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Disney influence, okay or not okay?? - Page 4

Poll Results: Disney influence: Okay or Not Okay??

  • 15% (55)
    No way, no how! We despise Disney! There are absolutely no visions of Disney dancing around in my child's head nor home!
  • 30% (105)
    We don't have any videos but the occasional Disney is OK as long as it doesn't have any influence on my child.
  • 22% (77)
    I allow Disney in my home, and my child is influenced, but I personally think all children would be better-off without Disney.
  • 29% (100)
    We have plenty of Disney videos and/or items and my child loves Disney. I see no harm in it, I don't think it's a big deal.
  • 2% (7)
    We strive to have every Disney video ever created!! My child is a Disney fanatic!! Disney is good for the child!!
344 Total Votes  
post #61 of 142
I agree that Walt Disney was a pretty good guy, and that Disney World is probably really fun, but as of now the company is not what it was. It's a powerful corporation trying to manipulate our children.

And I have an a opionion about the movies that nobody has mentioned yet. Almost every Disney movie eludes to spiritism in some way. Not only are the villains scary for young children, but most of them are overtly spiritistic. Now I know families who are not christian probably won't take issue with this, but I know there are moms on these forums who are Christian.

Just think about some of the cartoons: The Lion King has a chanting shaman monkey, Snow White's Stepmother is a wicked witch with evil powers, Ursula of The Little Mermaid has evil powers, there is a wicked witch in Sleeping Beauty, the little girl in Lilo and Stitch teaches herself how to practice voodoo, and I could probably go on and on. But you get the picture. Why is spiritism such a recurring theme with Disney? And it's not just the old fairy tales, it's the contemporary stories as well.

Has anyone else been bothered by this?
post #62 of 142
I have never heard of spiritism, but now that I read your post, I understand what it is. And, I agree Disney should not practice it.

Just one more -ism to add to Disney.
post #63 of 142
I am one of those who has also never heard the term "spiritism" but I am not bothered by what it is referring to in these movies.

To the best of my knowledge, most of the stories Disney turns into feature animated films are based on very very old fairy tales that have been around for hundreds of years, and often come from other countries. The Little Mermaid, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty...these are all very old stories. Disney does not make them up. In fact, in almost every case they make them MUCH more cheerful than the original story intended (for example, the real Little Mermaid turns into sea foam at the end of her story). To me, if a story is based on an African tale (Lion King) or a Hawain tale (Lilo and Stitch) it makes sense to incorporate that culture into the story in some way. I don't know whether those movies are based on traditional folk tales from those countries, but as they are based within those countries, I think you should take the references to other religions within that context.

Just my opinion....

post #64 of 142
Yes, there are quite alot of very grim fairy tales in their original form. And perhaps the Disney versions are a bit more cheerful. But, I definitely think that there are themes that are not necessary. And I would include the spiritual aspect. I would imagine that children would still be able to sit and enjoy the movie minus the different forms of spiritual practice represented. Again, is it integral? mtn.mama
post #65 of 142
Well, if someone finds the concept of "magic" to be originally offensive to them, then yes they will have a problem with the entire Disney empire IMO. I mean, there slogan right now is "Remember the Magic!" for goodness sake :

I don't see how you could tell the story of the Little Mermaid or Sleeping Beauty or any of that without a magical element. A talking animal is 'magic'. Any curse or spell or phenomenon not present in nature is 'magic'. Very few fairy tales involve ordinary people in ordinary circumstances. Biblical stories would appear to involve 'magic' to a person not familiar with Christianity. I mean, burning bushes talking and floods covering the earth etc. I watched a Veggie tales where they were saved from a fire in a chocolate bunny factory by the light of Jesus.

If people are asking why they don't just leave the magic out, I would wonder what stories really involve no magical phenomenon that still have entertainment value to kids from all cultures. I'm trying to think of some but offhand, all the ones that do not have magical events involve talking animals (Fox and the Hound for example)...

post #66 of 142
I am sure that mama2jonah can be more eloquent than I because this is the first time I ever heard about spiritism. But, I'll give it a shot.

There is nothing about magic that is offensive. What is offensive is that it is portrayed only in a negative way (voodo, evil potions, etc.). Just like there is nothing wrong with stepmothers, but if you are only showing "evil" ones like Disney and other popular media, you send the wrong message. Not all stepmothers are evil: most love their children with all of their hearts and give and give and give just like we birth mothers do.

