Hakuna Matata, Disney Shows Us the Circle of Life

The most obvious theme that is in any type of children’s entertainment is the idea of right vs. wrong or good vs. evil. In the end of a children’s story the person doing the “right” thing will be praised or rewarded and the person doing the “wrong” thing will be punished. This could be because society wants to teach children that they should do the “right” thing in any type of situation.

Some people fear that Disney has taken this idea of instilling thoughts in children’s mind too far; that they put ideas in children’s heads of how a woman should look and use her sexuality to get what she wants; or that Disney portrays men as very masculine and that they must save the woman. As we grow up and start to see how the real world works, I believe it is more up to the family and friends we are around to influence our behavior rather than the Disney Classic movies. These works will stay as entertainment and not become what we base our lives off of as we mature and start to see things for ourselves.

Toy Story is a great classic Disney movie. It also shows the wide variety of ages this movie attracts. It came out when I was very young and I have watched it several times over the years since it came out, and I still enjoy it just as much each time. Then in 2010, Toy Story 3 came out. Many teenagers and young adults, myself included, who have loved the story of Toy Story got another chance to relive the joy the movie brought us as kids. I think people in my age group really appreciated this movie even more so than the young kids even if they are the same ages we were when the first one came out. Even though many sequels end up ruining films I believe this one grabbed an audience (young adults) that it may not have had it not been for the first Toy Story.

Part of the great thing about Disney films is the songs you sang along to as a kid without thinking about what the lyrics actually meant. They now have a different meaning than you might have expected when you were younger. They are filled with sexual innuendo and jokes only people of a certain age will get. This makes it enjoyable for adults to have a laugh at the things their children do not get but also as we grow up and re-watch these movies we find new things to laugh at and new ways to enjoy a film we’ve seen dozens of times.

The majority of children’s movies have a happy ending. This is part of the reason parents have their kids watch these movies. Until a certain age many parents try to shelter their kids. It is okay for a while for us to always be waiting for the happy ending in a movie. As we get older we begin to understand not every story whether fiction or real can have a happy ending. I think the movies that reveal new things to us as we mature solidify the idea that as we grow things are not always as they appear on first glance. By attracting ideas to children and adults, I think Disney culture shows us some sort of “circle of life” (and not just in the way The Lion King shows). Disney is not only for kids because there are some adults who still long for things like a “fairytale” wedding, prince charming, or simply just a happy ending.


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