Methods - Olesia Stockhold Eng. 122 Instructor: April...

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Olesia Stockhold Eng. 122 Instructor: April Lewandowski April 6, 2011 Literature Review When children, parents, and those who are young at heart, think of Disney films, they often think of enchantment, wonder, fun, entertainment, joy, laughter, and happily ever after. People get a great deal of comfort and pleasure from watching Disney films, and generally don’t consider the possible messages and themes that these spectacles of enjoyment might be conveying to the young people who watch them. Henry Giroux, critic of Disney, and author of “Disney and Children’s Culture,” analyzes Disney films from the 1990’s and comes to the conclusion that these Disney films are riddled with sexist, and gender oppressive messages. For instance, Giroux discusses the character of Ariel from The Little Mermaid , and how she sacrifices her gift of vocal ability to be with a guy that she has a crush on, and after she endures all of the obstacles that are designed to make her become a real woman, she gets her guy, the ultimate goal. This, Giroux argues, is a sexist and gender oppressive theme. In a very similar argument, Sanjay Newton speaks about the sexist messages portrayed in 1990’s Disney films in his video entitled “Sexism, Strength, Dominance: Masculinity in Disney Films.” He talks
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about the role that Disney gives men in the films, as stereotypically macho and masculine, and oppressive toward women. In a clip he shows during his video lecture from the movie Mulan , the characters are singing about a “girl worth fighting for.” That the girl will “marvel at my strength,” and even more disturbingly that they “couldn’t care less what she wears or what she looks like, it all depends on what she cooks like” (qtd in Newton). He states that boys begin to shape their idea of a woman as “objects of pleasure or as servants to please them” (Newton). He believes that these images construct how people behave and what they perceive as the right way to act, and that Disney is at the center of this argument because it is watched by so many people. In another video presentation entitled, “Mickey Mouse Monopoly: want our children’s minds and worldview to be shaped by Disney, the corporate giant, and why is Disney being allowed to dominate without criticism. This video talks about how far stretched Disney’s power reaches in the media and in merchandise. It also hits the argument talked about with Giroux and Newton, that Disney’s messages have some negative connotation and are being thrust into the laps of children all of the world due to Disney’s power. In the video, it is said that the film Beauty and the Beast , gives the impression that a girl should “excuse” and “reinterpret” an abusive man as being a “tender prince lurking within” (Mickey Mouse Monopoly).
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People have made sound arguments that there are some
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This note was uploaded on 09/04/2011 for the course ENG 122 taught by Professor Skulley during the Spring '08 term at Front Range Community College.

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Methods - Olesia Stockhold Eng. 122 Instructor: April...

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