Disney influence, okay or not okay?? - Mothering Forums

View Poll Results: Disney influence: Okay or Not Okay??
No way, no how! We despise Disney! There are absolutely no visions of Disney dancing around in my child's head nor home! 54 15.88%
We don't have any videos but the occasional Disney is OK as long as it doesn't have any influence on my child. 105 30.88%
I allow Disney in my home, and my child is influenced, but I personally think all children would be better-off without Disney. 75 22.06%
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. 100 29.41%
We strive to have every Disney video ever created!! My child is a Disney fanatic!! Disney is good for the child!! 6 1.76%
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#1 of 142 Old 01-07-2002, 06:26 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We've all probably been induced with Disney whether it's been the latest movie like Snow Dogs or an old classic like Bambi, the Disney channel chock-full of kids shows, Disneyland/Disney World, Disney Store, Disney music...

Now that you're a parent, what are your views on Disney? Do you let your child watch them? Why or why not? If not, how do you keep it away? What advantages and/or disadvantages do you see in letting your child be influenced by Disney?
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#2 of 142 Old 01-07-2002, 06:51 PM
 
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I did love Disney movies as child! When Cinderella came on TV, my Nana was the only one with a color TV (I am dating myself I know!) and it was so special, the sleepover we had with Nana watching Cinderella.. My oldest daughter, now 16,was hooked on Disney videos as a child (shame on me) and I do think they affected her. So I very much limit my two younger children watching them. They didn't seem to affect me as a child, but thinking back I maybe saw one, two or three times a year. My DD was at one point watching that many a day!!
As Maya Angelou would say "When You knew better, You did better"

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#3 of 142 Old 01-07-2002, 07:19 PM
 
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i love disney movies

i like the older "classics" the best.

i wish i had a little girl to watch some of the "princess" ones with, my boys will watch with me, but they don't enjoy them in the same way a girl does.

some of their movies aren't so good. i thought some were boring.

most i LOVE

i also love movies with talking animals.
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#4 of 142 Old 01-07-2002, 07:23 PM
 
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My baby is only 3 months old, so it isn't an issue yet. However, I have enjoyed most of the Disney stuff all my life. I did draw the line at the animated Hunchback movie. Way too ridiculous.
Plus, my in-laws are Disney freaks. They have annual passes, and routinely exchange gifts of a Disney nature. Even if I wanted to limit Disney stuff, I would lose that battle. Better for me to pick a more important issue to stand my ground on.
With a daughter, I do think it is important to counterbalance the images they see of girls sacrificing everything to win a man, but the movies are more fun than anything else.
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#5 of 142 Old 01-07-2002, 07:36 PM
 
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DD is 18 months, MIL sent home 8 or so Disney movie's. She is a disney nut. I think DH has put one on once or twice, but that's it. We stick to the baby mozart/van gogh video's or a video about baby animals I got. I never plunk her down to watch a video, there is always interaction so when she does watch them I know exactly what she is watching. As she gets older I will most certainly limit her exposure to Disney & their movies.
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#6 of 142 Old 01-07-2002, 07:39 PM
 
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Disney is the ultimate evil corporation. If all they did was make movies, I wouldn't have such a problem with them. But each movie is like a big toy advertisement. Parents are pressured to buy the merchandise and take their kids to McD's to get the happy meal version as well. Then there's Disney wallpaper, clothing, nursery accessories, lamps. Almost any item you can imagine can be bought with some sort of Disney logo on it. Their cable TV station is one giant ad. I removed TV from my house specifically because I hated the Disney channel so much. My children wanted to watch all the time. Even when I said "no TV", as soon as my back was turned I hear "Bear in the Big Blue House" or some other Disney show playing. I've heard that Disney clothing is made in sweatshops. They own ABC and so have a huge influence on what people see. I feel like the Disney corp. won't rest until every household in the world is stuffed with their merchandise.

