Henry Giroux's Essay On Stereotyping In Disney Animated Films

1508 words - 7 pages

I’m going to start off with explaining to you the thoughts of Henry Giroux about Disney films that he speaks of in his article. In his article” Are Disney Movies Good for Your Kids?”, Giroux speaks of how Disney animated films are damaging to children. Giroux explains his idea of stereotyping and how it is harmful and polluting to their self-esteem and self worth. Giroux adds that young women get the idea that they must be saved from a prince and be swept off their feet to be rescued by them. He also says how these Disney princesses are willing to sacrifice anything for their prince charming for a shot at their happily every after as you see by this quote; “…Ariel trades her voice to gain a pair of legs so that she can pursue handsome Prince Eric. Although children might be delighted by Ariel’s teenage rebelliousness, they are poisoned to believe in the end that desire, choice, and empowerment are closely linked to catching and loving handsome men”. (Giroux, 59)
Giroux also speaks of racism in Disney films and how certain characters are seen to be African American or Latino is viewed negatively. “ In the Disney rendition of colonial history, Pocahontas is converted into a brown, Barbie like supermodel with an hourglass figure whose relationship with Aryan hunk John Smith transforms an historical act of colonial barbarism into a sentimental romance.”(Giroux, 63) Giroux goes on to explain how Pocahontas is historically incorrect and written to joyful and so far from the truth. He believed Disney pot ray’s Pocahontas in a non-relatable way to her in history. He also speaks of the racism in Aladdin and that Arabs were viewed also as barbarian inhumane violent people.
I in no way agree with Giroux ideology. I believe he gives kid too much intelligence and not enough innocence. There is no way a child is going to catch the things we can now see as adults. Disney movies are meant to bring you to a happily ever after kind of life. Where everything is beautiful and joyful, and yes you can be saved with a kiss. What’s so wrong with that? Love is a beautiful thing and its good to teach kids that love can save us from distress. It gives them hope, which we should all have especially children. I think Giroux is just picking on Disney movies, he points sexism and the racism that were subliminally put in the Disney movies. I can see where the facts of there being racism and sexism in some of the Disney films, but I in no way believe children pick that up. I believe they must be taught that to be racist against any race. Also I don’t think children depict people like adults do they look at other people to have fun and make friends not judge them upon their ethnicity because unless they are taught too. When they say that children are influenced by the racism that they see in Disney movies like in in the movie Jungle Book in the movie Mickey Monopoly they pointed out that the monkeys that are in the movie were always dancing, loved...

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