Stereotypically Disney

Gee, it’s been a while since I ruined people’s fondest childhood entertainment memories. Today seems like a good day to do it again. Let’s focus on Disney, shall we?

I know, I know, Disney is the easiest to hate on. It’s basically like shooting a shotgun at the side of a barn…there’s too much there to miss. And yet, there are things about Disney movies that people don’t really talk about.

Take this chick, for instance:

I saw The Little Mermaid when I was about six. I loved it. It was always one of my favorite Disney films, and the soundtrack remains my favorite to this day. But while everyone else was hung up on Ariel’s seashell bra and exposed midriff, or the anti-feminist way she gave up her voice to get a man, or the fact that said man was patently uninterested in her and at least a little gay, the Ogre was looking at something else.

The baddest mer-daddy of them all, whose teenaged daughter ran circles around him, disobeyed with a vengeance, almost got him killed, and never once really apologized. Oh sure, when she’s all found out and everything’s in the crapper she yells, “Daddy, I’m sorry! I didn’t mean to!” In our house, we don’t call that an apology. We call that an excuse. She most certainly did mean to! She knew exactly what she was doing! Yet instead of letting her bear the consequence of her actions, Triton just sacrifices himself to save her.

Now, this would be one thing if she had learned her lesson, or if he thought she would learn a lesson, or if he even though that she was doing something kind of okay. But he didn’t. He was firmly convinced that the path she was trying to take into the human world was wrong. But after the final battle, he showed how much he loved his rebellious, self-centered daughter by giving her the very thing she wanted in the first place, the thing he believed was bad for her, because…because why? Because she somehow understood it differently? Because he had seen some kind of virtue in her, or the prince, or some kind of real compassion or love between them? Uh, nah. Probably not. Remember, Eric and Ariel still had never even had a conversation. Probably he gave her what she wanted because Disney.

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“Oh, Sebastian, it’s totally okay that Ariel’s asshatery almost got me and the human prince killed and the mer-kingdom handed over to a sea witch, because she loves him” said no good father ever.

Ariel totally should have just died, with Prince Eric none the wiser, like in the original story. That would have been a good story. That would have been one I would have told my daughters. The Disney version teaches girls that if they are persistent enough in their selfish desires, have fathers who care more about making their princesses happy than teaching them to be good, and have a taut midriff, the world will give them whatever they want no matter how much damage they cause trying to get it. Well, the Ogre was having none of that. He put the kibosh on The Little Mermaid six years ago, and it hasn’t seen the inside of our house since.

Peter Pan is still a family favorite, though, because it’s awesome. And since I’m 1/32 Cherokee, I can overlook the overt and ludicrous racism, seeing as how it’s directed at my people and all. And you know, it doesn’t offend me, so that must make it okay.

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I particularly appreciate how Victorian inequality of the sexes is attributed to a population who had no concept of “the angel of the hearth.” It’s so refreshing to see an Anglo-European young girl stand up to the oppressive sexism of the red man’s red woman. Squaw no gettum firewood, indeed, Wendy! Up top, sister!

Wanna talk offensive Disney racism, though? Here, watch this:

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Doesn’t it just warm the cockles of your heart to see hulking, faceless black men who never learned to read or write, slaving away until they get their pay, which they will happily throw away as soon as they get it? Listen, it’s not really racism, because that’s just how things were back then, and they say they’re happy, anyway, so. It’s totally fine! There are no stereotypes in Dumbo. That’s just the way things were, right?

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Why yes, all cartoon crows were voiced by blackface actors in the 1940′s. Didn’t you know that? And just because they’re crows doesn’t mean there’s any connection to Jim Crow. Jeez. You’re really stretching things now, Calah.

Stereotypes abound in Disney movies. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that every single Disney character is a static stereotype. A mere caricature of a character. I’m having trouble thinking of even one who learns, changes, or grows from what they experience.

Aladdin, you ask?

Well, let’s think about it. If we had to sum up the lesson Aladdin learned in one sentence, what would that sentence be?

Aladdin: Unbelievably handsome yet downtrodden young thief who realizes that he doesn’t have to pretend to be a prince to be a king.

