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  • [Chat] Is Disney really distorting reality with its messages?

    We all know about it. All the things they say in the Disney movies "When you wish upon a star", "Believe and all your dreams will come true" things like that. Is the Disney company distorting reality for kids and having them become naive that simply believing, they'll have whatever they wish for?

    It does seem that way, however I see it as a message to stay positive no matter what life throws at you. A good example would be Walt himself. No sooner had he mentioned his park among financers and current amusment park owners. They shunned his idea, nobody would finance his project. Yet he continued to pursue it and was able to cut a deal with ABC. despite the slander, and the negativity brought onto him. Although the park opened rather lackluster, over the years The park continues to thrive. All this happened just because of one mans determination for what he wanted.

    In a way all those motto's and saying in Disney movies hold true to reality. "No matter how your heart is grieving, If you keep on believing, a dream that you wish will come true". This is just how I see it, anyone else have their own opinion?


  • #2
    Re: Is Disney really distorting reality with its messages?

    I believe that we need to simply believe more. I don't think it's being naive, it's about not being discouraged. Just do what you love, and love what you do, and the results won't even matter.


    For some some great trip reports, features and reviews, please check out http://www.thedisneylandreport.com.

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    • #3
      Re: Is Disney really distorting reality with its messages?

      Some of the early fairy-tale based movies were "just believe and some prince will save you." But if you look beyond the song lyrics, and especially at the more recent movies, there is often a deeper message.

      Pinocchio couldn't just believe, he had to be good and become unselfish to be a real boy.

      Dumbo had to overcome his fears.

      Bambi had to grow-up early and overcome adversity to take his place as the Prince of the Forest.

      Mulan risked her life to fight for her country and keep her father from being killed in the war.

      Tiana worked hard to buy her restaurant.

      Lightning McQueen learned to give up his dream because doing right by your friends is more important.
      .

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      • #4
        Re: Is Disney really distorting reality with its messages?

        I think a lot of Pixar movies have great messages that apply to real life situations. When you think about it, almost all of their movies teach people about good friendships and the consequences of neglecting them. I always liked that Pixar really brought stuff down to earth and made it more relative to people's lives.

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        • #5
          Re: Is Disney really distorting reality with its messages?

          What is reality but a collective hunch?





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          • #6
            Re: Is Disney really distorting reality with its messages?

            Originally posted by Ron W View Post
            Some of the early fairy-tale based movies were "just believe and some prince will save you." But if you look beyond the song lyrics, and especially at the more recent movies, there is often a deeper message. Pinocchio couldn't just believe, he had to be good and become unselfish to be a real boy. Dumbo had to overcome his fears. Bambi had to grow-up early and overcome adversity to take his place as the Prince of the Forest. Mulan risked her life to fight for her country and keep her father from being killed in the war. Tiana worked hard to buy her restaurant. Lightning McQueen learned to give up his dream because doing right by your friends is more important.
            I laughed so hard when I read this! Bambi becoming Prince of the Forest - Yep, good one. Mulan risking her life fighting for her country and saving her father - Excellent. Pinocchio dreaming to become real - Wonderful goal. Tiana............ saving up to buy a resteraunt!!!??? Is that really the plot of the movie? LOL.

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            • #7
              Re: Is Disney really distorting reality with its messages?

              Movies are escapism; all movies, including many in the so-called "documentary" catagory. Nothing wrong with that. A good "parental grounding" between life and fantasy will keep most kids grounded in reality. Disneyland is not real life, that's why we go; Fantasy !

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              • #8
                Re: Is Disney really distorting reality with its messages?

                Only if you take them 100% literally, and I think most people grow out of that.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Is Disney really distorting reality with its messages?

                  I was a young girl during the late 50s/early 60s. I played with 'unrealistic expectations' Barbie, ie original Barbie. My darling Mom read me fairy tales every night. I grew up on Princesses Snow, Cindy, Aurora, etc both Disney & fairy tale book versions. June Cleaver was the 'ideal' housewife & mother. TV commercials told me what I needed to do to land 'my Prince'. Trust me, those of us girls who grew up in that day faced everything girls do today plus the idea we needed to give it all up once we landed the right man. I think most of us managed to survive with our 'selves' intact. I didn't grow up to believe that a handsome prince was going to 'take me away from it all' nor that I would have to 'remake myself into his ideal' once I found him. And I did find him, but he loves me 'just the way I am', that's what makes him truly a 'prince'. That's because through it all I had a good example of unselfish love & mutual respect in my parents. Magic was/is wonderful, but I knew what reality was. Disney may show kids 'fantasy', but it is we, as parents, who show our kids 'reality'. And Disney magic and fantasy definitely have a place in everyone's reality. Especially in these days, when reality is more 'real' than ever, we truly need Princes and Princesses, Mickey & Minnie, Pooh, and the rest of the Disney 'gang'. I believe in Disney Magic. I always will. I hope my now-grown successful sons, who grew up on Disney Magic always will, too. Long live the Mouse & everything he stands for!