The movies themselves aren't all bad. I admit I enjoyed the Toy Story movies. 2 yo ds likes Woody a whole lot. He got a Woody doll for Christmas from his grandma. I do object to the way some of the disney movies have taken classic children's literature and "cartoonized" it. Winnie-the-Pooh is the classic example. The books are so sweet and funny, but the movies are trash. Pure trash.
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#7 of 142 Old 01-07-2002, 07:40 PM
 
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Didn't get into Disney videos until DD was about 3...probably older. We didn't let her watch TV/videos until then anyway, when we could talk with her and explain what was going on. We've been to Disney (just went on 12/27/01...talk about crowds...don't let them cry poverty!!!) and we didn't buy her the souvenirs and other stuff there...we went for the rides and the "disney experience"...cinderellas castle...seeing Mickey Mouse, etc. The only thing she wanted was a balloon when we left, but then again, she loves ALL kinds of balloons, not just Disney ones.

Kids don't need the commercialism but it is up to parents to control the message.

What bothers me about Disney is the salary of Michael Eisner. Of course, CEO compensation is the thing that gives me a giant bug up my behind anyway (I have phd in HR so I've studied this stuff and they are way too greedy at the expense of their workers!!!!) Now that Disney is struggling financially according to Eisner, I have no doubt they will start laying off workers while he gets a raise or some other stock options....

SIGH...I still love Winnie the Pooh....

Cheers...Robyn
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#8 of 142 Old 01-07-2002, 07:48 PM
 
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Well, I own every disney video. Because *I* liked disney movies. Once Malia was born I took them and put them up. I started seeing things in disney that I didn't like, and certainly not for my kids. My mother though is a Disney fan and sends us every video.
I despise how girls are portrayed on disney movies. Dress sexy, helpless in need of a hero. It's a regular theme that I find disturbing and certainly not what I want to pass to my daughter.
Then there are things like Pooh Bear, or dumbo... which seemed pretty innocent to me. I lost alot of respect for Disney when I went to get Malia's pictures done and saw two young girls (5-7) getting their pictures taken together. They were wearing close to nothing, and guess whose face was smack dab in the middle of their teeny tiny shirts? Pooh and Tigger! These were little "tube tops" and mini skirts... with disney supporting this. It was just pathetic.
So I have come to view Disney in a poor light, and I don't see myself cuddling up on the sofa with my DD to watch them anytime soon.

Aly
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#9 of 142 Old 01-07-2002, 07:59 PM
 
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I own a few videos that were hand me downs but the kids haven't watched them yet... but we have been to WDW several times since they were born

I'm Andrea - I have three boys - 12 year old twins & an 11 year old

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#10 of 142 Old 01-07-2002, 08:40 PM
 
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I have only recently let dd, age three, watch selected Disney videos. Some of them are too violent for my tastes, and many of them have stories that are just too hard for her to understand at all. 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! Whenever she watches a new one I sit with her and we talk about it, explaining the story and challenging any stereotypes. The thing that I object to the most in Disney movies is not the violence or even the occasional sexism, but rather the casual use of slapstick humor. I can't stand the way so many movies made for children present injury as humorous; you know, drop a piano on a guy, have him sit up with crossed eyes and birds tweeting around his head, ha ha very funny. Dd doesn't find this funny at all, thank goodness, and usually acts confused or even upset by it: "Mommy, what happened to that man? He got hurt!" I'm not blaming Disney for this, but is it any wonder that when I was teaching and one of my students tripped on the stairs in school, most of the class laughed and nobody said, "Are you okay?"
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#11 of 142 Old 01-07-2002, 08:43 PM
 
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Count me as a Disney fanatic! I love Disney and have since I was little. But that doesn't mean I will let DD watch everything made by Disney.

We also go to WDW every other year. Can't wait to take DD in December!

Avery'sMama
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#12 of 142 Old 01-07-2002, 10:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I asked this question because I've been battling myself on this issue lately. I am beginning to see that kids would probably be much better off without the Disney influence in their lives.

