Tuesday, 27 January 2015

The Disney Debate

I mentioned in my last post, how much I had enjoyed Into the Woods and it got me thinking - just how suitable is Disney for young children?

I firmly believe that no childhood is complete without Disney. And I am not alone in thinking that. The majority of children embrace every single Disney movie, new and old - that is how huge a part of our culture it is. Children adore it. Every little girl wants to be a princess and Disney just brings it to life in a beautifully vibrant way...complete with entertaining dialogue and catchy songs which your kids will sing at you constantly until the next film comes out. Each one has a similar formula and you always know there will be a reasonably cute, happy ending.

But delve a little deeper and the real Disney comes to light.

Lots of people have noticed the adult themes of Disney. That is nothing new. And lots of people say that this is to entertain the parents who take their kids to see Disney films. But I don't think that's true. I believe it's for adults full stop. Sure kids can watch it as well, but it is really aimed at the adults.

When you are a child, you miss all the euphemisms, the inside jokes, the relations to real life and the running gags. There are whole parts of the characters which the children fail to see because they are not as observant and don't understand some of the references. Which means they are missing out on major parts of the story.

You will notice also that all the main characters are adults as well. There are very few which feature children in the main spots. They are all at least in their late teens and have very adult aims. Such as, ascending a throne (Frozen), looking for love (just about every Disney movie), leaving the childhood home (Tangled), trying to start a business (Princess and the Frog)...I could go on. Disney has taken really simple every day occurrences that adults will understand and made movies out of them. Because frankly, a movie made up of childhood issues, would be a little bit boring wouldn't it?

I kind of see kids watching Disney movies like trying to read a classic when you are a teenager. You can read it certainly, as you have eyes and can read the words. So you can definitely enjoy elements of it. But you can't actually appreciate the majority of it, and you miss out on the true depth that the author originally intended. Which means that your experience is sorely lacking and you would definitely have to give it another go, when you are an adult, so you can appreciate it fully.

(All logos and characters courtesy of the Disney Corporation)

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  1. My son is just over 2 yrs old and hes recently started getting into films, especially Disney ones. We watched Aladdin this morning and liked the songs but his absolute fave is the Lion King and we have to watch it at least once a week! x

    1. Ah the lion king is a classic. So so good. It's fabulous on the west end too. x