                  I now yield my soapbox to the next speaker. Sorry, but people/parents (not the OP nor previous posters on this thread, but those that don't 'get it') blaming Disney & make-believe in general for creating distorted self-images & unreal expectations, especially for girls, is a pet peeve.
                  "Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass, it's about learning to dance in the rain.​"

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                  • #10
                    Re: Is Disney really distorting reality with its messages?

                    Originally posted by misfits138 View Post
                    I laughed so hard when I read this! Bambi becoming Prince of the Forest - Yep, good one. Mulan risking her life fighting for her country and saving her father - Excellent. Pinocchio dreaming to become real - Wonderful goal. Tiana............ saving up to buy a resteraunt!!!??? Is that really the plot of the movie? LOL.
                    The point wasn't that her dream was to simply open a restaurant (and stop being a frog), but that she had a goal that most would have considered beyond reach, but she didn't give up, and kept working toward it.

                    On that same subject, perhaps Disney has considered some of these same concerns, since I remember a part in that movie where Tiana, as a child makes a wish on a star. Her father tells her that the star can't do it all by itself. It will take a lot of work on Tiana's part. (or words to that effect.) So, the idea was she had to work to achieve her goal.

                    Many recent flicks had protagonists who had to achieve thier goals themselves, even if they were helped by magic.

                    Repunzel had to make the effort to actually leave and make the journey. Beast had to EARN Belle's affection and grow emotionally. Ariel had to earn Eric's affection or she'd become Ursala's whining sea weed. The list could probably go on, but it's early and I can't think of any others right now.
                    http://micechat.com/forums/disneylan...oto-heavy.html
                    http://micechat.com/forums/disneylan...ip-report.html
                    http://micechat.com/forums/disneylan...oto-heavy.html
                    http://micechat.com/forums/disneylan...oto-heavy.html
                    http://micechat.com/forums/disneylan...something.html

                    No matter where you go, there you are.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Is Disney really distorting reality with its messages?

                      A "wish" in the context of the classic films, fairy and folk tales is a poetic, symbolic, literary metaphor for an internal, personal hope, desire, want, aspiration, inspiration, need, dream, belief, theory, prayer, meditation, goal (whether realistic, achievable or not) -- and the faith, optimism or belief that this aspiration can come true, the situation can change, something better is possible, that the goal can be achieved if one wants it badly enough.

                      The wish is not the magic that makes it happen or the action that creates the change, it's the seed of momentum as interpreted by the heart and emotion, not by the practical intellectual mind.

                      That's why the wish is a universally appealing concept. It's part of the human DNA. How the wish is achieved (or not), for good or ill, by internal or external means, and the results or consequences of that wish and actions related to it -- is the story that follows.

                      Poetically, for a protagonist to not have a dream or a wish would be akin to accepting the status quo, to believe that nothing can change, that there is no hope. The wish is a positive so long as it is not a passive substitute for taking action toward the goal.

                      Also -- classic (Walt) Disney themes are not about reflecting the real, but the ideal. Not what is, but what could be. A wish for the world.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Is Disney really distorting reality with its messages?

                        Originally posted by ttintagel View Post
                        Only if you take them 100% literally, and I think most people grow out of that.
                        I agree with ttintagel. I don't think most people grow up to take these movies literally and whatever we believe as children we eventually have to grow out of it. Just like Santa Clause, the Easter Bunny and tooth fairy, right? I don't see anything wrong with the message that Disney sends out with its movies. I would rather have these messages sent out to my children then the other stuff that is out there. Some of these other cartoons or movies they make these days have so much of an adult theme that I don't believe a child should be exposed to until a certain age. I do not want my children growing up fast. I don't see anything wrong with letting our children imagine and believe in something nice. Life isn't always nice I know and our children do need to learn reality but I believe while they are young let them dream.