That was fun. Let’s do Jasmine.

Unbelievably beautiful princess with a self-entitlement complex who learns that if she stomps, slams doors, and runs away enough, her father will stop treating her like a child and give her exactly what she wants.

Unbelievably beautiful girl who can read, and thus is really deep and stuff, realizes that bestiality’s kind of okay if your only other option is a man-shaped beast who decorates with antlers…as long as the real beast gives you pretty clothes. Oh, and one of those rooms full of books.

Unbelievably beautiful orphan, maltreated by her stepmother and stepsisters, who is so lovely that nature itself gives her the happy ending she deserves, because fairy godmothers, that’s why. (She realizes nothing, except maybe that she shouldn’t run in heels.)

Unbelievably beautiful princess with no personal background whatsoever has national catastrophe (which she caused with her inexplicable stupidity) fixed for her by a handsome prince she saw one time when she was tripping, all while she sleeps off the hangover.

Unbelievably beautiful dead girl who likes apples and dwarves and has a tumor on her vocal cords, causing her to speak in a pitch usually only heard by dogs, is brought back to life when some creeper just jumps off his horse and kisses her dead freaking lips.

The last few might have gotten away from me a bit, but my point is not that stereotypes are bad or that static characters are awful…sometimes they’re useful devices. My point is that’s all Disney deals in. Static, stereotypical characters.

Granted, Disney recently made some strides that were, for Disney, practically colossal.

Oh yeah, I’m looking at y’all. (See what I did there? I used the vernacular common in Louisiana. Authenticity FTW.)

Full disclosure: I adore this movie. I love every single detail of it, think it’s one of the best movies Disney has ever made, and rank it among my favorite movies ever.

That’s not gonna stop me from ripping the poorly-written characters to shreds, though.

I honestly think this is how the creation of these two characters went down in some Disney boardroom (since this isn’t Pixar, and we all know Pixar movies are dreamed up on napkins):

Writer’s assistant (hesitating at doorway to boardroom): Um, so I know that I’m just learning and all, but don’t you think it’s time Disney created some characters who have to overcome obstacles within themselves, instead of characters who are forever inexplicably defeating the bad guy for no discernible reason other than the cartoon universe favoring the more aesthetically pleasing animated figure?

Writer: You’re fired. (enters boardroom alone while cartoon security guards escort out the befuddled assistant) Good afternoon, gentlemen! I have a proposal to change the way Disney thinks about it’s characters. The people of the world have dropped their obsession with knights and dragons in favor of an obsession with exploring their collective inner-selfness(es).  So we need characters who have to battle NOT ONLY the evil without (because kids still watch these things, and kids are stupid), BUT ALSO the evil WITHIN! We need characters who have to change some major flaw in their character BEFORE they get everything they ever wanted on a silver plate. To that end, I pulled out this. (whips out THE CLIFF’S NOTES HANDBOOK OF STOCK CHARACTER TRANSFORMATIONS and lets the book fall open to the P’s, where he reads the first damn thing he sees) Imagine this: a poor little rich boy falls in love with a poor…oh, an actually poor girl. Who has daddy issues. (Looks up, realizes that no one is sold, and hastily adds) But SHE’S BLACK! And he’s some kind of ethnic Spanishey something or other, but he’s definitely NOT WHITE! And the whole thing takes place in a SWAMP IN LOUISIANA (begins to frantically fill in the blanks using ideas from last night’s Swamp People marathon) with…uh…fireflies who HARDLY HAVE ANY TEETH and a freaking ALLIGATOR who just wants to be a saxophone player! And did I mention there’s VOODOO? (Someone pops open a champagne bottle.)

Congratulations, Disney. You’ve moved from static, stereotypical characters who get everything they ever wanted for pretty much no real reason at all to stereotypical characters with stereotypical issues who stereotypically realize that all they need is love. Yeah, you actually played that card. (I’d be more annoyed by that if it hadn’t freaking worked. Damn it, Disney.)

