The wonderful world of Disney. That’s what most people think of when they hear the word “Disney”. But, what most people do not realize is that Disney has had a great influence in our lives. From most of our childhoods we have been immersed in Disney, which has continued its influence all the way up to adulthood.
Now, some people argue that Disney has hidden meanings, that it sends the wrong message to children. Well, I’ve got news for those “nay-sayers”, you are entitled to your opinion but in my opinion, you are wrong. Disney is a children’s corporation for the most part, their target audience is children. The adults who over-analyze Disney’s motives are missing the big picture. These stories are meant purely for entertainment, and when children watch these movies, they do not pick up on the hidden innuendos and subliminal messages that are originally put into the movie for the parents’ entertainment in the first place!
I understand that Disney has common themes about beauty and the girl always getting the guy sort of thing. But, would you rather them tell the real, dismal fairy tale of the original story to kids. Because that would go over so well… Imagine, the children would be horrified, and most likely scarred for life. Disney made these stories into something wonderful.
I grew up with Disney. My parents tell me that I basically was a Disney movie whore. There wasn’t a day in my early childhood without Disney. I still have all of my VHS tapes of the Disney movies. Looking back on it now, if I didn’t have Disney in my life then, I wouldn’t appreciate as much as I do now. I think I love it more at 19 years old, rather than when I was five. I can’t even imagine my life without Disney. It has bought such joy to my life. Whenever I’m feeling down I pop in an old Disney movie. It brings back my childhood, I feel like a kid again.
I think that’s why most children love Disney. It makes them feel good. It has such a positive influence on a lot of people’s lives, generations have been touched by its imagination and spirit. Disney has had a humongous influence on our culture.
One of the common themes I see in Disney movies are that the good always defeat the bad in the end. The characters start out sort of lost or confused about who they are or where they fit into this world. Along the way the main character usually runs into trouble, usually with a villain. That villain represents the temptation of being drawn into the evil side. By the end of the movie we see the characters find their path and they become a better person after their journey.
Another common theme I see, especially in the princess movies, the main character wants to be their own person. Usually they end up with a prince of some sort, but I think that’s Disney’s way of throwing them a bonus. Every princess comes to the realization that she doesn’t want to follow the rules, she wants to do what’s best for her. I’ll be honest, sometimes their ideas are stupid and they end up in trouble but in the end they find their way purpose.
Princess Ariel is my absolute favorite princess. I’ve watched “The Little Mermaid” at least a hundred times, and I am not over exaggerating when I say that. I love Ariel because to me she represents innocence, passion, desire, beauty, kindness, and adventure. She’s just a misunderstood kid trying to find her place in her world. She has taught me to go after my dreams and no to be afraid to do anything to get it. She’s been an inspiration to me and she always will be.
It really grinds my gears when I hear critics talk about how “The Little Mermaid” is a poor role model for children. Okay, I understand that it seems like Ariel represent some dumb, naive pretty girl who gives up her voice for some guy, but that’s not all what it’s about. Ariel wants to break free from her hidden underwater life.
She wants to be different, she wants to be herself. Living underwater unhappy, stuck in a life she doesn’t want. Her character represents breaking away from tradition and finding something more than what you already have. Ariel wants exploration, to interact with people who are different than her. “Bright young women, Sick of swimming, Ready to stand. And ready to know what the people know. Ask ’em my questions and get some answers. What’s a fire and why does it, [What’s the word?] burn. When’s it my turn?” Ariel wants to be part of a world where she feels she will be accepted for who she is. She wants to be her own person, live under her own rules, and do what she wants. She’s a normal teenage girl, just like me.
Just with this one example we can see that Disney isn’t an evil conglomerate that they are made out to be. There’s good in every story that Disney has delivered us and has values and morals we can all live by. I am happy to say that I grew up in a world of Disney. I have taken some of these life lessons and lived by them. Disney as impacted my life in a positive way. I am thankful for the encouragement Disney has given me to be the person that I am meant to be.
Of course, Disney is not the only thing that has influenced my life. My parents, friends, and environment have also played a gigantic role in creating the person I am today.
When we are little we don’t necessarily realize that what happens in the movies isn’t always real life. I mean, kids know the difference between fairy tale and real life. Eventually, as we get older we learn that what happens in the movies doesn’t always happen in real life. But that’s the beauty of Disney because it allows us to escape the harsh reality of life and immerse ourselves into a fairy tale where everything is essentially perfect.
The Disney culture is known all over the world. It doesn’t appear only as films, but it is a huge franchise. Disney merely takes Disney characters and takes their influential power to sell merchandise to children. This of course creates a demand for children to want all the toys, backpacks, clothes, bed sheets, school supplies, or whatever else would have their favorite character’s face on it. Then, this puts a pressure on the parents to buy all the crap they know their children don’t need but they buy it anyway because it makes the kids happy.
I don’t necessarily agree with this tactic of Disney. From a business standpoint it’s genius! However from a personal standpoint of the possibility that Disney could be exploiting parents into buying these items because if they don’t they’ll look bad in their children’s eyes is a little too far. I agree when some critics say that it is wrong, but mind you, it is a business and they are trying to make money. The corporation is only doing what works to make them money, and they won’t stop anytime soon, that’s for sure.
Since Disney has such an enormous impact on our society I can see the advantages of having them in our lives. They do support a lot of research and charity for all kinds of diseases, disorders, and issues people face in our country and all over the world. Disney is most notable for their “Make a Wish” foundation, that provides kids to have their dream come true for a day.
They do give back to the community and try to do the right thing, even though it sometimes overshadowed by the negativity it receives from the critics.
Disney is going to a corporation that is never going to leave my memory and more importantly my life. I want to give my children the same joyous childhood moments that I had with Disney. The Disney movies and culture I grew up with helped shape the person I am today and I am thankful for Walt Disney for creating such a wonderful, often criticized, company. There are important values and lessons we all can take from Disney. I don’t think I have ever met someone who has never been touched by Disney. It has such an important role in our society how can we write it off as a brainwashing children? It is one of the simple pleasures in this life that critics overlook and it should not be taken for granted.