|Photo courtesy of Kwantlen.net|
“As a single father of three young boys, I found myself somewhat reluctantly being introduced to the world of Hollywood animated films and in particular , to those produced by Disney” starts the chapter in Henry A. Giroux’s book “The Mouse That Roared: Disney and the End of Innocence”. Giroux has spent much of his career writing about the Walt Disney Corporation and its effects on Society. It was upon reading this book, and spending time with children at the Little Mountain Neighbourhood house, an after school program for low income children where I volunteer that the idea for my term paper began to develop.
I have loved Disney since I can remember. My childhood was encompassed by Disney movies, and all the toys that came along with it. I especially loved any movie that involved animals and would spend days with my friends re-enacting scenes from our favourite films. As an adult my passion for Disney continued and I have spent weekends scouring flea markets for old Disney films and memorabilia and at 19 even took a trip to California to Disneyland. I wouldn't call myself obsessed, but I will admit that I continue to have a keen interest for the children’s fantasy of my youth.
|Myself in Disneyland (2007) courtesy of Suzan Aktug|
Upon deciding to create this blog I have chosen to take a critical look at three of my favourite Disney movies, TheLady and the Tramp, The Lion King and Beauty and the Beast to see if there is something that I have missed. What message is Disney sending to its audience and what stereotypes and negative images does Disney perpetuate? When reading Giroux and other criticism regarding Disney I decided to take off my defensive hat and put on an objective one. I plan to write based on what I’m feeling at the conclusion of research and at the conclusion of each film to ensure that my mind is as fresh on the material as possible. Giroux says that there are a number of issues regarding Disney and its influence on children and culture that require exploration and I intend to do just that, explore these films and discover if there is something underneath the singing, the dancing, and the good old fashioned fun that Disney claims to portray.