Best Disney animations are entertaining and fun and sometimes we tend to forget that they’re full of stereotypes and discrimination. Why Disney doesn’t choose to right its wrongs, we simply don’t understand. Do they think that little children can’t understand or deal with a powerful woman who doesn’t need or want a man? Do they think that’s dangerous thinking? Or do they merely like to appeal to our simpler side, the one that goes in, buys a movie ticket and sits through something that neither enthralls nor excites. We’re going to take a look as ten disturbing things Disney taught us, hopefully people and Disney will take notice and things will change for the better.
10. Racial Stereotyping at Its Best
Disney used to be flaming racists; Dumbo portrayed black people as talking crows and the leader of the gang was called Jim. Yes, Disney actually used Jim Crow as a name. They did it again in The Jungle Book when all the actors voicing monkeys were black or white talking as black people, which is as racist as you’re going to get. We’re not going to mention the Native Americans in Peter Pan. That’s so racist that it almost hurts.
9. The Ultimate Goal is Marriage
OK, maybe Merida changed this idea a bit, but it was merely a drop in the ocean. Everything that happens into the life of a Disney princess is a preparation for marriage, it seems. Everything stops after she finds her prince, her husband because that’s it! You’re married, so what more could you want from life?!
8. Evil Never Wins
This is a very dangerous lesson to teach young children. The moment they’ll experience on their own skin that evil does sometimes win, they’ll be disappointed and have Disney to thank for everything. OK, we may be exaggerating a bit, but still… it would be nice to have a Disney cartoon where the bad guy wins. That’s probably never going to happen.
7. All Women Should Be Princesses
One of the most disturbing things Disney taught us is that all women should be or act like princesses. They need to be beautiful, impeccably dressed, should want a man and a family, they should be kind and respectful and the list could go on. Even though Disney is beginning to move away from that stereotype, with movies such as Brave and Frozen, they still have a long way to go.
6. Women Should Wait for the Man to Make His First Move
Disney likes their heroines passive. Even the characters that are a bit bolder and more independent will wait for the man to make the first move and initiate things. Did you know that Rapunzel initiates all three kisses in the Tangled? We applaud that and wait for more where that came from.
5. Parents Die
Disney could very well just hate parents, because it seems that most of their protagonists are orphans or estranged from their parents. Dumbo gets separated from his mother, Rapunzel lives for 18 years without her parents, Snow White’s mother dies and gets replaced by an evil woman and Belle only has a dad who’s old and sick. And let’s not even bring up Bambi! That scene traumatized me for eternity.
4. Princes versus Pigs
In almost all Disney movies, the men are either Princes (handsome, valiant and kind) or they’re pigs (such as Gaston from Beauty and the Beast). That’s not saying much for the male species, is it? We know that they’re just cartoons, but you have to realize that these are the cartoons that are shaping the young and impressionable minds of young boys and girls.
3. Belle as the Beast
Imagine this twisted scenario: Belle from Beauty and the Beast as the Beast and the Prince as Belle. How do you think that would have worked? Do you think the prince would have fallen in love with Belle the Beast? We think that the answer is a big, fat NO. That’s not what society and Disney likes – men falling in love with women for their internal beauty.
2. Women Should Clean, Cook and Tend to Men
Snow White is everything women used to be in the 40’s; everything that is wrong with a patriarchal society. She cleaned and cooked with a smile on her face and a song in her voice. She was chaste, fragile, slim and beautiful and she lived with seven grown-up men. There’s something wrong with that picture and it’s not living with seven men.
1. You Need to Change for Your Man
Ariel teaches this very lesson the best! She goes against her parents for a dude, she changes who she is and gives up everything she knows and has for a man. She’s the typical teenager who rebels against her parents for all the wrong reasons and she’s sending out a very bad message to young girls everywhere: if you want to get a man, you have to change who you are. Lovely, isn’t it?
What did you think of these disturbing things Disney taught us? Do you agree with them? Would you like to add anything to the list? Drop us a line if you do.