See, I wouldn’t mind this so much if it weren’t aimed at impressionable children. I really don’t want my children to grow up thinking that anyone, be it cartoon birds or genies in lamps, is going to fix the mess they’re in. Even if it’s not a mess they created, even if they really are the victims, I still want them to grow into the kind of people who say, “Whoa, this is a disaster and it needs to be handled. Better pitch in and help.” But especially for those times when they’re up to their necks in the creek they willingly jumped into, I want them to be the kind of people who tread water until they can swim out.

Damsels in distress are only attractive when there’s a dragon to slay. After the kiss and the credits, though, there’s gonna be dinners to make, dishes to wash, and diapers to change. If the damsel keeps expecting her distress to bring someone running to do it for her, she’s gonna make everyone miserable real quick, and no one more than herself.

Street rats with hearts of gold are all well and good, until they start believing that their good intentions make them good enough to rule kingdoms. Aladdin was a great guy and all, but I can’t help but wince when I imagine the fallout from the new laws he decides to pass when the old Sultan kicks the bucket. Laws to make bread “Free for Everyone!” Being a swell guy doesn’t make up for a total lack of education and blissful ignorance of basic economics. As mean as the old Sultan was for insisting that Jasmine stick to the law and marry a prince, there’s a reason that law was written…because princes have been trained from childhood to rule countries. I’m not convinced that Aladdin could pick up the requisite knowledge from Agraba’s version of Khan Academy. Sometimes people aren’t just being big meanies when they say, “sorry, but you don’t have the skills required to fill this position.” Sometimes, you just don’t have the skills required to fill the position.

I wish Disney would make a movie about a character who has some serious flaws in their character, or huge, devastating gaps in their education, and has to work slowly and humiliatingly, day by day, to overcome those things. No great flashes of insight, no moments of clarity, just a humble drudge, humbly trying to become slightly more than a drudge. I wish Disney would make a movie about how this character never realizes their spectacular dreams, but learns to be satisfied with their tangible achievements. I wish Disney would make this movie so the kids of today don’t grow up like I did, with impossible expectations of life and other people and an entitlement complex whose sheer girth swallows up their work ethic. I wish they would make it so the kids of today know that it’s okay, when you’re a year shy of thirty and life looks nothing like your dreams, to realize that your life as it is is better than getting all your wishes granted by a fairy godmother.

But I know what they would say, the Disney execs, if I asked them for that movie.

“Have you heard of Pixar?”

  • Kate Bluett

    I agree with almost everything you said, but I must castigate you roundly (Roundly!) for two points:
    1) To be fair, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, and Snow White really are written that way (minus the cute animals) in their originals. As far as I can tell, they are exemplars of a genre that prized dainty femininity simply for being itself. So Sleeping Beauty doesn’t have to do anything–her feminine juju makes the world go ’round, as soon as she comes to marriagable age. Yes, there are issues with that, but Disney didn’t invent them.
    2) OK, so Dumbo and Peter Pan get a shout out for racism (thoroughly justified, although I still love Dumbo*), but Jungle Book doesn’t get a mention? How vividly I remember the day in Critical Theory when Dr. Roper shattered my childhood by pointing out that having monkeys (MONKEYS) as a jazz band (JAZZ) was inherently racist. Even though Louis Prima, the voice of King Louis, is white.
    * Actually, I think the racism in Dumbo is a deliberate subtext. I mean, here’s the story of an innocent who is shafted for nothing more than his looks (because he’s obviously an African elephant in a heard of small-eared Indian elephants). And he ends up not only rising above adversity, with the help of friends, but shooting adversity with peanuts. I kind of think that Dumbo is, in fact, a story about how stupid racism (and judging-books-by-their-covers in general) are, and the subtext helps illustrate it. If I remember the credits correctly, it’s based on a short story, which I should look up.
    In short, man, I love it when somebody else hates Disney as much as I do! Now, how do I get my husband to agree to me throwing out Aladdin and Mulan?

  • FatherMapple

    You do realize Pixar does the same thing, but on a more believable (because of their modern trappings) scale?

    Cars: I’m good due to my inborn talents, had a mis-step, then win again anyways, because love.

