Dr. Carola Mattord
February 12, 2013
Rethinking Giroux’s Disney
In Henry Giroux’s book, “The Mouse that Roared” he argues that Disney animated movies lead to the end of innocence in children. He focuses mainly on the images that Disney portrays towards gender roles and gender stereotyping. He primarily targets the issues that women are portrayed as being subordinate to men and are viewed as property and objects of desire instead of as human beings. Giroux is unconvincing in his argument because he writes above the level of thinking and comprehension that most children who are exposed to Disney films would posses; by focusing on specific scenes, while ignoring the overall morals throughout the rest of the movies, he takes the message Disney is trying to illustrate out of context.
Since Giroux’s argument is directed to the effect Disney animated movies have on the innocence of children, he discusses what images are portrayed and are picked up by children who view the films. He mainly explains that Disney movies teach young girls that men are dominate over women, and that men care more about a woman’s image rather than what a woman has to say. Giroux fails to consider that the children exposed to Disney films would not comprehend the message in the same way he does. The images that Giroux discusses such as; “Ursula's disclosure to Ariel that having her voice taken away is not so bad because men do not like women who talk is dramatized when the prince attempts to bestow the kiss of true love on Ariel even though she has never spoken to him. Within this rigid narrative, Ariel's maturity and identity are limited to her feminine attractability and embodied by heterosexual marriage,” children from the ages of 5-13 are not able to comprehend the analogies and imagery that he points out. Children at that age are more interested in the whimsical entertainment of the films and are too innocent and oblivious to any of the symbolism that...
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