Snow White and the Seven Dwarf, was Disney first princess film created in 1937. In the film Snow White, the protagonist corpse lays in a glass coffin due to eating a poisoned red apple. Upon the Prince arrival, he decides to go observe her corpse and gave her a kiss. After the kiss snow white wakes up. The rest is like any other princess film that has been. produced they get married and lived happily afterwards. This particular scene from the film have an impact on young children specifically girls. This is affecting young girls psychological mindset in a negative way because its teaching young girls that a magical kiss can resolve problems. There’s many different definitions that can define psychological;however according
Disney princesses are for all ages, but their target audience is young children. The first princess, Snow White, was created in a time where women didn’t have a lor of freedom, they where being raised to be a house wife. Meaning that they cooked, cleaned and obeyed.
Throughout the years Disney have become known for many different films. Some of their most common films are their classical princesses. The classical princesses are composed of the first princess’s films such has Snow White, Cinderella, and Sleeping beauty. One of the similarities in all the Princess films is romanticism. Each film demonstrates romanticism in their own unique way; however, they all include a prince that rescue them from a problem. Young girls are learning at a young age that a man is needed in their life when that shouldn’t be the case. This issue impacts young girls because they are being thought that a man is needed in their life’s. Disney Films are influencing female’s psychological mindset of what a female needs in her life. Making women believe that a man is required to be happy.
Without no doubt no one can doubt that disney films are a way that everyone wants t be from the perfectfairytaile.
Disney is a world famous company that has been with us about ninety years, every year creating new stories so that everyone can enjoy. However, with the passage of the years, several criticisms they have established to new films and characters have been produced by this company; such vary between good and bad. Several of his characters have a psychological impact on children as adults, these effects can be both positive and negative. In this paper, the impact will be displayed and the fact that these stories and characters have greater positive negative impacts on children will argue. For this will discuss briefly background company and issues like stereotypes, self-acceptance, and interaction with themes of our real life presented by Disney.
It is important to start with the history of this company, i.e., its beginnings and most important aspects of greater emphasis and importance. The Walt Disney Company, originally Disney Bros. Studios was founded in 1923 by Roy and Walt Disney (Encyclopædia Britannica). The company produced short films that included a real girl in a cartoony world, this series of short films called: Alice in Cartoonland and followed a pattern similar to the popular story of Lewis Carol: Alice in the Wonderland. Once the series ended, the studios produced its first star alongside Universal Studios: Oswald the lucky rabbit, losing their rights to Universal in 1928; After this event, Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks (friend and employee of Disney) created by famous and beloved: Mickey Mouse.
Encyclopædia Britannica says that “Steamboat Willie” (1928) was the very first animated short with sound in the history, it also was the third appearance of our beloved mouse; said animated short quickly became one of the best and most popular short films of all time. Following the success of this short, in 1937 Disney premiered the first animated feature of all time and one of the first color films ever: Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs. With the passage of the years, the company has created countless of memorable and acclaimed stories for all generations, from “Pinocchio” (1940) to “Moana” (2016). They constantly offer new stories that impact our society in various ways, and they will continue to do so for many more years.
Now that you have a brief understanding of the history of this company, the question becomes: what are the psychological effects generated by the films and their characters produced by Disney on children? First all, will talk about the most obvious thing that could answer this question. It is clear that Disney has many franchises that have an impact in one way or another to the society, especially to infants, but no franchise is so popular and recognized as the Disney Princess line-up, other wise known as the Disney Princess Royal Court. It is well known that the Princesses are very feminine since they are based on ancient times, but this does not prevent girls to adopt several of the characteristics they (the Princesses) have, nor to aspire to be like them. Various stereotypes are represented by several of these princesses, like Aurora (Sleeping Beauty), these stereotypes arrive to make a big impact on both the behavior and the personality of infants. After all, it is during infancy when we are most susceptible to adopt certain characteristics that we see around us, either on fiction or not. (Silvia, 1998).
Many girls come to act as their role models, the Princesses, which might be very negative. Hains (2014), within this regard, mentions in her work The Princess Problem: Guiding Our Girls Through the Princess-Obsessed Years that “if girls have a tendency towards that spectrum, then it takes their feminine side and exaggerate it even more.” This means that from an early age, approximately between the ages of 5 and 6, the girls tend to easily adopt the characteristics that these characters have, and this could be very harmful if it weren’t for the fact that now the majority of this group of animated characters are feminist and powerful women who break the social stereotype. Characters such as Belle (Beauty and The Beast) and Mulan (Mulan) are only two of the eight princesses who do not follow the social stereotypes, making them positive role models for everyone.
