Racial Stereotypes in Disney Cartoons & Films
For more than eight decades, the Walt Disney Company has been paramount in the field of family entertainment. Disney is a forerunner in childhood culture and presents itself as a company rooted in innocence and magic. However Disney is a corporate mogul owning media giants such as ABC, ESPN, ABC Radio and the Disney Empire itself.
Disney movies I realized do not provide an accurate representation of race. If a character is from a race other than white, they are reinforcing cultural stereotypes in their portrayal. Race is underrepresented in Disney movies which than provides children with a false sense of reality. This under representation could cause children confusion and they may have a difficult time deciding which characters to identify with. Furthermore, Disney is been able to hide behind the innocence of family stories. Children begin to associate real life situations and people with things that they see on the movies. Some of the examples of race in Disney movies include the Pocahontas, Lion king, Aladdin, Dumbo, Lady and the Tramp, and The Little Mermaid. In Pocahontas Native Americans are portrayed as brutal savages, and the good characters are mostly white. In the lion king, the hyenas are portrayed as very unintelligent beings, and they have African American voices. In the Little Mermaid, dark characters versus the light characters, all â€śbadâ€? characters are dark while all â€śgoodâ€? characters are seen to be white. This type of movies than further teaches these children from a young age that itâ€™s somehow better to be white than black. Finally, I believe that these stereotypes shape childrenâ€™s views and can carry through their adulthood. Disney movies are very popular and almost every child in America watches it. Overall, from noticing little things around me I am now more aware of them than I was before, and I believe this has to do with taking this class.