Hey Hi my lovelies! My name is Tanya Hooper and welcome to TanyaTale. This blog is home to everything and anything to do with literature and creative writing and posts every Friday at 7pm! To those of you new to the blog do be sure to click that follow button to join our wordpress community or you can find an email subscription available below this post! To those of you returning to this blog – welcome back.
This weeks post is something a little different to my usual writing. Since the age of about 7 I’ve been fascinated with all things Walt Disney. Not only did I love the films but I have always found Mr W. Disney himself to be an interesting character but of late his work seems to be a little controversial.
With posts such as 5 reasons I hate Disney and 14 reasons parents should NEVER let their kids watch Disney movies becoming increasingly popular on blogs and websites today I thought it was about time we remembered the positives of Disney fairy tales.
#1 Disney reminds us that the smallest voice can make a difference
This Mouse, the tiniest of creatures, has changed and moulded our generation. Every child has heard of Disney. Love it or hate it you know it and the impact this mouse has had on the world is undeniably phenomenal. And if ever there was a good moral message to be sending out to the kids of the future it is that ANYONE can make a difference. No matter your size … even if you are a mouse.
#2 Disney “create happiness”
When Walt Disney created Mickey Mouse in 1928, Disney had no idea that 90 years later the Mouse would be the face of a company worth over 100 Billion dollars. All he wanted was to entertain and bring happiness to people with his cartoons. The Disney Mission statement reflected this by stating “We create happiness by providing the best in entertainment for people of all ages everywhere.” Now to those people who see Mickey Mouse as the face of modern day capitalism just a reminder that this was clearly never an aim.
#3 Disney offers a “friendlier” alternative
As anyone who has ever read the original versions of tales such as Cinderella or little red the little mermaid, you will agree that not only are the stories far more gruesome but the endings tend not to share the feature of happy endings of which Disney’s tales do. For example in the Grimm tale of Cinderella the ugly step sisters cut off their toes and heels to get their foot to fit into their shoes (ew) and in the original the little mermaid she may get legs but every step she takes feels like she is treading on broken glass. As I am sure that you agree, this is not always the most appropriate image for young children.
Disney have taken fairy tales and made them lighter, brighter and fun while still maintaining the same morals and plot points of the original tales. Cinderella still goes to the ball but her step sisters don’t cut off their toes and birds don’t pluck their eyes out as punishment… I don’t see an issue with that.
#4 Disney is evolving!
One of the biggest criticisms against Disney is that it is misogynistic. Feminism is a growing concern of the modern world and so it should be. I agree that we should be teaching the children of tomorrow that they do not need to comply to traditional gendered roles. Men can stay at home and women can go to work. However, some of Disney’s earlier works do not reflect this. For example snow white stays home while the 7 men go out to work and nearly every Disney princess is saved by a prince. While I agree that this is not an image the modern world wishes to portray we must remember that these were written in the early 1900’s.
Disney is evolving and changing. It is adapting to modern day society. Brave teaches girls that they do not always need a man. Tangled see’s the princess as the heroine not the prince. Frozen shows that family love is stronger than the bond between a man and a woman any day #girlpower! Disney is not the same brand it was when it started nearly 100 years ago. It is growing!
#5 Disney is becoming more diverse
Now i admit that this one still has a little way to go. But lets look at the progress Disney have made so far. 90 years ago Disney couldn’t have imagined a black princess but in 2010 Princess and the Frog saw Tiana the first black princess. And she is not alone. other heroines such as Mulan, Pocahontas and Moana are also minorities. Princesses no longer have to be petite innocent pale skin blondes!
Of course, there is always more we can do to push for diversity but at least they are making a start and something is always better than nothing.
Now i could go on, and perhaps in the future i will create another post telling you why i am such a fan of Disney and why i feel like one of their avid defenders but for now, at least we have started showing Disney for what it is as opposed to the capitalist money maker many people are presenting it as.
I hope you enjoyed this post. If you did please be sure to click the like button and feel free to discuss any of these points in the comments below. I would love to see what you thing. See you all next Friday at 7pm.