Why Disney Movies are Bad for Children


Photo courtesy of Flickr.com

Ali Calnan, Staff Writer

          Aladdin, Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast, and so many other classic Disney movies are watched by millions of children globally. It is very easy to have an influence on children since they absorb so much that they see around them. What they watch, words they hear, sights they see can stick with them for years. Much of the reasoning behind why people develop the way they do stems from their childhood. Also, they have such little understanding of life and what is right versus wrong. According to R.Y. Langham, M.M.F.T., Ph.D. and editor-in-chief of “The Herald” from Fisk University, “Belief systems in children and teens are also influenced by movies, especially in the absence of an already established belief system.”

          Many Disney movies involve a beautiful princess and a man she falls in love, with which instills a lesson that love can conquer all. Unfortunately, such movies are bad for Kids. If children, girls especially, continue to view the lives of Belle, the Little Mermaid, and Cinderella, they might believe that they have to look like them in order to have that glorious, appealing life. There are awful underlying messages in the movies that these characters are in. For example, in “Beauty and the Beast,” the Beast holds Belle captive in his enormous castle-like a prisoner. Then, once she is allowed to leave, she chooses not to, as she thinks the abusive and controlling relationship will get better. In “The Little Mermaid,” in order to marry Eric, Ariel must transform from a mermaid into a regular human. Why does she have to change herself for a man to marry her? This sends a negative message to children because it makes them feel as though they need to live the same lives as the Disney Princesses or other characters in order to be happy. This is unrealistic. Also, a huge corporation with as massive of a following such as Disney should not make children believe that they have to change themselves to be content.

          With all of the past Disney movies negatively influencing children, it is questionable what eventual films will be like. In 2013, “Frozen” was released, and it was one of the first movies where the damsel relied on her sister to save her, rather than the man she was in love with. Society has changed so much since many classic Disney movies have come out. There is a higher population of people with different ethnicity, sexuality, religion, and culture than there ever has been in, especially in America. Whether or not Disney will take this into account in the future is unknown, but they do have to keep their main audience in mind- children, which are the most easily affected demographic that absorb so much.