I know that somebody here will come up with a movie where the stepmother is TERRIFIC, but those are exceptions, not the norm.
post #67 of 142
does anyone know anything about walt disney the man? i suggest reading the first three chapters of "fastfood nation" by eric schlosser.
post #68 of 142
We love Disney here. We have many of the classic movies on DVD. We visit Disney world often with my 2-year-old. We have a wonderful time as a family.

We don't loose our identity or change our APing ways when we're visiting Disney world. I breastfeed my toddler all over Disney. I use a sling or my dh puts him in a backpack carrier all over the parks. We cosleep at Disney, try to eat reasonably healthy, and use gentle discipline at Disney.

Our enjoyment of Disney World and Disney movies doesn't change our loving, AP parenting style at all.

We also love Grimms Fairy Tales, and other classic children's literature. I also enjoy psychoanalytic and social analyses of folk tales, fairy tales and other ancient stories. In college I took several classes on it, which were fascinating.

Anyway, to each their own. I think each parent knows what's best for their own children. I would never judge any other parent for enjoying Disney, or for choosing to ban Disney. We're all intelligent parents and we know what's best for our own individual families.

post #69 of 142
Originally posted by elisma
does anyone know anything about walt disney the man? i suggest reading the first three chapters of "fastfood nation" by eric schlosser.
I read a children's biography book about Walt Disney to my 5-year-old. Of course, it was a children't book so they didn't put anything bad in there. Tell us what the first three chapters of "fastfood nation" said.

Since this thread started a long time ago, my daughter read Jungle Book and loved it. We even read the ORIGINAL version and she loved it. Of course, Mowgli is a girl in our house. I wouldn't read any of the princess crap to her.
post #70 of 142
I didn't vote either cause I didn't know where I fit.

We have some of the videos and my kids adore them. My dds are Chinese, and I very much like Mulan as there are so few stories that show Asians in a positive light. (Yes, she's been Disneyfied, but still...) Many were passed down from a relative, but we've bought a couple. There are one or two I hate---the Rescuers have villians that are a hair too much, and after my older dd watches them, we have some bad behavior. I also don't like the way they portray orphans. So, those have gotten "lost." I'm not nuts about the way they portray women and girls in terms of body image.

I agree with the all things in moderation philosophy. We don't buy any of the merchandise, but I tend not to buy any licensed character stuff. We've gotten one or two Disney themed gifts and that's OK, I don't make a big deal about it.

We've not gone to Disney World, but I imagine some day we will go once or twice. Older dd has a friend who goes at least twice a year, so she asks to go all the time. We just don't take high priced vacations as a rule. If we are going to spend the money, I want both kids to be old enough to remember it.
post #71 of 142
Originally posted by elisma
does anyone know anything about walt disney the man? i suggest reading the first three chapters of "fastfood nation" by eric schlosser.
I totally agree and was going to post this. Disney was not the sweet,meek guy sitting in a room drawing a mouse. he was a shrewd buisness man and ran his company as such a company. He did not support the cartoonist union and allowed and even encouraged his men to ruff up the picketers in the picket lines when they wanted disney productions to go union. He fired sympathizers, formed a phony union, brought in a Chicago crime figure to rig a settlementand posted an ad in the Variety accusing Union supporters of being communist. He apperaed as a witness for the House of Un-American Activities Commit5ee and strongly supported the Hollywood blacklist.He hired ex-nazi officers to work with him on tommorow land and his company produced a cartoon for the goverment called"The Atom Your Friend" for children, of course in this video they left out all the bad things the Atom is used for. He was very into consumerism and produced "t.v. shows" that were actually hour long infomercials about an upcoming movie or Disney World. Walt Disney was a salesman and perfected his art of selling on children,. Disney had every aspect of his company supported by company sponsors.

All this info honestly has no effect on wheteh I let my children watch Disney movies, my father worked for Disney World. I pretty much grew up there. But every one is posting about how great Walt was, becuase you read a biography on him. I bet if you did some research you might find that the publishing company that produced his biographies are owned or have stock into Disney Company.
post #72 of 142

No Disney for us!

Originally posted by peacemama
Lots of them are pretty sexist, too, which is why I think I like Beauty and The Beast the best - even though there's some violence, the heroine is strong and independent and will not give anything just to get a man, like so many Disney heroines will!
I disagree. Belle is a BAD role model for girls because she stays with the Beast even though he is abusive and mean to her because she thinks she can change him. I don't care how book smart she is, she still uses terrible judgement. And we wonder why so many women in our society stick with men who treat them like dirt? It's because of stories like these that tell little girls that if you love someone enough that they will always turn in to a prince in the end.

