What Are Disney Movies Really Teaching Our Kids?

You’ve probably heard that there is growing controversy surrounding the remake of Beauty and The Beast and some of its characters. Groups are banning together, boycotts are being called, and Disney is receiving some major slack. And throughout all of the uproar, it really got me thinking about the stuff we let our kids watch. I get it, parents don’t want their kids seeing something that goes against their beliefs, but have you really thought about some of the other stuff we let our kids see?  You might be surprised…

  • In Disney’s newest release Moana, Maui rips the heart out of the goddess who creates the beauty in life, and she morphs into the Earth’s destruction. That is cold-blooded murder, folks. 
  • Ursela on The Little Mermaid uses witchcraft and magic to change the mermaids into creepy worm people. Ariel essentially makes a deal with the devil and trades her soul for a chance with a guy.
  • Captain Hook {in any Peter Pan version} is on a constant mission to kill children, MURDER them! 
  • Scar on The Lion King made it his mission to KILL his brother — his own flesh and blood. {He succeeds by the way.}
  • In 101 Dalmations, Cruella De Vel tries to captures the puppies, SKIN them, and make a coat from their fur. I’ll just let that sink in for a minute. 
  • Did you see Toy Story 3 and the trash compactor scene? It’s terrifying as the toys slowly move towards a fiery inferno and basically hold hands to give up to their death.
  • Tangled taught little girls that having short, brown hair was devastating, average, and heartbreaking. {That one really bugged me. Have you seen my picture?} 
  • A family favorite at our house is Hocus Pocus, aaand it begins with the murder of a child.
  • Remember when everyone freaked out because in Aladdin you could allegedly hear him say, “Good teenagers, take off your clothes,” in a scene with Aladdin and Rajah, Jasmine’s tiger?
  • Bambi’s mom gets shot, and Bambi is left an orphan to fend for himself.  
  • The Parent Trap is basically based around parents lying to their children and breaking their trusts.
  • Do you let your kids watch Pee-Wee Herman reruns on Netflix? Hello, constant sex jokes! I had no idea until I watched as an adult. 
  • E.T. tackles another controversial topic — the existence of aliens. {Side Note :: I had nightmares for YEARS about E.T. I always imagined him hiding in the hallway when I got up to use the restroom in the night.} 
  • Here’s one that certainly stuck with me as a kid… The terrifying scene in The Never Ending Story when the horse slowly sank in the mud to his death.

You see, we really can’t void ourselves of controversial situations or people whose lives may look differently than ours. We can’t put our children in a bubble and shield them from places, people, and stories that don’t completely align with our own. Rather, why don’t we use these moments to teach children about the differences? To show them acceptance, compassion, and understanding, even for a character in a popular movie? As is true for most things in parenthood, these are the teachable moments that will make a lasting impact on our children for years to come.  

After all, the movie that is at the heart of the controversy right now is a love story between a woman and a horned-wolf bear.  Let that sink in for just a minute too. 

Disney Movie Controversies :: What They're Really Teaching Our Kids | Houston Moms Blog

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6 Responses to What Are Disney Movies Really Teaching Our Kids?

  1. Jenn Nevitt March 10, 2017 at 8:00 am #

    Beautifully written. Teaching compassion and understanding for everyone is a powerful message.

    • Andrea S
      Andrea S March 14, 2017 at 10:02 am #

      THANKS Jenn!

  2. Stephanie March 10, 2017 at 3:40 pm #

    If people seem to be picking apart this classic tale, how about the fact that the main storyline is about a human woman falling in love with an animal? I’m so baffled by all the hoopla people are putting up about Gaston’s little buddy.

    • Andrea S
      Andrea S March 14, 2017 at 10:02 am #

      RIGHT?!

  3. Rebecca March 13, 2017 at 9:04 pm #

    I am horrible at writing, thank you for writing out my thoughts!;)
    I am a pretty conservative Catholic and I even thought this hype is out of control. I love movies and I don’t give them credit for changing lives, they are entertainment. And I definitely use them as teaching tools with my kids. We need to learn (and teach) to live peacefully with those we disagree with. Though there are appropriate times to introduce kids to certain things, shielding our kids from the real world, I think, can be detrimental and disturbing for them when they eventually encounter it. Doing petitions and boycotting is too much…don’t like it, don’t see it.

    • Andrea S
      Andrea S March 14, 2017 at 10:02 am #

      Thanks for writing! I’m pretty conservative, too… so I totally get where you are coming from.

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