    Planes: I’m a crop duster, and didn’t try too hard but had lots of people believe in me (which is just as good) and won the entire thing WITHIN ONE SEASON.

    Toy Stories: I was loved, then didn’t think I was, but turned out I was anyways, and found new love.

    Wall-E – cute robot actually does save the day for everyone because of near-magic like technology, not because of any inherent ability of their own.

    A Bug’s Life – charlatans continue to be charlatans, but then the ants love each other enough to not be scared individuals, and beat the grasshoppers. But inspired due to the circus bugs’ lies.

    The Incredibles is almost really good – there’s a reason it’s one of my favorites. They have real flaws. But guess what? Love means they win, and the flaws disappear. Because they’re super heroes to start with, duh!

    Finding Nemo – Kid fish has rebellion troubles, and parent fish has control issues (which, like real life, are commonly linked). Horrible kidnapping takes place, then in a story worthy of Liam Nieson, the adult fish gets his kid back. Kid escapes because people love and believe in him and do most of the wwork. He doesn’t actually keep trying more than twice.

    Monsters Inc – loveable monsters are misguided, child shows them they were wrong. Laughter turns out to be the best medicine and power supply. Convenient!

    I hadn’t seen Brave, Monsters University, or Ratatouille. My life still has meaning and purpose.

    Up is great! Still a happy ending. But it is actually earned to some degree. It’s the best of the

    Toy Story 3 almost did it – I wanted the entire movie to end in the incinerator. Then 100s of millions of kids would have learned a really important lesson: trying to do the good sometimes doesn’t work out. People catastrophically fail all the time. I thought about showing it to my kid then turning it off at that scene, saying “I don’t want you to watch them get burned up. Let’s go read about some tragic Bible heroes that saw their vindication come hundreds of years after their death. Vengeance belongs to the Lord”

    But I didn’t do that. We watched the whole movie and said it was good.

    • Tiff

      Brave is really a good message; especially coming from a Disney movie, it’s a complete 180 from the rest of them, definitely worth watching.

      I always thought in Incredibles their flaws didn’t disappear so much as they learned from them (because it almost got them all killed) and then they tried to learn from their mistakes.

    • Sir Mark

      But the car, Lightning McQueen, didn’t win. He sacrificed his victory for another car.

  • J.M.C.

    Interesting post, and I completely see Calah’s point about the problems in “The Little Mermaid”!

    But I am wondering if some of the lessons that we’re wishing the movies would teach younger children might be a little bit too mature and nuanced for the under-twelve set to be capable of grasping. (E.g., the thought that “Toy Story 3” would have been better if it had ended in the incinerator, because then it would have shown how good intentions don’t always save you…)

    Perhaps there might be some value in simplistic plots and characters for children’s movies, insofar as it teaches them to cheer for the “good guys” in an archetypal good-vs.-evil sort of conflict—not to mention that clearly defined “good” and “evil” characters in Disney movies are actually kind of a contrast to the moral relativism that imbues so much of the rest of our culture.

    Seeing how the “good guys” always win in the end, and that the “good guys” are the beautiful ones, might actually serve as a foundation for the harder and more subtle themes (like the reality of failure, the need overcome the evil within ourselves, etc.) which they can begin to explore once they’re truly old enough to understand and appreciate them.

  • Betsy

    What about Babe? Anyone ready to tear that one apart ? I love Toy Story (really all three of them), Babe and Milo & Otis above all other movies…and I mean all other movies.

    • Caroline Moreschi

      Milo and Otis is such a great friendship story! And most people don’t seem to know about it….

  • GeekLady

    Much of what you’re objecting to is failed genre translation. Moving from the fairy tale or myth to the conventions of the modern novel or screenplay loses something essential from the source material. The original characters are one dimensional, and when the writers try to round them out it only brings them up to two dimensional and only makes them more obviously flat while losing what made them interesting in the first place.

    But you want a movie heroine that works to overcome her own flaws? You already know her: Chihiro from Spirited Away.