As for Mulan, I liked it at first and bought the dolls for my dd (who was not born yet then) because my dh is asian and I wanted dd to have dolls that resembled her. However, the more I watch it, the more I see a theme of cultural imperialism. In a nutshell, Mulan is very "Western" in thought and is trying to show those backward Chinese (very "Eastern" philosophies) how wrong they are about everything. There's a great essay on this somewhere on the web - let me go try to find it.
post #73 of 142
I didn't see my answer in the poll above. I don't judge a company persay, but I do screen anything my dd is allowed to see. Some Disney she's not allowed to see because it's not appropriate for her age. Others she is allowed to see, like Lion King and Lady and the Tramp. I feel that after a certain age children should be allowed to have full access to media (within reason of course-- no porn or excessive violence) and then we as parents need to *talk* to them about what we think about it. Like on commercials-- "oh look, that is so fake, that would never happen in real life" or movies, "Hitting's not nice, poor dog got hurt."

Abi watched Chicken Run at dad's house once and on a certain scene where one chicken slaps the other one she said, "Not nice hitting, time out, uh oh chicken got hurt" and I was so darned proud of her for reflecting our values at 28 mos. old! And while I may not have had her watch that at our house, we had already given her the tools to cope with what she saw and form an opinion about it.

To me, if a story is based on an African tale (Lion King) or a Hawain tale (Lilo and Stitch) it makes sense to incorporate that culture into the story in some way. I don't know whether those movies are based on traditional folk tales from those countries, but as they are based within those countries, I think you should take the references to other religions within that context.
ITA with you Heartmama! I guess coming from a non christian household (and I have nothing at all against any faith as long as it's peace-loving) , I am glad to finally see cultural elements in some of the films, because that's part of that culture! I think kids need to know that there are other faiths out there in the world. And while we should not rely on the Disney company to teach that, it's nice that they try to include it.

I remember I had a babysitter once who would not let us play with anything that was not real. No smurfs, no re-enactments of fairy tales of any kind because most involved magical spells and curses, no unicorns, nothing. I felt it stifled my imagination. I mean, even in the Bible there are fantastic events that happen like Jesus turning those fish and bread into enough to feed thousands. And rising from the tomb. If that's not spiritualism, what is? It's that belief in the unseen that touches a part of many of us whether to strengthen religious convictions or just making a good story for our imagination.

I hope I don't offend anyone with my answers, but I did want to share my point of view. I am not comparing the magic of fairy tales with the wonder of religious happenings. In my own faith we have similar happenings that we also believe happened, while we can discount fairy tales as being just that-- tales.

post #74 of 142
There are some Disney movies we watch and some we don't. I view each one as it's own video, I don't necessarily allow -or not allow- it based on the fact that it's Disney. We went to Disney World in January and we loved it! Can't wait to go back...
post #75 of 142
Originally posted by Sagesgirl
Okay, I hate Disney, but not for a reason I have seen mentioned here. As a child, I was a huge fan of fairy tales & folklore. And everything Disney has touched, it has ruined. My biggest peeve is The Little Mermaid. Guess what, there's a moral to the story. Ariel does NOT get her guy. I could go on...But that's a separate rant.
Sagesgirl, Little Mermaid was one of my fav Disney movies. But since I'm anti-TV, I'm not going to put our Disney DVD collection (DH : buys DVDs) in front of my 3 yr old any time soon.

I'm really enjoying this thread... so please rant on if you wish, because I'm learning something new.

Read Endangered Minds: Why Children Don't Think and What we Can Do About it to learn why TV is bad for the developing brain.

Disney heroines were discussed in another thread and the point was made (which never occurred to me ) that they are WEAK! So true! (OK Mulan may be the only exception.) It's a good reason why one should not introduce them to young children.

Originally posted by Elismama
Recently some folks with older children passed on a bunch of audiotapes, I put in Disney's version of pinnochio and was completely annoyed with how they took an excellent story and dumbed it down. They have done the same with Pooh- trying to make the books "accessible" to young children, but loosing the beautiful prose that makes them so wonderful. There are so many excellent books out there, why in the world should my son waste his time on watered down versions of good stories.