                        ---------- Post added 08-17-2012 at 08:34 AM ----------

                        Originally posted by Stormy View Post
                        I was a young girl during the late 50s/early 60s. I played with 'unrealistic expectations' Barbie, ie original Barbie. My darling Mom read me fairy tales every night. I grew up on Princesses Snow, Cindy, Aurora, etc both Disney & fairy tale book versions. June Cleaver was the 'ideal' housewife & mother. TV commercials told me what I needed to do to land 'my Prince'. Trust me, those of us girls who grew up in that day faced everything girls do today plus the idea we needed to give it all up once we landed the right man. I think most of us managed to survive with our 'selves' intact. I didn't grow up to believe that a handsome prince was going to 'take me away from it all' nor that I would have to 'remake myself into his ideal' once I found him. And I did find him, but he loves me 'just the way I am', that's what makes him truly a 'prince'. That's because through it all I had a good example of unselfish love & mutual respect in my parents. Magic was/is wonderful, but I knew what reality was. Disney may show kids 'fantasy', but it is we, as parents, who show our kids 'reality'. And Disney magic and fantasy definitely have a place in everyone's reality. Especially in these days, when reality is more 'real' than ever, we truly need Princes and Princesses, Mickey & Minnie, Pooh, and the rest of the Disney 'gang'. I believe in Disney Magic. I always will. I hope my now-grown successful sons, who grew up on Disney Magic always will, too. Long live the Mouse & everything he stands for!

                        I now yield my soapbox to the next speaker. Sorry, but people/parents (not the OP nor previous posters on this thread, but those that don't 'get it') blaming Disney & make-believe in general for creating distorted self-images & unreal expectations, especially for girls, is a pet peeve.
                        Bravo! Very well said. I couldn't agree with you more. Thank you, Stormy. Love your quote. "Long live the Mouse & everything he stands for!" That is so cute. I need to start using this.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Is Disney really distorting reality with its messages?

                          Let kids have an imagination and let them grow out of it. Society these says feel like children's unrealistic ideas is harmful and that's just horrible. It's like saying children who dress up as princesses is giving kids the wrong message. Their kids, leave them alone. They aren't into messed up politics like grown ups. Allow them to have an imagination and don't rob them of that.
                          DisneyTwins
                          Since May 2003

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                          • #14
                            Re: Is Disney really distorting reality with its messages?

                            Originally posted by Disneytwins View Post
                            Let kids have an imagination and let them grow out of it. Society these says feel like children's unrealistic ideas is harmful and that's just horrible. It's like saying children who dress up as princesses is giving kids the wrong message. Their kids, leave them alone. They aren't into messed up politics like grown ups. Allow them to have an imagination and don't rob them of that.
                            This! This! This! 1000 times this!
                            Let the kids be kids and they'll find out on their own how the world works.



                            "So make the best of this test and don't ask why. It's not a question but a lesson learned in time."- Green Day
                            "The harder you work, the luckier you get."- Billie Joe Armstrong
                            "This is my rage. This is my love. This is my town. This is my city. This is my life."

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                            • #15
                              Re: Is Disney really distorting reality with its messages?

                              What is wrong with you? Why are you here talking about this? This is MiceChat you know.

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                              • #16
                                Re: Is Disney really distorting reality with its messages?

                                Originally posted by Disneytwins View Post
                                Let kids have an imagination and let them grow out of it. Society these says feel like children's unrealistic ideas is harmful and that's just horrible. It's like saying children who dress up as princesses is giving kids the wrong message. Their kids, leave them alone. They aren't into messed up politics like grown ups. Allow them to have an imagination and don't rob them of that.
                                YES YES YES quit trying to make kids grow up to fast the cruel reality will set in soon enough.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Re: Is Disney really distorting reality with its messages?

                                  Originally posted by Stormy View Post
                                  I was a young girl during the late 50s/early 60s. I played with 'unrealistic expectations' Barbie, ie original Barbie. My darling Mom read me fairy tales every night. I grew up on Princesses Snow, Cindy, Aurora, etc both Disney & fairy tale book versions. June Cleaver was the 'ideal' housewife & mother. TV commercials told me what I needed to do to land 'my Prince'. Trust me, those of us girls who grew up in that day faced everything girls do today plus the idea we needed to give it all up once we landed the right man. I think most of us managed to survive with our 'selves' intact. I didn't grow up to believe that a handsome prince was going to 'take me away from it all' nor that I would have to 'remake myself into his ideal' once I found him. And I did find him, but he loves me 'just the way I am', that's what makes him truly a 'prince'. That's because through it all I had a good example of unselfish love & mutual respect in my parents. Magic was/is wonderful, but I knew what reality was. Disney may show kids 'fantasy', but it is we, as parents, who show our kids 'reality'. And Disney magic and fantasy definitely have a place in everyone's reality. Especially in these days, when reality is more 'real' than ever, we truly need Princes and Princesses, Mickey & Minnie, Pooh, and the rest of the Disney 'gang'. I believe in Disney Magic. I always will. I hope my now-grown successful sons, who grew up on Disney Magic always will, too. Long live the Mouse & everything he stands for!

