Create an argument on one side of a debatable topic associated with marriage, divorce, and the changing character of families and individuals……..
This research paper analyses the effects of Disney movie of the society today. It starts by analyzing the general overview of Disney movies, has it evolved over the tears and their impacts on the children and the modern society today. The racial and negative ethnicity propagated by Disney movies into the minds of kids has been discussed. The review of previous studies on Disney films have been in the second section of this research which gives the researcher a clear understanding of Disney cultures and which formed the basis this paper will adopted.
The paper then analyses the impact of Disney culture on marriage, divorce and family as experienced in the family today. A combination of literatures and the current family and marriage experiences are used to deduce the role and contribution of Disney movies to scenarios the present families are exhibiting. The paper finally gives the conclusions and recommendation which are useful to all stakeholders in this research.
1.0 overview of Disney movies
Disney Corporation has been a darling to many kids since 1930s. The corporation is engaged in production of Disney movies for children which have been brainwashing and captivating children for over seven decades now, exciting them with beautiful love stories like Cinderella, the little mermaid, snow white, and seven Dwarfs among other Disney thrilling tales. All theses have indeed fascinated generations of little girls by giving them dreams of growing up beautiful and find their prince and live a happy life, (Hurley. 2005).
These ideas have been held by many people into their adulthood, a time when the reality of life sets in and the lessons of Disney films turns sour. Accordingly, not a single person has been flawless as characters depicted in Disney films. However, the effects of Disney movies on children and impacts on their later life after childhood are equally enormous. In real life, so many young girls have grown up desperately searching for their non existent charming princes only to be disappointed at the end, (Sirk, 2009).
These movies have been criticized for allegedly propagating racism and reinforcing the idea of white privilege, an example being the lady and the tramp for its negative stereotyping of Asians, and Dombo which negatively stereotypes black race. Older Disney movies have gender stereotypes as they portray women in two main perspectives, the happy kind and the evil women who depend on men for their survival. Demonizing in theses movies is profound which have taught children to demonize bad behaviors at very young age.
3.0 literature review of previous studies on Disney movies
Different studies have been done on Disney films touching on aspects of life, implications of death on children, the gender role portrayed in Disney films, racism and ethnicity in the films and their impacts on the society, roles of mothers and women as portrayed in Disney films among others. This research analyzes the impact of Disney movies on today’s society, focusing on marriage, divorce and the changing characters of families and individuals. Several studies have examined the content of Disney animated movies such as those done by Beres, (1999), Dundes, (2001) and wiersma, (2001). Other studies on cultural, racial and ethnic aspects have also been conducted by the likes of (Gooding-Williams, 1995; Martin-Rodriguez, 2000; Palmer, 2000).
According to Sirk, (2009), Disney movies have misled many young girls with the ideas of searching for non existing charming prince and living a happy life in future. This has not been the case in real life situation and has negatively impacted on their adult life. This movies has therefore contributed to family breakdown because young women are not able to obtain what they expected leading to conflicts and eventual divorce and separation in their families. Sirk attributes increased single parenthood to Disney culture and ideologies, which planted unachievable fiction into the minds of young people.
Another interesting view by Mielk (n.d) suggests that Disney movies have shielded children from reality, which according to him is cruel and unfair and has made kids more vulnerable to the harsh reality. They have made kids to foolishly believe that world is always fair, and they are not prepared for future life challenges that come to haunt them in their adult life. Another fascinating study by Taylor & Francis found that gender, racial and cultural stereotypes have persisted in most Disney movies, with just a few examples of positive portrayals, which are only found in later and recent films. Accordingly, marginalized groups of the society have been portrayed negatively in most of Disney movies.
2.0 Effects of Disney movies on today’s society
According to Disney movies, the ideas of love at first sight as impacted into the minds of children have resulted into promiscuity and prostitution among young kids leading to unnecessary diseases and pregnancies. The idea of perfect marriage as depicted in the movies have misled many peoples and have great contributed to the increased cases of divorce and separation among many marriages today. This has been coupled by the notion that children are immediate necessity in any marriage.
