total hypocrite.
post #14 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by LynnS6 View Post
Reason 1: Because they market the heck out of everything. The stories are so-so -- some are decent, some aren't. But every.single.thing. is marketed to the umpteenth degree. And the stuff that is produced is generally of low quality that breaks easily. So, I don't like them because it teaches what I consider to be crass consumerism.
I was making fun of the "Toy Story 3" stuff at the store the other day. The character dolls are the EXACT SAME as the ones from Toy Story 1 and 2...but they're marked up and whatnot because they're from the NEWEST movie!!!!!!!
post #15 of 66
I don't like the marketing tacts. You can get EVERYTHING from underwear to a toaster with your favorite disney character.

the main disney movies are better told in their original form. the 2nd string stories are b rate.

they milk the heck out of everything. How many Aladdin movies are there? 3? 4? 4 lion kings. a cartoon etc

the encourage a (imo) false reality of childhood. not every kid needs to go to disney land. It's like a journey to cartoon mecca. Its worshiped, the characters are tattoos. I think it's an obsession for many that starts in childhood

they are also way to big a company, they control too much of the media presented to children.
nak
post #16 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post
I see that about Disney a lot. I don't really see it that way. You mentioned Aladdin in your post. He was a thief and he spent most of the movie lying to Jasmine...hardly "100% good". Ariel misbehaved and got in trouble a lot, but was clearly not supposed to be a "bad" person. The Beast wasn't a very nice person - that's how he ended up being turned into a Beast.
I guess I was thinking of Peter Pan/Captain Hook, or Snow White/Evil Step-Mother type movies. You're right--there are some Disney movies where the good guys are mildly "bad" and recover when they learn how much better being good is. At the end of the movie, though, where lessons are supposed to be learned, people are either on the "good" side or on the "bad" side.

I don't think kids come away thinking that hitting their sibling makes them like an evil Disney character. But I do think this all good/all bad dichotomy effects kids at some level. To dig up my literature background (from yay many years ago), the main character in a classic piece of literature is flawed from the beginning, goes through a trauma, and comes out changed. It's not about becoming good, necessarily, but evolving. That theme is what makes the classics timeless.

But for some reason, these kids' movies are turned into good/bad battles. And the lesson is "be good" and "don't be bad"--rather than "try to be good and see the good in others, even if you're sometimes bad." I think there's a lot of underlying guilt involved in that kind of thinking. It's very... religious, on many levels.
post #17 of 66
For me it's the marketing. They put a lot of effort into creating a captive audience from birth through life, in creating a strong brand following at a very young age that people will continue to follow through life. I definitely recommend the book Buy Buy Baby on this subject. Not Disney in particular.

I also don't like how Disney now "owns" princesses. I made DD a princess dress-up costume, and she was wearing it when a friend came over and the friend said it was very pretty and looked very confused and then asked me which princess it was supposed to be. Um, just a generic pretty dress. If you look in catalogs at dress-up clothes that aren't licensed by Disney, they're still obviously copying as much of the Disney princess stylings as they can. The princess wear also seems to have consumed the entire category of dress-up clothes for girls.

I like the movies and the theme park for what they are. I've seen most of the movies at one time or another, and they're not Citizen Kane but they're good and fun to watch. I went to the theme park once as a kid and had a good time. I just don't like the branding. When my kids are older, I'll show them the movies and take them to Disney World (once) and we'll all have a good time. I just don't have any interest in having them glued to a brand at this age.
post #18 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by cappuccinosmom View Post
Don't like Disney movies, in general. The original stories are *way* better. When Disney "disneyfies" something, it's almost always a huge step *down*.
To be fair, if Disney told the "original version" of Aladdin (esp. in its original context as one of Sheherezade's stories in 1001 Nights, a tale of a woman attempting to put an end to a king's rampage of rape and murder in the midst of his madness) Snow White, The Little Mermaid, Hunchback of Notre Dame, Cinderella, and Beauty and the Beast, we'd all be shocked at the gore, violence, rape allegories, ect. that someone put into a (gasp) Children's Movie.

Different time periods, vastly different audiences. What you can tell as an oral storytelling tradition that is later written down, or as a very clear political swipe in allegory to a *mixed age* audience who lived over a hundred years ago, and what you can tell now to people who live in a society where they'd probably pass out watching someone butcher a chicken (all meat comes from semi-sterile, pre cut packages so it doesn't offend our delicate sensibilities) and where people freak out about toy knives and guns much less graphic depictions of self-mulitation in order to achieve a goal are VERY different.

I think the stories could be better told for modern sensibilities (and they have been!). But I dunno, saying Disney is a step "down" from Brothers Grimm doesn't ring true to me. It's a whole different universe, by design, and I would say cultural necessity.

Disney did not make us, as a society, incapable of dealing with violence and dark themes without hysteria, it merely caters to that desire to prettify everything to make it "light" (as if children did not have violent impulses and dark things to work through). I think it's a convenient scapegoat though.
post #19 of 66
i am not going to repeat what everyone has already said.

what i want to say is disney didnt make movies to entertain the kids. their motive was never that (no matter what they 'say'). it was always about profit and how to take over the market for them. of course walt disney loved children but business was about something quite different.

and the twist they gave them is what i object to. being leaders in teh market they could have easily focused on something more like what hanna barbera did or looney toons.

they started the trend of including adult humor in children's cartoons which seems to be the norm now.
post #20 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tigerchild View Post
To be fair, if Disney told the "original version" of Aladdin (esp. in its original context as one of Sheherezade's stories in 1001 Nights, a tale of a woman attempting to put an end to a king's rampage of rape and murder in the midst of his madness) Snow White, The Little Mermaid, Hunchback of Notre Dame, Cinderella, and Beauty and the Beast, we'd all be shocked at the gore, violence, rape allegories, ect. that someone put into a (gasp) Children's Movie.

Different time periods, vastly different audiences. What you can tell as an oral storytelling tradition that is later written down, or as a very clear political swipe in allegory to a *mixed age* audience who lived over a hundred years ago, and what you can tell now to people who live in a society where they'd probably pass out watching someone butcher a chicken (all meat comes from semi-sterile, pre cut packages so it doesn't offend our delicate sensibilities) and where people freak out about toy knives and guns much less graphic depictions of self-mulitation in order to achieve a goal are VERY different.

I think the stories could be better told for modern sensibilities (and they have been!). But I dunno, saying Disney is a step "down" from Brothers Grimm doesn't ring true to me. It's a whole different universe, by design, and I would say cultural necessity.

Disney did not make us, as a society, incapable of dealing with violence and dark themes without hysteria, it merely caters to that desire to prettify everything to make it "light" (as if children did not have violent impulses and dark things to work through). I think it's a convenient scapegoat though.
I agree. And even in the Grimm's times, the stories were very quickly being sanitized. Disney didn't do it all. Most of these stories were originally adult stories, and the first edition of the Grimm book was intended for an adult audience. But they quickly realized that there was a much larger market in making them children's stories. The differences between the different editions of their books is apparently striking in how cleaned up they are.
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