Our goal is to demystify the Disney enterprise and its influence over nearly everyone and everything. Through videos, pictures, reviews and opinions we will look at all aspects of the Disney Influence.
I concentrated on the power of Disney (mainly the princesses) over young girls. What is Disney telling young girls about who to be? Are they leading every innocent girl to believe that if she stays quiet and waits a handsome young prince will come to her rescue? I read articles and blogs written by concerned parents, as well as scholarly articles on how Disney has gained its popularity and maintained its position at the top of the entertainment world.
In addition to the sexist aspect of Disney films, I also looked at the racial connotations. What is that teaching young girls, and boys? Are they predisposed to disliking a certain skin color or accent because of how a character was portrayed in a Disney film? Maybe kids aren’t really in tune with these things, and maybe they do enjoy Disney simply for the fact that it’s entertaining and whimsical, but parents need to beware of the disguised messages. No child is going to click off the TV and say “enough is enough, I’m not buying into that anymore,” so it becomes the parent’s job to provide healthy and diverse entertainment for their children.
Within the Disney Influence, I focused on the racial aspects of Disney films and television shows. While it may be more apparent and acceptable to some extent to have had racist undertones in Disney films of the past, race is still a factor in present day Disney.
Through my readings and research, it seems as though race will always be a prominent topic in the Disney franchise. It has come a long way and made many strides in broadening the diversity of ethnic groups it portrays. In the end, it is just a film, just a TV show and the parents are the ones who should be setting the examples for their children.
My main focus was the Disney theme parks and their effect on culture and society all over the world. Disney leads us to believe that their parks are a land of fantasy and creativity but the reality is that every move Disney makes is strategic. Everything in their parks from the themed rides to garbage removal is planned to get the public to spend more and become even more devoted to the Disney name.
From my research it is apparent that the Disney parks have solidified a place in the life of all generations. My concern is that people so readily accept the Disney culture and all it has to offer, both good and bad.
ADVOCACY EFFORTS BLOGS
For my blogs I have chosen to look at the negative aspects of Disney in relation to advocacy groups and others against Disney. From my research I have looked at subliminal messages and begged the question of whether or not Disney is actually “PG”. I found that Disney has sexualized images in their children’s movies as well as in some cover art for movies such as The Little Mermaid. It appears that Disney follows the idea that “sex sells”, but some argue this is not the case. From here I choose to look at what other aspects of Disney that advocacy groups were fighting against. I chose to focus on Baby Einstein for one blog because Disney is said to be kid friendly and wants to help children to learn and grow. However, research has shown that their children’s learning videos can actually do more harm then good and that children under the age of 2 should not even be watching television.
In addition, I looked at the ADC, which is an Arab Advocacy group fighting against discrimination and unfair stereotypes in the media. It was found that the children’s movie Aladdin plays into stereotypes and portrays the characters as “barbaric” and even has several, more then unfavorable lines in the songs and movie. Finally, I have decided to look at a different aspect where Disney is criticized, but not for discrimination. I have been researching church groups against Disney, accusing them of being “Christian-bashing” and “morally challenged,” because Disney initiated a policy giving unmarried domestic (same-sex) partners, both employed and not insurance benefits.
With everything that has been found and reported on, we can see that Disney is not as innocent as was once thought. So where do we go from here? I have a feeling that if students continue to dig into the heart of Disney, we will find many more shocking and disturbing truths behind Disney’s image.
My specific interest within Disney is to look into how the corporation monopolizes and dominates the tween market. Disney has most recently put Miley Cyrus through their marketing tactics and yielded the performer Hannah Montane, who is known and idolized by most of the tween world.
Hannah Montana exudes a fun and wholesome image for these fragile, young girls to look up to, but her real life persona, Miley Cyrus can easily become confused with her stage persona, because they ARE the same person. This becomes a problem when Miley is glorified as a hypersexualized celebrity representing an image that is not tween appropriate.
Two major concerns that the public can take away from this example is 1) Pressures on tween girls because of inappropriate representations propelled by Disney’s celebrities, and 2) The unfair distribution of power int he market to represent alternative tween stars and images.
It has always interested me how Disney is able to market their products to such a wide range of age groups in the most effective ways- but I did not know how far they have taken it over the years. After researching the topic it became evident to me that Disney is no longer responsible for just producing dolls, movies and princess clothing, but they have expanded to commodities such as wedding dresses, credit cards and even housewares! After the shock passed, I then decided to take this thought and focus my blogging on the products created to aim for several of these age groups, as well as the different marketing strategies used to do so.
In addition to age-specified items and marketing, I also focused some of my research on the infamous Disney Vault which limits the amount of time a Disney film is allowed to be purchased in a public store, until it is locked up in the vault again. What I learned is quite simple. The “vault” is in fact not a vault and is truly governed by the head marketers of Disney. These individuals decide when it is time to re-release each movie in an effort to make more money off of something that may actually be over thirty years old. It is brilliant… yet sad and conniving.
How the Disney brand is able to pull all of this off amazes me, which is why I decided to focus my research on the most unrealistically shocking Disney products, and the marketing strategies behind them. I believe that the information I have discovered through my blogging is important, because if we do not know how it is that Disney gets into our minds, bodies and wallets, then we will always be defeated… by an inanimate mouse.