Racial Undertones In Disney Movies

31 Oct

Disney movies are perceived as wholesome entertainment that is a part of every person’s childhood. The racist undertones in many of the Disney movies such as Aladdin, Dumbo, and Pocahontas go unnoticed by children but are extremely offensive to the ethnic groups they address. Older Disney movies are more blatant with racists images. In Peter Pan, the Indians are addressed in a racist manner, calling them “red-face”. In Dumbo, there are faceless black men setting up the circus. The movie was made in 1941 so that may account for the boldness of what is being shown and sung but in more recent Disney movies racism is evident as well.

            In today’s Disney market, they are trying to be more diverse. The release of The Princess and the Frog has Disney’s first African-American Princess. While the Prince in the movie is not African-American, it is a small stride for a more diverse Disney. The brand is trying to mend the racist undertones of past Disney movies such as Aladdin and Fantasia. The song “Arabian Nights” from the movie Aladdin offended many people with the lyrics to the song. The offensive lyrics were dubbed over in the newly released DVDs. A scene from Fantasia was deleted from the newly released version where a half African-American girl, half horse is portrayed as a servant to a white girl. While there has been progression in the Disney franchise, Disney is anything but wholesome.

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2 Responses to “Racial Undertones In Disney Movies”

  1. effie724 October 31, 2010 at 10:45 pm #

    It’s interesting to learn that Disney is dubbing over and editing some offensive parts of their movies, but not others. How do they pick and choose what is worth changing? Are they editing parts that are sexist?

    You ended by saying that Disney is anything but wholesome. This applies to my research of the hypersexualization of Disney’s starlets. Disney hooks young children, and then presents them with inappropriate material.

    • sfishbon November 2, 2010 at 12:18 pm #

      I agree with the above comment, and I also wonder how they pick which movies should be dubbed over and changed? Also, while there is research showing that there is a racist undertone in the movies, do children pick up on this? Does it have an impact on the way they view minorities or people of color later in life? Has their been research on this? I think that this would be a very interesting topic to look at.

      I also agree that Disney is not wholesome, or PG, as I called it. My research also shows that Disney has sexual or racist undertones in their movies and personally, I think that this is outrageous that someone would put such ideas in a children’s movie.

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