Of course that these stereotypes not only can be found in the princesses since both the Villains and the Princes follow several stereotypes that come to affect children in one way or another. In the field of the villains, the stereotype that all villain is ugly, creepy and poorly ported abounds, for example, Ursula (The Little Mermaid). And with the Princes and heroes, the most abundant nature is the idea that men should be the ones who save the damsel in distress, they are the winners of the story and don’t have any problems. Castillo (2006) says that “while men in Disney movies can be aggressive, they are not allowed to be more than that” this clearly shows how the behavior of the little humans can be affected by these social prejudices, being either good or bad.
Both the appearance of these three groups of characters, in both films and series, have very unrealistic designs in their appearance, with everyone having various body parts that not even the person with the best or worst body can reach. The perception of both the appearance and the behavior of these characters generates a large negative impact on our society and children. However, it is also important to take into account that the perception that children possess regarding these concepts can cause a large positive effect on them, we mention Hains (2014) once again since she tells us that “boys, who are already immersed in a hyper masculine culture, tend become more feminine which means they become complete”, obviously this is good, especially in these times where sexism is very common in our society.
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Now that we talked about the positive and negative aspects that are generated in the physical and behavioral fields on children, we can speak of other things in which Disney comes to have a great influence on them. At the time that a major character, as when Mufasa (the Lion King) dies, children come to have their first or one of their first interactions with the theme of death. However, parents are in the position to inform their children of these themes and the importance it has in our lives, as well as how to overcome these adversities. This allows children from a very early age, to have this knowledge and thus develop a steady psychology.
The moment in which these films and series include these themes, the world of infants grows and gets increasingly more and more close to the reality of our world. Many parents believe that this is bad since they think that children should live in a fictional world and should not be introduced to these issues at such an early age, but several authors agree that exposure to these is very good. It is worth mentioning that at the present, the company not only focuses on true love but also teaches children that “not everything is what it seems” and that there are far more important things than finding a partner.
Acceptance, both self and to others, has become a subject of vital importance in our society, so it was a matter of time before Disney began to focus many of its characters in this subject, for example, “Zootopia” (2016), where one of its main themes is the acceptance of one another. This film and topic have enabled children, although they do not know, to develop in their subconscious the capacity or value to accept others as they are. Again, it is observed how Disney comes to have a positive impact on us from a very young age.
After observing all of this some popular films will be mentioned, as well as the main themes or lessons that transmit to children, regardless of whether they are positive or negative. Movies like “Cinderella” (1950) come to show kids that a man will always arrive to save a woman, just as every woman must have certain requirements to get married. And films like “Lilo and Stitch” (2002) and “Brave” (2012) help infants understand the importance of family, sibling-hood and the fact that a couple is not everything in life. You can see how over time the themes that these films bring have evolved, making children adopt this and consequently come to have a better performance, in theory.
Now, it is considered important to mention the fact that in the past the company has produced films with characters or messages not apt for our times, but one has to understand that those were different times after all the company started ninety years ago. Obviously, various changes in society appear in a period of nearly a century, the stories that we have and those that we tell evolve too, constantly adapting to what society requires or accepts. Disney’s stories are no exception since with time the topics showed on their films are no longer solely related to the love between a couple, as it was previously mentioned, but now they cover series and easy-to-understand topics for adults and children.
It has been around three decades since the company introduced their first strong independent woman, their first feminist, and began to balance the gender roles. Man no longer are required to save the woman, now they can defend themselves and are capable of saving the man, see movies or series like “Pocahontas” (1995), “Enchanted” (2007) and “Once Upon A Time” (2011 – present); where females may be equal or better than masculine counterparts. Nowadays, the psychological impact that these stories and characters generate in children are not negative but rather positive, which allows our society to grow into something better for future generations.
Finally, after the information and the arguments given previously, it safe to assume that the reader may have a greater understanding of all the effects that Disney stories have in our behavior, our personality, and the way of thinking and the way of acting of us all, especially kids that have come in contact with anything related to Disney in the course of their lives. As it was observed previously, these effects are both positive and negative, but equally important to consider when taking any side of the discussion if these stories teach good things or not to infants. It’s shown here under that one is now capable to understand the psychological aspects that are affected in children thanks to the movies, series, books, games, and characters brought to us by the House of Mouse, and now the reader can open his or her mind to reflection and have its own position within this spectrum.