Things Disney taught us

Things Disney taught us

No matter how much we don’t want to admit it, the movies we watch, especially as kids, shape who we are today.

Even with all of the movies that glorify violence, sex, drugs and alcohol, society tends to forget about one of the largest film industries that has greatly influenced our morals today: Walt Disney Productions.

As embarrassing as it may seem, children glorify their favorite cartoon characters rather than real life people. Despite the endless love for their parents, they never want to listen to what their parents have to say until they see a fictional example. Although this may seem like a poor way to learn morals, it can be proved very effective when looking back at some of the greatest Disney films ever made.

Beauty and the Beast

When the relationship between Belle and the beast develops, children are taught that judging a person based off of looks is extremely misleading. After trying to rescue her father, Belle is trapped in an enchanted castle with the beast as her host. The beast is large, intimidating and somewhat resembles a bear that can walk on two legs. However, instead of drawing back in fear of him, Belle is kind and befriends the beast, seeing the inner prince he really is. 

Mulan

The story of Mulan represents a battle that has been fought dating back to the beginnings of civilization: women’s rights. When her elderly father gets chosen to represent the Fa family in the war against the Mongol Huns, Mulan decides to impersonate his son and take his place in the war. Throughout the whole plot, Mulan proves herself to not be only the best woman, but the best overall person for the job when she saves China.

Aladdin

In the story of Aladdin, children are taught to not believe the many stereotypes that society holds. Princess Jasmine believes Aladdin lives the life she wants to live because he’s free from societal responsibilities. Likewise, Aladdin believes Jasmine has more freedom than him because of her enormous wealth. When the two meet, they realize each of them has what the other wants. The stereotypes they once held vanish and they realize that they need to get to know each other before they make flash judgments. 

The Little Mermaid

The Little Mermaid teaches children to never give up their voice. Princess Ariel is a mermaid that has always wanted to experience what it’s like to live life with legs. When she sees the man of her dreams, Prince Eric, on land, she decides she will do anything to get to know him, even give up her voice to the evil Octopus Queen, Ursula. When she finally gets her voice back, Prince Eric realizes that he’s also in love with her. This story-line teaches children that their voice is the most influential and powerful thing we own as human beings.

 Frozen

Last but not least, the newest Disney movie, Frozen, teaches girls that they have the same capabilities as men. We have never seen a Disney movie where girls are rulers of kingdoms, until now. Queen Elsa and Princess Ana defeat everyone’s doubt that they are not fit to run a kingdom when Elsa learns how to control her powers and unfreezes the kingdom. Frozen gives off a sense of sisterly love and independence that is so important for young girls to learn today.

Although Disney movies may look like just another children’s movie meant to keep kids entertained on the exterior, they are so much more than that. Maybe as kids we don’t believe that these films have a point to them, but looking back, you can always find the powerful, underlying messages that many Disney movies hold.