Instructor: April Lewandowski
April 6, 2011
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
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.”