Sunday, October 20, 2013

Talking point 5

      This piece is no shock to me at all. As noted, children's entertainment is lazy and for the most part just plain wrong. It's been this way for a long time from Popeye to Disney movies, the amount of racism and sexism is truly shocking if you don't pay attention to it. Popeye is a show about the big, strong, American male saving his helpless girlfriend from the big bad ethnic groups. Not as entertaining when you talk about it like that is it? Naturally the show creators never have an episode where they just come out and say it but the interpretation is that America is the best and it's people superior to every other ethnic group.
      Disney movies really aren't any better in that regard. Granted, the racial undertones are not as noticeable as in Popeye because really I don't think they could have been even if they wanted to. The problem with Disney movies would be the unrealistic standard they have for women in general. They constantly portray them as almost physically perfect but absolutely helpless in ever other category. They aren't what you would call brilliant and have all the personality of a wooden log you would find on the side of the road. You can name every Disney movie plot the same way; the helpless princess gets in some sort of trouble "she couldn't possibly get herself out of" and the male lead has to save her so they can happily ride of into the sunset together. Kind of odd how that works out when you think about it, the man saves the damsel and apparently she is his for life. Talk about unrealistic expectations, if a firefighter or a police officer were in a Disney movie they certainly would have quite a few partners in their lifetime.

    So really it's all about the standards these movies and cartoons set for children. They can give the males that watch them an unearned and definitely unmerited feeling of superiority over women. In turn, the girls that watch these cartoons gain this dependence on feeling pretty and looking perfect as well as a constant need of a man to feel complete. To me it's all laziness on the part of the writers. Just because it's aimed at children does not mean that the characters in the story can't have their own distinct personality and development. It's easier to write stereotypical characters because there is nothing to establish, the connection to the audience is already there because of the common usage of these stereotypes. I really feel that if you can improve the writing and actually try to send a positive message to children of every demographic you can challenge them to think as well as make them feel positive for who they are.
   As shown in the link it's just respecting the culture of all that needs to be fixed. Plenty of children that come from different ethnicities shut down and hate these cartoons because they can't relate to the characters. So these movies and other forms of media will never teach these children anything because of the insults of the movie and the imminent shutdown that is coupled with it. If a child can't relate or is told right off the bat he or she is bad for being different then they won't want to hear the message that movie or person wants to tell them.


  1. Kyle ,

    I like your comment about children's entertainment being lazy.
    Kids deserve better than that.
    Thanks for sharing the link to the article on Disney.

  2. Hi Kyle,
    I couldn't help but laugh at your comparison to Disney movies and firefighters & police. It's so true though. Growing up I knew Disney movies created unrealistic expectation for everyone involved. But after reading Christensen's article and your post it's sad to actually see the deeper plots of the stories. Like Shanelle said, our children deserve better than what is out there. It's not fair to them to think that they are either superior or inferior because of their race, sex, characteristics, etc.

  3. Hey Kyle,
    Great Blog! I liked you pointed out the passivity of the Disney Princesses and that almost all Disney movies contain that same formula. I also literally laughed out loud when you compared their personality to a wooden log. Just goes to show that ablebodiedness is favored in this society in the fact that you're only good enough you have the looks. Like Dorothy, I also laughed at the firefighter and police comments! I agree with you when you say that they should improve their writing to incorporate more positive messages.
    Great Job!

  4. Hi Kyle,
    I really enjoyed the part of your blog when you said how these movies give males a feeling of superiority and cause women to feel the constant need to look pretty. Like Alex, I also found the part about the personalities of logs very funny. I agree that the writers should take the time to actually develop different characters instead of using the same overplayed ones.

  5. Kyle,
    Good stuff, I like how aside from mentioning the necessary aesthetic appeal of females, you mention the lack of personality. It's like blandness became an endearing personality trait at some point. Also, talking about the generic characters makes me think, how much more efficient could watching these movies be if children were actually introduced to unique types of traits and personalities?

  6. Kyle,
    "If a child can't relate or is told right off the bat he or she is bad for being different then they won't want to hear the message that movie or person wants to tell them."
    Yes! *That's all I have to say. :)