When dd showed an interest in Disney around age 2.5yrs (after a visit to Disneyland), I started buying the Disney videos and cd's. I went overboard and went on a two-yearlong buying frenzy of Disney movies. Dd now has most of the movies and several of the music cd's (she LOVES to sing to them and I got a little too enamored by the beautiful singing).

I have always had a problem with how the female is portrayed in most of the movies (ie: Snow White) and often talked w/dd about the problem. The women/girls seem to be able to wipe away their worries with a song (and man!) and that is what mainly bothered me I guess.

We never really bought the clothes because they tend to be cheaply made but not cheaply sold, and I just think a big patch of a Disney character on something otherwise cute cheapens the appearance too. So it's the video-influence that bothers me the most. Dd is still young enough (5yrs) that she doesn't protest if Disney isn't around or seen as much so I have lately limited it a lot and I really do see an improvement. She's not as hooked and she doesn't have to watch it like she used to. She's more interested in nature, and her own creativity hasn't been limited to Disney characters. It's a relief and I'm beginning to see how much Disney really does influence us. Now if I could only get rid of most of these movies without her noticing!
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#13 of 142 Old 01-07-2002, 10:39 PM
 
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Not only do I have a problem with the commercialism, sexism (Men are strong, Women are weak, the heroines all look like Barbie), and the other stuff mentioned, why are there so few families in Disney movies with both parents? When there IS a mom, she is most likely an evil step mother (Cinderella, Snow white) or weak (Lion King).


I just don't see Disney as portraying the values I want my kids to have. Then again, there aren't a lot of movies or tv shows that do.

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#14 of 142 Old 01-07-2002, 11:00 PM
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I checked the, we have Disney in the house. And yet my boys are totally uninterested in it. They enjoyed Toy Story. single mom from what we could tell, I had no problem with that though I know many did :
I loved the old classics and have bought them, I think they have been viewed once each :
There is so much in this world that influences children and I don't think watching a few disney movies is going to be detremental.
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#15 of 142 Old 01-07-2002, 11:05 PM
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I checked the, we have Disney in the house. And yet my boys are totally uninterested in it. They enjoyed Toy Story. single mom from what we could tell, I had no problem with that though I know many did :
I loved the old classics and have bought them, I think they have been viewed once each :
There is so much in this world that influences children and I don't think watching a few diney movies is going to be detemental.
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#16 of 142 Old 01-08-2002, 12:10 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by Celestial
In college I had a friend who did her dissertation on dialect use in Disney films, and their contribution to racism and stereotyping. It was quite eye opening, and pretty obvious when you watch the movies.
You have an excellent point, I can't think of one villian that is fair-skinned and light-haired, except maybe the villian in Little Mermaid (can't remember name) but she was big-bodied and obnoxious (to say the least). I think it goes beyond a battle between light/good & dark/evil. Does anyone have more insight on this?
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#17 of 142 Old 01-08-2002, 12:37 AM
 
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I find many of the Disney movies to be frightening and upsetting. I remember as a small child feeling so upset and disturbed by Bambi when the mom is killed in the fire and Bambi is left motherless, wandering the woods alone and crying. Isn't that a huge fear of many little kids???to lose their mom somehow?? who wants to sit there as a child and see a movie that ends this way? Too much harsh reality if you ask me. Maybe I am too sensitive, but even Dumbo broke my heart. And Old Yellar - forget it!

The sexism bothers me, the commercialism bothers me, and the violence bothers me.

On the other hand...............we DO have the Disney channel in our cable package, and dd is allowed to watch Bear in the big blue house, Roley Poley Olie, and Winnie the Pooh. No Little Mermaid - too scarey for little ones. I just really disagree with the violence. Why is it necessary for kids???????

