Do you let your children watch Disney? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 17 Old 11-10-2013, 03:50 AM - Thread Starter
 
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My sister came by the other day with The Little Mermaid. She brought over one other princess movie before, so we have two of them. I know the princesses are problematic, but I decided the relationship with the aunt is bigger than avoiding Disney princesses.

And we have gone to both Disneyland and Disneyworld and have another Disney trip planned so it seems silly for me to go to great lengths to avoid their shows and movies. But I do know people who won't allow anything Disney, and in particular anything regarding Disney princesses, in their homes.

I LOVE Pooh and so much Pooh stuff is Disney related since they did the movies. I wouldn't be able to keep away from that regardless. But there do seem to be different genres of Disney. The princesses of course, and then kids' stories, and then there are the old TV shows and movies like Johnny Tremain and Herbie the Love Bug. And then there are newer TV shows like Jake and the Neverland Pirates.

I'd like to hear where people stand on the whole Disney thing. Do you allow stuff other than princesses but not allow princesses? Do you kind of roll with it like I do? Do you avoid anything Disney related? It is a huge consumerist trap, I know. But my world isn't perfect and I guess I'm OK with that.
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#2 of 17 Old 11-10-2013, 05:31 AM
 
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The thing I really don't want to do is make the princess story forbidden fruit, that DD consumes away from me and doesn't talk about.  (This was me and all the television when I was young, so I'm very wary of it.)  I pretty much roll with it, especially since Disney's Princess and the Frog is the story of a hard-working girl who meets her true love while running a catering service so she can save up to open a restaurant.  The prince realizes he's been a callow jerk, and to win the princess, he cuts that out.  Also, he helps her get venture capital.  I have no problem with that message.

 

But DD knows that if she asks me to tell her a princess story, she's not getting the Disney version.  Last time we went through Cinderella, for example, Cindy and her step sisters agreed that marrying a guy you only met once at a party is dumb, but it's a bummer to skip the party everyone is going to, so you just have to go in with your head on straight.  Exchange phone numbers.  Meet for coffee.  In this version, Cinderella and the Prince did a few coffee dates, and dinner and a movie, and a couple of volunteer shifts together at a soup kitchen.

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#3 of 17 Old 11-10-2013, 08:27 AM
 
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We didn't avoid princess stuff or Disney. The princess movies were far to scary for my dd until about age six but we read the books( and other better princess books) and we watched movies with stronger female characters like Strawberry Shortcake and Barbie.

Everything we buy is marketed to some extent and most of it comes from third world countries so picking and choosing based on being against commercialism made no sense to me.

I have also never bought into the princess play is bad thing. I don't see how dressing up in sparkly flowing clothes and being a princess one day, Spiderman another, and a cat after that can be a bad thing. My dd is 11 and I truly just don't get why someone would limit play because it is princess play. If it was boys doing it we wouldn't care at all but when it's girls we feel it's a dilemma and get all controlling and place limits treating it like we would treat playing with sharp knifes.
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#4 of 17 Old 11-13-2013, 12:19 AM
 
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I am not especially pro- or anti-Disney. I love some of their older movies and I am a Pixar fan. Fairy tales are still too scary for DD and she doesn't care for princess things but she loves Tinker Bell. She thinks she is Tinker Bell. The new reboot franchise version bothers DH a lot and he doesn't understand why they couldn't start a new fairy series instead but obviously, DD doesn't care about that and it's been great for her imaginative play. She builds Pixie Hallow with wooden blocks, dances with her wings on, and paints Pixie Hallow in difference seasons. Would I have preferred that it was a generic fairy rather than commercialized Tinker Bell? Would that be more authentic? I don't' know but if DD is happy then I'm happy. :)

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#5 of 17 Old 11-13-2013, 01:37 PM
 
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Most of the Disney movies I think are fine.  Some are wonderful classics while others are just mediocre children's movies (we recently watched 101 Dalmatians--meh) but as a pleasant family activity or to entertain a sick child, I think they're fine.  I wouldn't let my kid watch any of them over and over and over again, but I feel that way about any movie.  Better to keep them for special occasions.

 

Disney World once a decade or so (I've been 3 times in my life; my son hasn't been there yet) is a fun vacation experience, but it's kind of weird, too.

 

I don't buy clothes or toys with Disney characters and have rarely bought any characters--the only exceptions I can think of are one Wall-E shirt and one pack of Elmo underwear--but if they are gifts, we keep them unless they're obnoxious or un-useful.