The ideas presented in these movies are not realistic and many people have found themselves struggling with the reality of life against their expectation leading to depression and related health complications among many people especially the women.
5.0 Impact of Disney culture on family, marriage and divorce
Disney films distorted the reality about marriage. Couples expectations are based on Disney flicks and ideas which are not realized leading confrontations in the life of many people. Many people were therefore never prepared for harsh realities and challenges they end up finding in marriage today. According to poem: sex, marriage and fairytales, (n. d), couples today find themselves in weird position because Disney films distorted their reality of life. Accordingly, marriage and family life was supposed to be happy, but they are like prison to many couples, (Wiersma, 2001).
Role of women in marriage was reduced to child bearing and household jobs in most Disney movies. Men have non domestic works in the seventeen of the movies, and are seen doing domestic chores in just three of the movies, Pinocchio, Jungle and Tarzan. This however is not the case in the society today with many women taking up professional jobs. This has greatly changed family life from that portrayed in Disney movies. This has resulted in sourcing the services of house helps to take the roles presumed to belong to housewives. In other cases, men are required to do domestic works which has caused some fracas and conflicts in some families where men are not ready to assist in domestic chores, claiming they are women tasks mainly because of an idea they learnt and adopted from childhood years via Disney movies, (Craven, 2002).
According to Disney movies, love was supposed to lead to marriage. However, this is not the case in society today with many couples divorcing mainly because they rushed into marriage without taking time to know their partners but rather basing their marriage on love. Marriage is more than love in itself; hence many divorce cases can be attributed to misconception of marriage brought into peoples minds by Disney culture, (Wiersma, 2001).
The notion by Disney culture that children are immediate necessity in marriage has been another major cause of divorce and separation in the society today. This has been pronounced by societal cultural values which emphasizes the importance of children in marriage. Most marriages have broken due to their inability to bear children. Racist ideologies in the movies of Disney have also found their way in families and societies of today. Most films including lady and the tramp and dombo greatly undermined black and Asian races while promoting white races, this notion has negatively impacted on families comprising multiple races especially in America and other parts of the world. Marriage between white and black races has been faced with both internal challenges, mainly due to the bad notion created by Disney movies, (Disney’s Effects on Children, n.d).
The idea of perfect marriage instilled into young children by Disney movies have failed in reality, with most families being faced with harsh economic and social challenges of today’s society. This has resulted in many divorce cases and conflicts in families due to unachieved expectation planted into peoples’ minds at very tender age. According to Disney movies, women are naturally domestic and are portrayed in domestic roles, and are supposed to marry; this is the case in movies Dwarfs, Cinderella, lady, Jungle, Hercules and many others. In only two films, Tarzan and Pocahon–tas was marriage not seen the ultimate goal and in only three Disney movies, Dalmatians, Aladdin and Mulan, where women are seen engaged in both domestic and non domestic tasks, (Wiersma, 2001).
Many women expect men to provide for all their family needs and requirements which are not the case in today’s society, with emerging culture of single women and men in the society, many families are breaking up due unexpected challenges.
The superficial beauties of women which Disney movies valued so much have contributed to family conflicts many couples find themselves in. In fifteen movies of Disney, men are portrayed to lose their senses at the beauty of a woman, in Cinderella all men stops and stare at Cinderella as she walks; also in snow white, Cinderella and sleeping beauty, princes fall in love with women just by a glimpse of an eye. Men marry beauty only to realize that they are not compatible with their partners. This misinformation that beauty is what matters in love and marriage has led to many people marrying without considering other factors necessary for a happy marriage. (Wiersma, 2001). This has contributed to current breakdown of marriages and increasing numbers of single parents.