I will never be a big consumer of Disney garb, but I would like to go there with dd some day. Everything in moderation I think. And I am not saying that I would ban all Disney movies, just the ones I think are inappropriate.

just my .02
JR
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#18 of 142 Old 01-08-2002, 12:41 AM
 
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We own Disney videos. We started to collect them even before dd#1 was born. I grew up with "The Wonderful World of Disney". DD#1 likes some of the movies. 101 dalmations is one of her favs. She likes to watch ones with animals and she also likes Toy story, but not as much now. (She's real into Halloween stuff now?!?!?)

A note on strong female roles . . . have any of you all seen Mulan? VERY strong herione. It is one my dh and my favarite movies of all times. Great story based on an old Chinese (sorry about the spelling, never was really good at it) tale. Great music too.
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#19 of 142 Old 01-08-2002, 01:14 AM
 
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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.

DH knows my feelings about Disney, & while it confuses him to an extent, he knows better than to cross me. :LOL Perhaps if they left more of their stories "as is" I wouldn't have such a problem.

Though I must admit the rampant commercialism bugs me too. Disney this, Disney that...I support it a little because I refuse to give up Winnie the Pooh (which wasn't always owned by those *****!). But the endless array of toys for each new film really irks me.

We'll see how it plays out with the rest of the family. Disney doesn't bug me enough to violate my "to each his own" bit, so if MIL sends us Disney videos (which I imagine she will, I've seen the collection she bought for BIL's daughter), we'll probably just pass them on to my cousin Margaret.

Sabra: Mama to Bobbie (3/02), Linda (1/04), Esther (10/05), Marie (11/10), & Douglas (11/12)

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#20 of 142 Old 01-08-2002, 02:02 AM
 
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OK I confess we love and own Toy Story and I will be buying tarzan and Emporors New Groove soon. Other than that we have a strict no disney policy in our house. We even got rid of all the hand me down disney clothes. We only do classic Pooh. I think most of the movies are just too scary, too violent, or portray women to stupidly.

The truest answer to violence is love. The truest answer to death is life. The only prevention for violence is for the heart to have no violence within it.  We cannot prevent evil through any system devised by mankind. But we can grapple with evil and defeat it, but only with love—real love.

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#21 of 142 Old 01-08-2002, 04:30 AM
 
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I own Fantasia (but no tv or vcr) and that is the extent of disney in our house. Actually, I just looked around and remembered that we have a stuffed Pooh and a magnet on the fridge from Disney. I will probably end up taking ds to Disneyland at some point in his life, but it will most definitely be when he is old enough to carry on a conversation that goes something like this:
"Wasn't that a fun ride? Isn't that curious how you have to walk through the store after the ride? They sure are trying to get us to buy their stuff." We hope to create a media-literate kid who can think about these things himself instead of being sheilded from them.
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#22 of 142 Old 01-08-2002, 04:52 PM
 
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We don't have a tv, so Disney movies are currently not an option- which I am grateful for. I hate the way Disney took a beautifully understated Winnie the Pooh and turned him into a bright yellow, smiley bear.

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.
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#23 of 142 Old 01-08-2002, 06:04 PM
 
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My kids dont care overly much for Disney (or TV for that matter) but I have been collecting disney videos for as long as I can remember, I even had peter pan on Reel to Reel
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#24 of 142 Old 01-09-2002, 01:33 AM
 
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I agree with moderation in all things. I don't think Disney is God, or even very good. It is just a business. And as a business has no responsibility to my child. That is where i come in. As dd is getting older I am looking more at the movies we watch (we don;t have cable). We have thrown out a lot of adult movies that were just too violent. Now I am getting even more sensitive and will probably soon throw out some more movies, probably even some Disney. I like the shows that arent too violent and sexy. The Emporers New Groove is one I can think of that we want to buy., It is just silly and funny and not violent in any real way. There is also no GIRL. Just a pregnant mother and wife.
Anyway, we will never ban all of Disney and I love Disneyland so we will definately go someday, but we won't just accept everything they give us either. We will screen it just like everything else.
Beth
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#25 of 142 Old 01-09-2002, 12:15 PM
 
