Family Values In Disney Movies
Is A Disney Movie Good Or Bad For Your Child
Some of the Family Values in Disney Movies are more by reputation than actuality. It is interesting to note that in looking at movies from the earliest short cartoons produced to more recent extravaganzas that we as adults get so caught up in the music and the romance that we forget about the violence which is sometimes assumed and other times only hinted at. Finding increased 'bad' values being presented in Disney movies may be less a function of the type of movie and its presentation than the viewer maturing and understanding references that were not apparent to a young child or to maturing to a level where one is actively looking for negative values.
The values found in the movies can be any ones you look for. You can look for and teach your child almost any value from the movies. For example, the value of honesty is assumed to be presented in a Disney movie. The mirror in Snow White always tells the truth when it states that Snow White is the most beautiful in the land and that she is still alive. However, the huntsman's act in killing an animal and bringing back its heart is misrepresentation at best and could easily by construed as teaching that it's okay to lie if it's for a good cause.
The value of life seems to have been somewhat ignored in many of the movies. There's a lot of killing threatened either directly or occurring. Bambi's mother, Nemo's mother, Sleeping Beauty, are all examples of murder attempted or committed and passed over lightly. Of course, most of the Brothers Grimm fairy tales are pretty violent, with the Disney version much milder by comparison.
Anyone who has ever laughed at Donald Duck's over the top rages would be appalled to see a human child throw such a fit of temper, let alone an adult male. The rage expressed in duck rantings seems to indicate that it's better to express it rather than turn it inward.
There are good values to be learned and taught from the Disney characters. Loyalty is beautifully demonstrated by Belle when she risks her life to follow the townspeople to the castle of the Beast. Loyalty is the characteristic of sticking with friends even when everyone else is against them. Belle is also a wonderful demonstration of the power of education and reading. A positive work ethic can be found in the examples of Cinderella and Snow White.
The importance of believing that good triumphs over evil is an important value presented in most Disney movies. If you look at the overall themes, that fact comes through loud and clear. In fact, if there is an exception to this value presentation in the movies, it would be difficult to find. Another common value which is hard to miss in the movies made by Disney is that the underdog almost always wins. Aladdin is a good example, even though his attempts at honesty need a good deal more practice.
In short, if you focus on the good values and teach them to your children, that's probably what they will see in the Disney movies and in life in general.