                                  I now yield my soapbox to the next speaker. Sorry, but people/parents (not the OP nor previous posters on this thread, but those that don't 'get it') blaming Disney & make-believe in general for creating distorted self-images & unreal expectations, especially for girls, is a pet peeve.
                                  Very well said.

                                  Let's face it. We all live in a world surrounded by expectations, both women and men.

                                  Funny though how those expectations that are put out there by the media that's supposed to deal with real life can be distorted and unrealistic in much the same way the OP is positing that some people might accuse the fantasy world of Disney of doing.

                                  In the end, you need to learn how to sift through what you will buy into, and what you will rise above. And as Stormy so eloquently says, our parents play a big role in helping us to move beyond that. I don't think it took my parents to explain to me that animals don't talk in real life like they do in Disney movies. And I knew that the depictions of the relationships between princes and princesses in these movies were fantasy. My folks were there to explain those other things that weren't as obvious to me, but were indeed important life messages. Never did it cross my mind, even as a youngster, to accuse Disney of lying to me.

                                  I know the media likes to paint the Barbie and princess image as something little girls should aspire to. It has for a long time. But then funny how it's this same media who will report on and lament how these "expectations" can harm young girls too. You almost wanna say, which is it, media??? I mean, are they truly compassionate, or are they part of the problem?

                                  Now I'm a guy, and while I don't know how seriously boys (in general) take to media images, let's face it, the media places a lot of importance on looks when it comes to males too. For every princess that a young girl is supposed to be, there's a prince (handsome, strong, and courageous) that boys are expected to be too. And if you don't fit certain characteristics as a young male, you are just as quickly ostracized. And girls can feed into this in much the same way boys will feed into the perceptions of what girls think they themselves are supposed to be too. The cute guys with the strong physique will frequently get the attention of the girls.

                                  Sure, girls will often say they want more than that, but again, reality would seem to dictate that looks draw attention in males just as it does females. I guess that's why I was the only one in line waiting to see "To Rome With Love" a couple of months ago while there were a hundred women waiting in line for "Magic Mike."

                                  Boys have to be taught to accept themselves as who they are too because too often boys are dismissed as being tough. 'They can handle it. That's no big deal to guys.' Etc. And yet, for some guys those expectations can be bothersome.

                                  But I digress.

                                  As to the subject the OP brings up....oh, I'm sure that someday there will be someone who officially calls out Disney for some of the things that the OP mentioned. That's just how ridiculous our society has become.

                                  Until then, we will continue to have the opportunity to experience ventures out of reality and into fantasy in many different ways throughout life. Part of being a human being though means being able to distinguish between what is reality and what isn't.

                                  Granted there are some who can't, but most will.

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                                  • #18
                                    Re: Is Disney really distorting reality with its messages?

                                    For every princess that a young girl is supposed to be, there's a prince (handsome, strong, and courageous) that boys are expected to be too.
                                    Well, in addition to the "Prince Charming" trope, there's also the whole "Beauty and the Beast" trope. I'm not sure if there's a gender-reversed version of that anywhere in the folklore.

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                                    • #19
                                      Re: Is Disney really distorting reality with its messages?

                                      People call Disney out on this all the time, and have for years. There's a reason why Belle likes to read and Ariel has red hair and Jasmine, Mulan, and Tiana are not Caucasian. If you're looking for an interesting book about the princess cultural phenomenon and its impact on young girls, try "Cinderella Ate My Daughter" by Peggy Orenstein. And before we finger Disney as the bad guy in all of this, it's important to point out that many of the animated films (and nearly all of the princess ones) are adaptations of existing stories, often hundreds of years old.

                                      Disney's role in perpetuating and commercializing this phenomenon is certainly an interesting study, but they did not create it, nor would it go away if they stopped creating and marketing it.

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                                      • #20
                                        Re: Is Disney really distorting reality with its messages?

                                        I don't think Disney does this more than any other media outlet. They are going to show you what sells. And a lot of these movies are based around hope and happiness. We all buy into for different reasons but it helps me escape real life. The difference is I know that it's an escape and I have to go back. Not everyone can do that but that's not Disney's fault or any other media company for that matter.
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