Friday, December 18, 2009

Disney: Taking steps forward?

Disney has always been a favorite controversial topic. Even I have always had mixed feelings about Disney. On the one hand, it is a truly magical place that is always a fantastical experience and on the other hand there are all of the cliche, stereotypical ideas that shake me to the very core.

Let me preface with this: I did not grow up on Disney.

Clarification: I was familiar with Disney things - I knew all of the stories and had a favorite princess, etc. However, I was not indoctrinated with the entire Disney picture. My father was not a fan of Eisner and thus I was not subjected to many Disney-like things. I went to Disneyland a couple of times as a child, always with other people. Once I turned 13 though my god-brother was hired at Disney and I started to go more frequently with my friends. So maybe I have a more objective view to Disney than most because I was not swept away by its magic at a young age. Regardless, I love Disneyland and Disney movies and cartoons, etc etc. In fact, I bought my first pass to Disneyland and go every opportunity I get.

My love is still divided because of the controversies. Of course, many of the movies and shows that are racist and sexist were made during a time when those things were acceptable, or based off of storytales written hundreds of years ago when they were the norm. It doesn't change the fact that it is there and children of our future generations are viewing these and thinking it's okay ((although, like my Barbie article, I'm not so sure children are AS affected by all of this as some people like to make it seem.))

In this regards, and what sparked this whole crazy post (I've got a cold, my mind is delirious!), is the newest Disney commercial I've seen.

It's time for the Holidays so of course we are inundated with commercial after commercial and product placement after product placement and the whole thing just gets overwhelming. But this commercial really stood out to me.

The commercial begins with a little girl saying "OH NO! THERE'S A PRINCE IN DISTRESS. We need to rescue him!" << this is where i hit the rewind on my DVR.

Did I really just hear prince? Yes, yes I had. The girls then go pedaling off on their super cool bikes to rescue the prince in need - a teddy bear prince, but a prince nonetheless.

It made me happy. Granted, it's a teddy bear and you can read so much into it and somehow stay that it's still sexist, etc. BUT someone took the initiative on that commercial and twisted the damsel in distress and made us girls the heroine.

I am seeing that a lot in the girls I babysit nowadays. It might be something fleeting - this strong girls are better than boys mentality. But I certainly hope not.

So I applaud Disney for that commercial, and you can bet millions of dollars my daughter's gonna be a little Damzl, if you know what I mean.


  1. I have yet to see that commercial. We try not to let too many commercials run in this house. When they do it< "mommy , Mommy, Mommy, I want that!" Our latest think is Aiyana wanting things she already has, but just a different style of it. She has a step 2 kitchen, but she saw a different "princess stove" at Target that she absolutely NEEDS to have. I am trying to do my best at teaching er we are not living a disposable lifestyle and when the old one is perfectly fine, we do not buy new ones. She does get the concept that she can sell her toys and buy new ones. She also understands we donate toys, but now wants to donate all of them to Chloe, so they stay in our house.

    Okay, off topic...lack of sleep.

    Anyway, as you know, Aiyana loves all those princess stories, so that means I just have to work a little bit harder to make her understand what is real so she does not get wrapped up in the princess ideology. Have you read The Paper bag Princess, it is one of our favorite books. Remind me and I will show it to you. I am sure you have seen it though.

  2. I'm not sure if I have read it!! I will look on Christmas Eve. =] I also want to come over sometime while I'm on break to play with the girls because it's been awhile!!

    I loove the princess stories, but I guess I always understood they weren't real.

  3. Pocahontas is still my favorite, she's strong n can do everything on her own...I think she saves john Smith's ass too haha. Go see Avatar for a similar storyline :P


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