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It is my belief that it is the ultimate goal of Disney to rule the universe. I was not even one week postpartum with Donnie when Grolier Limited called my house to inform me that I was so lucky now that I "have a little one to share in the magic of Disney." The telemarketer was pretty rude and pushy, and even after I told her I didn't want to take part in their free offer (Lion King, Mulan, Little Mermaid, Jungle Story, The Search for Christopher Robin plus more I can't recall) she told me they would be coming anyway!
I didn't argue with her because I was still in the swing of having the baby blues...but if I would have known how difficult it was going to be to get rid of those friggin books I would have just hung up on her!
If I had wanted out of the Disney-indoctrination shackles, I needed to phone Grolier and inform them in person that I wanted out of their book club. Their phone number was next to impossible to get, I had to phone the operater and tell her how difficult it was for me to get in touch with the company....
anyways to make an already long story shorter, as peggy pointed out, when I knew better I did better. That is an example of how corporate a hospital birth can be, as Grolier is a part of a large network of companies that are "informed" if you have your child in a hospital!
I had problems with Disney before, but that put the icing on the cake for me. I can't stand the way the market is saturated with Disney characters, we can't escape.
Everything in moderation, sure. And I'm a tolerant, reasonable person. But I HATE Disney!
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#26 of 142 Old 01-09-2002, 06:04 PM
 
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Grolier headquarters is in Danbury CT...FYI! I grew up there and had several friends who worked there. If you ever have problems like that again, let me know. I think my girlfriend's mom is the sec'y to the president or something important like that! I'd be happy to help shake them up a bit if you have another problem!!

Robyn
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#27 of 142 Old 01-09-2002, 06:35 PM
 
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Thanks for the info Robyn. I know this is straying from the original intent of the thread though...but its also relevent because this is one of the subtle ways that children are marketed to, and Disney is one of the biggest offenders as far as I'm concerned.
The incident in question happened almost four years ago. I'm generally an assertive person, especially when it comes to telephone solictors (although I'm never impolite with them as they are people trying to make a living just like the rest of us). But I do remember it, because the woman tried to insinuate that there was something wrong with me because I didn't want a collection of Disney books for my one-week-old. I'm not bitter about it, and I am wiser for the experience. Grolier was not the only company that was harrassing me after we got home from the hospital. Should I ever have another child, I would definately make sure that the hospital didn't put my name on "the list." But then again, I would probably have a home birth anyways.

I must say, the only magical thing about Disney is the fact that they can weasel their way into even the most barricaded home!
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#28 of 142 Old 01-10-2002, 11:37 AM
 
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Like Yammer, we are immune to merchantising that we do not need. On the whole though, I enjoy toys that come with some movies.

On Disney, we have them all, and edit them all. There are many scenes fome Disney that are simply not appropriate for young children.

a

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#29 of 142 Old 01-10-2002, 03:16 PM
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Toy Story and Monsters are cute. The cartoons ar ewell imagined and beautifully animated. Donald Duck is great.
It would be hard to totally boycott Disney, but I thnk it promotes endless consumerism and supports child labor. Disneyland is miserable and expensive and is the Crappiest Place On Earth. That said, I doubt I will avoid it totally, just as I will be unable to shield ds from many things I don't like. So I will strive to educate and monitor him.
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#30 of 142 Old 01-11-2002, 08:14 PM
 
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My family loves Toy Story 1 and 2 and I love the original Winnie the Pooh movie(not as good as the book). I know there are so many problems with Disney movies especially the older ones dealing with racism and sexism. I refuse to ever let my kids watch Dumbo because I think it is really racist and I don't like Little Mermaid because she gives up her life for a man and the real story of the Little Mermaid does not end that way, but on the other hand Belle form Beauty and the Beast is so cool and smart. I would not mind my dd watching it at all. I guess it just depends on the movie. I do try to avoid buying Disney merchandise but if we get something as a gift I don't get offended or anything.........Stephanie
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