Monday, December 9, 2013

Learning From Disney

I'd like to take a few moments to honor some Disney movies. I am not a big fan of introducing too much television in a child's life early on, but Disney does try to stick some under lying themes in the classic and not so classic movies the teach a valuable lesson. 

Love: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was released in 1937 and is still the classiest of classics. Many movies and fairytales have been influenced by this one. I think it brings a humbleness to princesses. The rightful princess has to scrub the floors and do the chores, and doesn't complain. If you think just a little further down the road to Cinderella- 1950, it's a very similar story line. I think it's astonishing how long this movie has made it. Teaching children from the late thirties even to present day, that it's important to clean up after yourself, consider personal hygiene, that birds are the best tool when making a pie, as well as animals in general making the best of friends, and that you should never die because Prince Charming will always come save you! Other movies Disney made that are similar to this are Sleeping Beauty, Enchanted, Lady and the Tramp, The Little Mermaid. 

Adventure: Pinocchio which was created in 1940, introduced us to our conscience. I can remember (not back to 1940) that I would think WhatWouldJiminySay as a young child. This was also Disney's way of saying, hey boys we are here for you too! And yet, I connected with Pinocchio as a girl. Another boy friendly disney adventure was Peter Pan- another one of my favorites. Like Robin Hood is a fox, super fantastic! I would say that 101 Dalmatians hangs around this theme as well, and friendship . Toy Story is the ultimate friendship movie which includes adventure. I was not a big fan of the second movie, but the third was a hit. And people of my generation grew up with Andy, I admit I shed tears when Andy went to college, it was sentimental. The Jungle Book is another adventure book that teaches children that friends look out for each other and help you grow up. Which Brings us to Tarzan which has a little bit of family influence. Up is among my favorites and Mr. Carlson faces adventure because of love. 

Imagination: I would say that there is a variety of disney movies with this reoccurring topic. Starting with Fantasia, wonderful musical compilation, and then closely followed by Alice in Wonderland. Peter Pan is the ultimate imagination station. Children who never grow up, second star to the right, mermaids, pirates. I think that encouraging children to adventure and use their imagination is important and I can remember pretending I was Tinkerbell and that I was magical long before Harry Potter. (I love Harry Potter truth be told.) Mary Poppins is fantastic, and is the greatest sense of adventure and imagination. Julie Andrews is enchanting and the lines between animation and live action were blown away. 

Family: is a big theme amongst Disney movies. Lindsay Lohan captured our hearts in The Parent Trap and taught us all that first of all, summer camp is a blast, and also that family is forever. How could anyone forget The Lion King and it's focus on not only the circle of life but how you are connected to your family and your place in society no matter what. 

Courage will overpower all. Mulan is probably my favorite example of this, and is one of my favorite Disney movies of all time. I know that Mulan also stresses the family aspect but Mulan overcomes much more than her families disapproval. She questions societal roles and my theme song is from this movie.  Pocohantes also competes against the status quo not only in the face of love but in order to do the right thing.  

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