 

What I can't stand is most of the programming on Disney Channel.  We don't get it at home, but my son always wants to watch it in hotels or wherever he has access.  It's dreadful!!!  Snotty kids, dumb jokes, terrible acting, disrespect for adults, shallow materialistic values, even the occasional crass ethnic stereotype.  And then it seems that my kid behaves badly after watching it.  We avoid it as much as possible.

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#6 of 17 Old 11-15-2013, 09:28 PM
 
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NO Disney channel- except when we visit my mother twice a year or so... it's the big no no thing I let her "spoil" them with, and it is usually the baby shows

 

No Disney Princesses so far, nadda.  We read the brothers Grimm stuff so she does know some of the original stories.  I haven't out right forbidden it, and if I did I know it would backfire.

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#7 of 17 Old 11-16-2013, 06:48 PM
 
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My girl just turned 6 a few weeks back...We don't have cable but I have no problem with her watching Disney Jr....Princesses don't bother me....She watches at my moms house whenever she is there...she has Princess Barbies and a few accesorries...I don't think it is a problem...Do I let her whole world revolve around Princesses or Disney? Not anymore than I do any other pastime in her life...We get outside and spend time as a family as much as possible..I encourage lots of things...Her watching and playing Princess hasn't been a problem here....

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#8 of 17 Old 11-17-2013, 09:31 AM
 
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We have 2 girls.  I don't outlaw princess or disney stuff -- but I never sought it out on purpose with the goal that 'we'd have/collect it all'.  So it's pick & choose. 

We've watched stuff the girls themselves were interested in on their own or find a particular film and get it for home if we felt like it aligned with their personally-developed interests.  We've favored or appreciated the older films for the artistry - and point stuff like that out to them (we watch other anime-type films that are made by hand too).  I do particularly like some of the newer female characters and they reflect some of our kids interests (arts (like Rapunzel), cooking and restaurants (like Tiana)) so they have made sense for us.  I subversively encourage stuff like She-ra or Xena or female superheros (which we also watch stuff from) as models of active warrior 'princesses' with a whole different agenda than the disney counterparts.  

 

I know people who avoid these completely - for the sake of avoiding the imagination take-over (which I think is one of the more compelling reasons to avoid them).    

My main issue is 'hey, I don't want to get all this princess stuff if my kid doesn't even care about it - I'd rather have something more neutral' and we'd initially asked everyone to avoid it unless we'd asked (this was almost totally ignored:eyesroll).  But when/if my kid is interested, I'm fine with a minor indulgence that doesn't become an obsession, yk?  My younger dd loves Jake and the neverland pirates - but it's cause she loved pirates before she ever was exposed to that show, so of course she'd like it.  I'm sure she'd have latched onto something else pirate-y just as easily had she caught onto it first.       

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#9 of 17 Old 11-17-2013, 10:29 AM
 
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I don't allow Disney in my home after reading Peter and Rochelle Schweizer's book "Disney: The Mouse Betrayed"

 

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1035796.Disney

 

http://www.amazon.com/Disney-Mouse-Betrayed-Corruption-Children/dp/B007MXPB7A

 

I highly recommend it before letting your children turn into Disney fans or before going to Disneyland or Disneyworld.

 

I agree with EnviroBecca about everything she said about the Disney Channel, too.


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#10 of 17 Old 11-19-2013, 08:26 AM
 
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we allow Disney but the boys are more into lego and star wars - when we went to Orlando/Kissimmee we didn't go to Disney, we went to LEGOLAND instead. my husband loves star wars so that development seemed inevitable.


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#11 of 17 Old 11-19-2013, 08:37 AM
 
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No we don't. Primarily because we have gotten rid of cable completely and the kids only watch Netflix, very sparingly. They went through an iCarly phase though (a few seasons are on Netflix) and once I started hearing my 4 year old daughter talking about crushes and kissing, we were done with that. I think some of the themes on those older-kid shows are just not fitting for younger kids (who, invariably, find them fascinating). I think Disney can brainwash kids into thinking certain things about genders and social groups. 


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#12 of 17 Old 11-20-2013, 01:35 PM
 
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Yes. Younger DD loves princesses and disney, although she prefers Doc McStuffins right now. Older DD has outgrown cartoons, but watches the other shows on Disney. We go to Disneyland about once a year. smile.gif


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#13 of 17 Old 11-21-2013, 07:00 AM
 
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Pastamama wrote:

Quote:
 They went through an iCarly phase though (a few seasons are on Netflix) and once I started hearing my 4 year old daughter talking about crushes and kissing, we were done with that. I think some of the themes on those older-kid shows are just not fitting for younger kids (who, invariably, find them fascinating).