The movies by Disney corporations seem to recommend the use of evil means such as witchcraft to attain love; an example is in the movie small mermaid. Studies have shown linkages between what a person sees at young age and what he does in later years. Many people are currently engaged in evil ways in an effort to obtain love no matter the costs,( even at the cost of someone’s life), especially in societies marred with acts of witchcraft. This has led to unnecessary loss of lives and separation of families in the society today, a situation attributed to watching Disney movies.
In Disney movies, men are portrayed as being rational, ambitious, powerful, stable and competitive. Nineteen movies by Disney corporations depict men as naturally strong and heroic. In most movies, men are portrayed as rescuers who save the day, an example is Pinocchio saving Geppeto from the belly of whale and in the movie lady, Tramp rescues babies from rats, an interesting point is that, in most of these movies, men are rescuing women, Robin fights to protect Marion and Aladdin saves Jasmine among others cases and movies, (Wiersma, 2001).
This has been the expectations of many young women, (to marry strong and caring men) who get married only to realize that their men are not what they expected them to be. This has resulted in conflicts and family breakdowns which are being witnessed in the society today. On the other hand, this has promoted domestic violence we experience, as men attempts to confirm their purported characteristics as portrayed in most of Disney movies. A study conducted by hooks, (1994) confirms that most women are attracted to masculine men; a notion derived from Disney culture, with the notion that they are strong and will provide them with protection and security.
Violence against women has also been heightened by Disney films which have emphasized men control over women as a form expressing romance. In most cases, women interpret physical and other forms of abuse as a sign that they have a caring and powerful partner. The implications of this are increased cases of violence in marriages which most times lead to loss of life and destruction of family properties.
Men have therefore resorted to physical means to express their emotions, an extract is found in the movie Cinderella, in which the king Yells and throws things around while talking to his kids and wife to express his anger. In other cases, threats are often used to enforce some orders, an example adopted from the movie beauty in which Gaston uses threats and violence in his bid to win over Belle’s attention and love.
6.0 Conclusions and recommendations
This study highlights major impacts of Disney culture to the society today and how it more its effects on marriage, divorce and family characteristics. The society today is faced with increasing cases of family conflicts, divorce and separation. The role of media and movies in general need not to be underestimated. Given the long impact Sidney movies have on the society, there is need to regulate production and airing of movies, especially those targeting the young population of our society.
Parents and teachers have a big role to play in helping children to understand movies and other media broadcasts they see to prepare them for a better future. This is because of increased movies and articles that are not healthy for the children’s’ life today and in future. Proper guidance from parents and teachers, if combined with proper regulations will greatly do more justice to our children.
Sirk. B, (2009, 23rd may) classic Disney movies that teach terrible lessons. [Online] available at http://www.helium.com (Accessed on May 27, 2009 )
Craven, A. (2002): Beauty and the belles: Discourses of feminism and femininity in Disneyland. The European Journal of Women’s Studies, 9(2), 123-142.
Disney’s Effects on Children (n.d). [online] available at http://www.ehow.com (Accessed on 27Th April, 2012).
Hooks, B. (1994). Outlaw culture. New York: Routledge.
Hurley. D. L, (2005): Journal of Negro Education; “Seeing White: Children of Color and the Disney Fairy Tale Princess”; Summer 2005.
Mark Mielke. (n.d). [online] Does Disney Have a Negative Effect on Kids? available at http://voices.yahoo.com (accessed on 27th April, 2012).
Poem: sex, marriage and fairytales, (n.d). [Online] available at http://www.revelife.com (Accessed on 27Th April, 2012).
Taylor and Francis. (2008, 8th sep). [Online]. Images of Gender, Race, Age, and Sexual Orientation in Disney Feature-Length Animated Films. Available at http://www.tandfonline.com (Accessed on 27Th April, 2012).
Wiersma, B. A. (2001). The gendered world of Disney: A content analysis of gender
themes in full-length animated Disney feature films (Doctoral dissertation, South
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