Kids are open to everything, and I think much of their aesthetic sense is developed so young in life, I try to provide Eli with beautiful images, music, and stories, and opportunities to create so that his senses are enriched, not diminished. I can't help but feel that Disney diminishes.
ITA! I love children's books, and illustrations are important to me... I cannot STAND the Disney story books because (and I never thought I would say this) the art is SO bad. Especially if it's out of context... especially if it's the new art.

Some aspects of Disney movies/art I like and some I don't.

Originally posted by zinemama
But my main objection is aesthetic. I grew up with kid's books illustrated by great artists like Trina Schart Hyman and Tasha Tudor. Also my mom's old color fairy books (The Blue Fairy Book, etc.) with those wonderful black and white drawings by HJ Ford.
Ooooooo - I gotta look those books up.

Disneyland - we'll probably go. My son would enjoy it. We're going to a Carnival today (he loves it!!!!) but the major con for me is the smell of :Puke diesel in the air. Disneyland does not smell of diesel and that gives it my Gold Seal of Approval. :LOL

Side note - I'm trying to wean my 3 yr old... as a desperate distraction, "HEY let's watch the Dragon on Shrek!" So we watch a few minutes of it and then we talk about it. The rest of the week, he's pretending to breathe fire. Anyway, FYI Shrek makes a lot of fun of Disneyland in the movie. It's funny.
post #76 of 142
Mulan is based on a real Chinese heroine, Hua Mu Lan. It's not a story Disney created. While obviously the Disney version is, well, the Disney version, the fundamentals of the tale are the same. http://www.distinguishedwomen.com/bi.../huamulan.html

Chicken Run is from Nick Park, the same genius who gave us Wallace and Gromit, my absolute favorite videos. His company is Aardman Animations, not Disney.
post #77 of 142
I also have a problem with the way that Disney has twisted the classic faerie tales and fables that they have adapted. Faerie tales have moral messages, and most of them are lost in the Disney versions.

Also, besides the heroines being weak, until recent years they were physical stereotypes as well. Until Belle, none of the heroines even had *gasp* brown hair or eyes (except fot Snow White- who seemed to be all of 15 yrs old). In recent years, the cultural diversity of their female characters has broadened quite a bit. (what with Jasmine, Pocohantas, and Mulan) But I don't think it can really make up for so many years of blonde haired, blue eyed, pale skinned, svelt beauties.
post #78 of 142
For me
t-shirts, backpacks, toys, hairbows, shoes, bubble-gum, etc. = not okay

All that commercialism just kind of gets my back up.
post #79 of 142
I say moderation and critical thinking skills are important (as always). I loved Disney movies when I was little, but at that point they could be seen only when they came around to movie theaters every 7 years, so they were special treats. IMO, owning a video and watching the same movie again and again takes the specialness away and stifles imagination--that's certainly what I've observed in the kids I know who watch a lot of Disney!

I've been to Disneyworld twice, age 7 and 17. The first time, it was an incredibly fun, amazing experience. The second time, it was still like that to a great extent, but I felt resentful of the heavy-handed engineering of my experience; it's kind of like being kidnapped to an underground room where you can't tell what time it is, and being forced to watch propaganda (which was the format of a church youth retreat two of my friends had attended just before my trip ) except that you've paid for it--and the price is, to my frugal sensibilities, obscene. That, and thinking about the waste of resources and the chemicals (Disney BRAGS that there are no insects in the COUNTY they own!!) and the air pollution from the NIGHTLY fireworks and on and on, diminished my enjoyment. I think I'd be willing to go when I have a kid around 7 years old (enough innocence to enjoy it and enough stamina to make it worth the money) but I think it's the sort of family vacation to be done once in a childhood, not every year.

Nobody's mentioned Disney comic books. The new ones they were putting out in my childhood were drivel, and I don't know if they even make new ones now, but in the late 1980s Gladstone Comics reissued comics from the 1930s and 1940s, including Mickey Mouse's adventures that ran in serial as newspaper comics. These are great stories, excellent art, and exciting international adventures (albeit with some fictionalizing--countries have names like Toolong Sarong and Brutopia ) and you have to READ them instead of passively watching. What my family did w/them was to cluster around and do a dramatic reading, each person taking a few parts and doing different accents. Great fun!
post #80 of 142
Okay so my girls love DIsney movies and we probably own all of them. However I limit the movies to one per girl a week to be wathced once. That rule will sometimes get broken due to miserable weather. We always talk about the movies as they are on and talk about other choices the characters could have made. My 5yoDD is now writing alternate endings to Snow White and Cinderella because as she told me the girls can take care of themselves
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