Monday, February 22

Disney films are unrealistic and send wrong messages to the children

Researchers have found out many of Disney films don't realistically portray the struggles of the working class. A new study suggests that Disney films send the wrong message of social class and equality.

According to UK Mirror, researchers looked at 32 Disney films to determine whether they portray realistic social values, norms and equality.

Movies such as The Little Mermaid, The Lion King and Mulan were studied alongside classics such as The Sound of Music and Mary Poppins. And the researchers discovered that rather than sending a good message to their child viewers, they 'erased' the problems endured by the working class.


The study suggested that characters like Bert the chimney sweep in Mary Poppins were too happy whilst the Seven Dwarfs should be more miserable because they work in a mine. And movies like Aladdin, The Lion King and 101 Dalmatians made poverty seem 'benign' and that climbing the class ladder is not a hard thing to do.

The study may cause some adults to reevaluate films that they saw when they were children and still hold close to their hearts. And it could cause them to think twice when showing them to their own children without a warning about the hidden message.

The US researchers from Duke University looked at 32 films that were rated G - the American equivalent of U - and had grossed more than $100 million (£68 million) worldwide.

They included Beauty and the Beast, Cars, Monsters Inc, Mulan, Ratatouille, The Little Mermaid, Wall-E and The Santa Claus 2.

Their analysis showed that in most cases the main character in the films was wealthy and that 56 per cent of the characters were in the top two classes. Compared to the real world distributions of wealth, this meant that poorer characters were under represented.

The depictions of working class people was also unrealistic, the study said.

The study claims this is wrong because it draws a 'false parallel' between their two circumstances despite the wealth gap.

Working class lives are often portrayed as so fun and cosy that rich people will voluntarily go down the class ladder to join them.

The study said the films made class divisions seem 'legitimate by erasing, downplaying, and sanitizing their effects - by portraying poverty and inequality as benign.

It added: "This metaframe erases, downplays, or sanitizes poverty and class inequality, implying that poverty and inequality are not particularly problematic as few people suffer from them."

No comments:

Post a Comment