Friday, 19 February 2010

The Disneyfication of Culture

I myself am a huge fan of Disney, as many will know due to my vast collection of DVDs. The fairytale worlds and romanticised stories give you that warm fuzzy feeling of satisfaction; at least they do for me. But being honest it’s never crossed my mind while watching either Snow White or Cinderella that Disney’s message is underlining sexism, undermining women’s independence or enforcing women’s NEED for a man. It was always just a feel good film for me!

However there is never a missed opportunity to analyse and Disney has been scrutinized extensively. The fairytale stories all follow a similar pattern; there’s a beautiful girl who falls in love with a hansom boy, there’s a bit of drama, but the prince saves the day and they live happily ever after! It’s romantic and fantasy driven, always with a happy ending (it wouldn’t work if it wasn’t). On the other hand some analyse and instead come to the conclusion; there’s a leading girl who has to be small waisted and big breasted in order to be beautiful; she’s portrayed as vulnerable and in need of a man - anything but independent. They see this portrayal as an immoral message to Disney’s audience of young children that this is the status quo of our culture, that for girls to have the fantasy of falling in love and living happily ever after they must be submissive and rely on men.

I am not entirely convinced that Disney’s objective is to subliminally push young children towards the idea that everything about our culture is indeed true of this analysis; I find that if you analyse far enough into a topic then you can pull out just about any conclusion that corresponds with your views. Most who agree with these views do not think that it is the cause of domestic incidents or the reason behind girls insecurity but believe that it reinforces these ideology's into our culture.

Perhaps I'm biased because of my love for the Disney films but I find these views a little exaggerated and analysed too much into. Considering all the scrutinizing Disney are the best at what they do, they must be doing something right if every child has been brought up to love and know all the characters and stories that put a smile on their faces even after their childhood is behind them.

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