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Discovering Disney

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Mary Barrett

on 19 April 2011

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Transcript of Discovering Disney

Race and gender representations are much different than one would imagine a family oriented, “magical” movie to be. Much to my surprise, after having watched and loved Disney movies as a child, it was pointed out in the video Mickey Mouse Monopoly that many Disney movies are in fact both racist and sexist. Race and gender play a much different role than one would expect in the "magical" world of Disney. Despite the belief that these movies are "sweet" and "child oriented" there is also the fact that the material within these movies is both racist and sexist. http://www.notablebiographies.com/De-Du/Disney-Walt.html About Walt Disney- Sexism & Racism in Disney movies This clip is from the first part of the movie "Mickey Mouse Monopoly" which points out the various aspects of sexism and racism within Disney movies. “Given the influence the Disney
ideology has on children, it is imperative for parents, teachers and other adults to understand how
such films attract the attention and shape the values of the children who view and buy them" (Giroux, 1). Giroux, H. (1995). Animating youth: the disnification of children’s culture. http://www.gseis.ucla.edu/courses/ed253a/Giroux/Giroux2.html
Maio, K. (1999) Women, race & culture in disney’s movies.
http://www.newint.org/easier-english/Disney/diswomen-p.html
Sun, C. (Producer), & Picker, M. (Director). (2001). Mickey mouse monopoly [Documentary].
(Available from Media Education Foundation, 60 Masonic Street, Northampton, MA
01060 Racism Disney is known to portray race through sterotypes. For example in "The Jungle Book (1967) which portrays gorillas and orangutans that sound like black people and
Oliver and Company, with a Chihuahua named Alonzo that is typecast as a Latino troublemaker.
At one point in the film, he talks about stealing cars. This negative stereotype is what children
may remember when they hear someone speak with a similar accent" (Sun) Sexism

She is Dependent on a Man Even Pocohontas,the strong and independent Native American was portrayed as needing John Smith's love to succeed. Many of the other Native Americans were portrayed as savages, and Pocohontas ends up falling for a strong, young, white male. (Sun) The little mermaid is forced to give up her voice, leaving only her body to attract the man she loves. (Sun) She has no voice Discovering Disney What is sexism? According to Russell, sexism is "Any attitude, action or institutional structure which systematically subordinated a person or group because of their sex" (1). What is racism? Russell similarly defines racism as "Any attitude, action or institutional structure which systematically subordinated a person or group because of their color" (1).
Russell discusses the similarity of racism and sexism on this website-
http://scriptorium.lib.duke.edu/wlm/racesex/ Another example in the "Lady and the Tramp
features the Siamese cats that negatively portray Asians. They clearly have stereotypical Asian
features such as slanted eyes, buckteeth and very heavy accents and are depicted as sinister,
cunning and manipulative" (Sun). Scar, the evil lion from Disney's the Lion King, is black, while the protagonists are all light colored. vs. "Barbaric" Portrayals in Race Aladdin is one of the most controversial Disney movies out there. The Arab people are portrayed as barbaric. The theme song is extremly offensive and the Arab people even petitioned to have it changed. The Arab people were referred to in the theme song as being "barely even human" and 'different therefore not trusted." The movies portrays "“bad” Arabs with thick foreign accents while Anglicized Jasmine and Aladdin speak in standard Americanized English” (Giroux, 1). "Aladdin looks and sounds like a fresh-faced American boy. One of the evil characters, Jafar, looks very Arabic. Some of the lyrics in the movie convey racist overtones: “I come from a land…where they cut off your ears if they don’t like your face. It’s barbaric, but hey, it’s home” (Maio, 1). The link below is the very offensive Aladdin theme song.
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