I believe that Disney is ruining the world. Every boy and girl in the world, especially girls, grows up under the influence of Disney’s universal empire. Despite what it may seem, Disney truly is a worldwide superpower in any and all young children’s product markets—not just an American mega-company. This Spring Break I, along with a few other students, went to Panama. As we worked in a small rural elementary school in one of Panama’s comarcas, or reservations, I noticed an odd trend: every little school room had at least one Disney poster. What struck me was that despite the economic situation of the school—there was no clean running water and our job as volunteers was to install a new roof in the school—every room in the school, without fail, was marked by the familiar faces of Disney’s trademark characters. Apparently Disney precedes modern standards of wellbeing and survival necessities in the world today. With its astounding market size and influence Disney has immense potential to shape children’s lives. But I believe that Disney teaches lessons quite far from what one might consider to foster good character. In every Disney movie ever there is some sort of happily ever after just following some magical resolution to the main character’s problems. Disney hardly ever has its characters proficiently find ways to sort out the issues that are presented to them throughout the course of their stories. In general, Disney’s characters are never content with what they have been given in life, and are never satisfied no matter how exquisitely incredible their circumstances might be until they find their perfect happily ever after, which they inevitably do. Through all this I find that a very flawed message is being presented to the world’s children. I find that Disney teaches children that they should not be content with what they have unless their life is perfect, while simultaneously telling them that they cannot improve their lives without some magical help and essentially should not try. These messages aren’t clearly spelled out by Disney’s movies, but I believe that these messages lie hidden within every one of them. Doesn’t every girl dream of being a beautiful princess, a beautiful princess who sits around and waits to be saved by some one else, a prince perhaps, so that their lives will be fulfilled? To me this does not sound like a healthy life style, a healthy philosophy, a healthy dream. Therefore I believe that through distorted life lessons, endlessly paraded before the world’s children, Disney is ruining the world.
February 8, 2011