Disney takes radical turn uplifting to disgraceful

Kristi Gange and Lindsey Buck

The greatest symbol of innocence in the world is a child, but where does corruption begin?

Leonard F. Peltier, a famous American activist and author, once said, “We each begin in innocence. We all become guilty.”

When raising a child, many parents rely on movies to reinforce the values that they have instilled in their children. However, a growing number of controversies in Disney films make it apparent that these images are not the ideas that should be filling the minds of youth.

When you are young you aren’t looking for the undertones that certain movies may have. As you get older, it’s brought to your attention that the movies you grew up watching and loved so much weren’t as innocent as you thought.

Movies such as “Dumbo,” “Lady and the Tramp,” “Tarzan,” and “Aladdin” feature negative stereotypes about race, as well as violence and sexual undertones.

From a young age, children are exposed to a world of sex, violence, racism, and much more in movies that are supposedly created just for them.

For example, in the movie “The Lion King” the main character Simba jumps on the ground, causing a cloud of dust to come up and form the word “sex.”

Some might argue that messages as small as this cause no harm to children and are put in movies for adult entertainment. However, subconsciously these movies can have harmful effects on children.

In “Aladdin,” the words “teenagers take your clothes off” can be heard during the magic carpet scene. Although Disney argues that the real words are “go kitty, take off,” there is a high amount of doubt among viewers.

Disney’s “Peter Pan” shows a group of Native American characters that live in Never-Never Land and represent numberous stereotypes of the culture, including the use of a peace pipe and the words such as “paleface” and “squaw.” In addition, there are also cliched accents used when a character slaps his hand to his mouth.

In Disney’s “Tarzan,” violence plays a large role in a series of vicious animal attacks and the implied death of Tarzan’s parents. In fact, the villain is killed ruthlessly by hanging vines.

Where do we draw the line of what is appropriate for young kids? In studies it has been proven that much violence is caused by television, video games, and influences around children. What goes in truly does come out.

In “Dumbo,” there are three black crows, all of which are portrayed as simplistic, uneducated, and poor. In addition, the lead crow’s name is Jim Crow. Jim Crow was the name given to a set of rigid laws that further restricted the rights of African Americans between 1877 and the mid-1960s.

Finally, we are faced with the Siamese cats in “Lady and the Tramp.” These cats sport exaggerated, slanted eyes that play to a highly offensive stereotype of the Asian culture. The cats also spit and slur during speech while displaying bad grammar.

The G and PG ratings on these movies don’t hold much validity. When renting or purchasing movies, do parents really know what they are doing? It seems that instead of preserving innocence we are actually encouraging the loss of it.

When children subconsciously receive information that puts sexual concepts in their head, encourages the use of violence, and tells them that a certain type of person is inferior, they are subconsciously influenced whether they realize it or not.

These films hold a lot of power, and in order to benefit children and their future, they should encourage good principles. We believe it’s important to portray people in a respectful way. If the world wants to put an end to corruption, it must start at the very center of problems: the mind.           

Many factors play into this, but negative influence is one of the biggest factors.

Children and parents alike rely on these films to help implant good morals into the minds of youth. Disney has a powerful influence on young people, and the company should use that influence to help mold children into the best version of themselves that they can be.