Are Classic Disney Movies Meant to Be Bad?
If you grew up in the 80's and 90's you probably grew up watching all the classic Disney movies. Then they were known as some of the greatest children and family films of their day. Today however, the beloved classic Disney movies are getting a bad rap. Growing up on these beloved classics I find it hard to relate to those who claim that these Disney movies are corrupting our children today. A generation and a half grew up with these movies and I think we turned out okay. So why are they bad for our youth today?
The shift in society to the belief that sex sells I believe has played a huge part in the idea that classic Disney movies are bad. Were the things I'm about to mention actually in the films? Who really knows but the producers and editors.
My concern is that children are learning about sexuality too early in today's world. In my generation we would not have picked out the things that adults are supposedly taking from these movies today.
Some of the greatest Disney movies of all time have been turned into some of the "worst" children's movies, because of perceived sexual content (that may or may not be there). I will admit when looking hard enough, and I mean past the actual action that is happening in the scene you might be able to see different forms of paraphernalia.
Disney's The Lion King
Known as one of the greatest classic Disney movies of all time by some, it is also known as one of the worst by others. Why? Many believe that The Lion King should not be a children's movie because it is too dark. The killing of Mufasa and Scar to some is believed to be one of the scariest deaths in Disney history. The way these two lions are killed is believed to be too dramatic and dark for many young viewers. I can say at least for me, I was never afraid of The Lion King. I did not have nightmares and I never had a fear of anything I saw. It was a movie!
Sex in the flower dust!? I don't know who saw this or how a small child is going to see this, because frankly I don't believe it's there. I've watched this movie hundreds if not thousands of times in my lifetime and plan to continue watching it. To pick apart this movie and "find" sexual images or words in this film is just plain ridiculous.
Another fault that people see in this movie is that Scar is black. He is not. His mane is a dark black/brown but his body is indeed brown just like the other lions. Mufasa and the other male lions were also darker than all the female lions is that a sexist thing? I think not. Is the different coloring's supposed to mean something more I honestly don't know, but in my opinion what you see is what you make it.
Aladdin one of my sister's favorite. This movie is believed to portray Arab's in a bad way and bring about the thought that being lazy and wishing for what you want will eventually get you what you seek, which is power and money. That is not the lesson I learn from Aladdin; but like I said before, the world is what you make it and that plays into the movies you watch as well.
When Aladdin wants Jasmine to ride the magic carpet before she gets on, in the background of the film almost completely silent is the line "all good teenagers take off your clothes". This is completely false. The line is suppose to say C'mon good kitty take off and go. However during the editing phase something wasn't put together right and it comes out more of a jumble, due to there being two people talking. Even though this is the case, it takes multiple times and a very focused person trying to hear the words to actually hear it. Today most people only hear it because they are told that is what it says.
Disney's The Little Mermaid
One of the most controversial classic Disney movies of all time, is the Little Mermaid. It wasn't until a year or two after the video release that people started noticing the "phallic" symbol on the cover of the movie case. After much deliberation the castle has been redrawn without the offending spire however the controversy does not stop there.
Another complaint is the Jamaican theme that the under the sea song seems to take. Again as a child I did not know anything about Jamaica and would not have been able to say that those fish looked like they were Jamaican. However, today people believe that the message of that song is that Jamaican's prefer to live carefree lives under the sea where it is all play and no work.
These three films are just the beginning of a list that portrays the Disney movies loved by many as being a bad influence for our children. These movies were known as some of the greatest children's movies of their day. The only reason they are getting a bad rap now, is because society is changing. When society changes the views change and things that are not meant to be are brought out.
Whether you grew up on the Disney movies, are just starting, or believe that they are a bad influence for your children, doesn't change the fact that they once were a very popular choice by so many for years. I will continue to watch and support these classics, because I see nothing wrong with them. They may or may not be the greatest or worst children's movies, but I believe they carry valuable lessons that are indeed truly timeless.
© 2011 Cholee Clay