Thursday, September 8, 2011

Morality: Disney & Morals

What is Morality? I see morality as a common known concept that holds additional, smaller subcategories to it. We all know that moralities are something to live by, and are always unique, including our own. Although many people may not know their own morals on the spot, they subconsciously live by them. We learn as humans to develop our own morals, or live by what we are taught.  The teachings all start as soon as you’re born. Your brain is constantly learning, observing, and developing. As young infants grow into toddlers they begin to start learning from right and wrong. This begins to create on how the child sees the right morals and remember them in their memory.The main stream of how they learn the right morals, other than from their own parents, is their exposure to television’s movies.
One of the absolute top movie productions is Disney. They create animated films, their start dating back since the 1930’s, that are mainly focused on being for children below the age of ten. Disney produces many films about romance, adventure, and problem solving. There are the Disney princesses, who always find a prince in the end, and then there are the following adventures, in which the main character must overcome an obstacle in the end. Each story has their own moral to it. There is Aladin and Pinocchio with their overall moral of never lie. Mulan shows that no matter what gender you are, you can still be proud, strong, and excel beyond other’s expectations. And there is Beauty and the Beast, with the importance of personality stretches beyond their looks. All of these Disney movies provide a very catching story for young children, but also teach them right from wrong. At such a young age, a child is most likely to hold onto the moral, learn from it, and develop their personality off of it as they grow up.
Majorly, the development process throughout a human’s life never ends, but is much more significant when young. What you learn then as morals mostly affects how you will follow them and believe them yourself. The younger young children begin to learn the morals of right from wrong show that they will grow to know the difference, and most likely become well-rounded people with good morals. All together, morality is taught majorly through childhood movies, such as all of Disney’s, and is definitely beneficial to them.

Mouse Morality


  1. Is the "Morality" learned from Disney applicable today? Other than Belle's view of the world in Beauty & The Beast...are the ideas of Disney princesses "finding a prince in the end" or even "overcoming an obstacle" really about shaping values or defining morals? Or is it creating a suggestion (to audiences or kids) that life will somehow do all the hard work for you? Still, your assertion that children can "grow to know the difference" (last paragraph)--and the power of film in the shaping of a child's moral compass--is certainly a good one! :)

  2. I think that this paper is good, however, i think it's a little too straight forward. Not much description in what your true thoughts are on morals. yes, you did begin to explain how, yet you venture off into the disney princesses. its a good example and way to explain morals. Yet i think we as the reader need a little more information before you jump into the Disney topic. How have morals effected the way children learn? How has disney used their movies to psychologically teach children?

  3. You talked about a lot of great points, and this is well focused. Disney changes so many classic fairy tails to portray American values. Isn't it sad how children are almost forced to think this way?

  4. I love the concept of not knowing your morals off the top of your head but subconsciously living by them, thats brilliant and very true. I want to respond to a question Mr. Walker posed in his comment about how princess's "finding their prince" and "overcoming obstacles" can create the illusion that life will do all the hard work for you.
    I completely disagree, in every disney movie I have ever seen the protagonist only finds their prince or overcomes an obstacle after a long road of challenges. One of Tyler's examples was the movie Mulan (my favorite!), where her only goal is to please her father and bring honor to her family. When she is told she has shamed him and will never make a good bride by the matchmaker she sets out to join the chinese army in her father's place. Because women were not viewed as equals, she must pretend to be a man named Ping the whole movie and earns the respect of her fellow soldiers as Ping. But when they find out that Ping is not real and that it's Mulan instead of killing her they leave her in the mountains to die basically. While in the mountains she discovers that the Hun army was not really defeated and does the moral thing of going to warn those who abandoned her. She ends up fighting alongside them to defeat the Huns and ultimately earning the respect of all of China, but most importantly herself and she learns that everyone has something to offer and that she can make her family proud by simply being herself.
    In no way shape or form was anything in life ever done for Mulan, she faces all kinds of challenges and eventually overcomes by persevering and being true to herself. Which can teach kids that although it may seem that they may not fit in just stay true to yourself and your reflection will show who you are inside!

  5. For the Disney princesses, who, as you say 'always find a prince in the end,' I would ask what obstacles must they overcome, and what do they end up sacrificing? For example, watch this funny YouTube video on The Little Mermaid and tell me what a happy ending costs.

  6. I agree with Mariah's response completely. Mulan had worked hard for her goals in life. Yet, there are some princesses who life works for them instead. A princess under the movie title "Sleeping Beauty" was destined upon birth to be pricked and put to death by a wicked fairy. But a good fairy reverses the spell so she will only be put to sleep until kissed. The version Disney made had a prince fight a dragon to kiss her and awaken her from slumber. Then, after the prince awakens her, they fall in love. She was destined to prick herself and then simply be awoken with a kiss by a handsome prince. This shows how she didn't work hard for any obstacles, in response to Mr. Walker's questions.
    And for Ariel, she does sacrifice, but because Disney shortens the story to a girl falling in love with something she is not. A human. This video shows very clearly, in a humorous way, that Ariel makes her own sacrifices and mistakes that she does not think through.