I find that I'm really more disturbed by the way "mature" themes are worked into Disney Channel shows and other preteen/teen programming, than the way they appear in shows about adults.  My son has seen many episodes of "The Simpsons" and occasional other programs that include references to romantic conflict, sexual activity, substance use, questionable moral choices (for example, Marge wins a cooking contest by spiking the other entries with horrible-tasting baby ear medicine), etc.  These often spark discussions.  I feel that the way these issues are presented in adult shows is more nuanced and real; it can be complicated to explain what each person was thinking, but I can explain it so that we can think about each person's perspective and motivations--whereas in the Disney Channel shows, it's all very superficial and silly and doesn't really make a lot of sense.

 

This was my own childhood experience, too: I saw a hilarious episode of "Three's Company" at a friend's house and then wanted to watch it all the time, so my dad would watch it with me and explain anything I didn't understand: why does Jack pretend to be gay, why can't Chrissy just admit she is dating two guys, what's a "call girl", etc.  This was very educational, both about what kinds of confusions adults face and about the moral reasoning my parents thought was correct, and then I had many years to mull over it all before I had to make any decisions about that sort of thing myself.  But when I occasionally watched shows about preteens or young teens dealing with crushes, nearly all of them made me feel sick because they trivialized the whole thing, made it seem like it's all just fun and silly and doesn't involve real people with real feelings.  Even "Three's Company" which is obviously written for laughs took the plotlines and characters more seriously.


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#14 of 17 Old 11-21-2013, 07:27 AM
 
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Here is where there are a lot of choices. One of the first movies was Mulan. My2 boys could relate to horses, we have horses; and to fighing with swords, a boys first weapon. BUt I also wanted them to see a woman in a strong role. I didn't like that Diney had corrupted the real story but the movie ha a workable theme that was generally beneficial-- friends sticking together. FIghting for what you believed in was right. Family honor; respecting elders. ANd i ntroduced a culture that was different than their american experience. 

 

Another was Hercules-- work hard to get what you want, we all have obstacles. Of course my kids only could see all the action and fighting--that was cool. It introduced another culture, an ancient culture and the "gods " of that culture and the relationship with the humans. THen when they go to the museum, they can relate to the section of greek and roman artifacts; or the marble scupture of a god. 

 

In our house, we talk during movies-- and we watch them over and over. We talk about character, conflict. Rewrite the ending. THis works bet when they have already seen the movie 6-10 times, and can start to see what I am asking about.  

 

As a woman I resent the old Disney stories about "tru love"-- it is all hogwash. ANd really only exemplifies the thinking and expectations of a small window of time in the human existence in then only in a few cultures. THank goodness I don't have girls-- this would really stress me out.  When does a PRince really get to choose his bride-- it is worked out by the parents-- Pricess Di and PRince CHarles is a modern example. 

 

Disney has made a HUGE number of great movies suitable for kids-- pick one suitable for your child and watch with them. 

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#15 of 17 Old 11-21-2013, 08:28 AM
 
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My son was into Disney when he was young. Now he hates it.  He does like movies where the girl is portrayed as being strong and kind.  He realized at a young age how absurd it was that disney princesses were depicted as needing to be saved by a man, etc.


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#16 of 17 Old 11-21-2013, 09:08 AM
 
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We love Disney.   We don't always love the movies, but the characters...we love the characters.  My daughter was a toddler when Lion King came out, and we went to see that twice, we bought the music, we bought the Simba toys, sheets, jammie.... we were ALL about Simba.  

Eventually she loved Bugs life and Toy Story, but never to the same degree as Simba.   

She also loved The Hunchback of Notre Dame, but, mostly because she loves music...she didn't appreciate it completely as a child, but came to love it later.

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#17 of 17 Old 11-22-2013, 01:48 PM
 
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Hi - My 4 1/2 year old DD started loving princesses over a year ago.  She has many of the dresses and we have many of the movies.  At first I was nervous as there are NO princess stories without some scary story line, but she seemed to not only not be scared, but wanted to know more about what was happening and who should be the princess' friend and who to stay away from.  She LOVES the music and we have a CD with several songs which she now sings each song, pretty much every word, and she's getting better at being in tune as she gets older.

 

She likes calling people Princesses and I was so touched when her baby brother arrived last year that she called him a Good Prince.  She likes playing Princess with her friends and it's all about dress-up.

 

My favorite movie is Snow White - their first princess story.

 

Disney Jr is another group of shows all-together, with Octonauts, Doc McStuffins, Bubble Guppies, Super Why and only one princess (Sofia).

 

Netflix now has the rights to play Disney, so if you are anti-Disney and have Netflix, you might want to watch as Disney may show up there.


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