  • Rebecca Fuentes

    I was a teen when “The Little Mermaid” came out, and I remember quite a lot of people objecting to how it rewarded disobedience and selfishness. I don’t particularly like how children and teens are fed the twin cliches of “love conquers all” and “Just be yourself” (which goes with the idea that anyone preventing you from being yourself is wrong). The first is only true in a divine sense, if it is truly unconditional love which wants the best for the beloved. It’s never presented that way. True love conquering all is suddenly the cute guy taking the nice girl instead of the nasty one to prom. “Loving” someone becomes the excuse for deriding or rejecting others, for disobeying parents, for abandoning friends, family, and children. “Being yourself” is great, unless you are an ass. Kids seem to think being themselves means being nasty to anyone you happen not to like–being polite or respectful even when they don’t like someone is deemed fake (and fake is the worst thing you can be). The teen who drinks is just being himself. The guy who refuses to do his math? He’s just being himself. The girls who took a secret picture of another girl changing in the locker room and sent it to the whole school? They’re just being themselves.
    Okay. Rant over.

  • Peg

    As a child, I loved reading a lot of fairy tales because I was the youngest of three daughters and in the stories the youngest of three daughters was alway the prettiest and most good. Win, win! I remember that those stories were pretty nasty and violent at times—Cinderella’s sisters cut off bits of their feet in order to squeeze them into the shoes, for example. They were seldom unalloyed, sugary fantasist. As for the movies, my kids often did not get the intended lesson—they thought “Gaston” was much more appealing than the “beast”. They liked his swagger.

  • Nancy

    We own precious few children’s movies — Tangled, Toy Story, Ratatouille (good stuff about having the courage to insist on excellence, even when it marks you as weird, and telling the truth/giving credit where it’s due), the old animated Charlotte’s Web (I love the look of the new one, but they ADDED stupid lines about how everything’s really about friendship, as if they could improve upon the original), Schoolhouse Rock, and Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs (filled with character flaws that are corrected through life experience, and good lessons about the perils of excess). Lion King is also good for major character flaws corrected when Simba matures and accepts responsibility and leads.

    Our problem is that one Grandma has most of the old Disney movies, and likes to watch them with my kids!!!! My mom didn’t let us watch Disney — she’s a Catholic feminist who hated the simpy heroines in the old movies.

    • Clare Krishan

      If she’s your mother, Granma is your problem. If she’s your mother-in-law, you are your husband’s problem. The kids won’t suffer unless either of you make it their problem.

      We grew up in the UK with TV’s “Wonderful World of Disney” in the 60s and I remember fondly the sentimental anthropomorphized natural-history segments (here’s Walt on his poodle being the only lady who understands him,
      could explain a lot, no?)

      Our mother didn’t restrict content but was keen to be seen to criticize anything she deemed “sentimental” — a great flaw in her eyes that seemed just plain miserly to us as kids — and anything where adults were having fun at children’s expense, such as scripts written with adult-humor innuendo or sophisticated slapstick that would’ve required stuntmen to pull off and therefore wasn’t authentic ‘clean fun’ and rather dangerous if emulated by unknowing minors. Now as an adult I have come to learn that sentimentality is the root of much feminine vice — indeed JPII called it our prime weakness that we use to justify all manner of ills in courtship and family life — so my mother’s rigorist streak was ahead of her time and correct theologically-speaking but so poorly expressed we all rebelled against her… all five of us fell away practicing the faith, I was the only one to return twenty years ago when I discovered the TOB anthropology, in particular man’s ‘reflexive conscience’ as the seat of virtue, ie we learn virtue by seeing ourselves mirrored in another’s soul (sentimentality is imagining a perfected mental image in our own heads and desiring the simulacrum we can control rather than facing the unpredictable real presence of an other we cannot). Virtue cannot be acquired in isolation, we need social relations to risk “putting ourselves out there” to attain it.

      Perhaps Disney’s issue is trying to fashion metaphysical myth from physical fables? Traditional folk tales such as Aesop’s were intentionally limited to the foibles of the animal kingdom in order to distinguish between pure instinct oriented to a given natural end and we human’s capacity for metaphysical deduction via free will. Unlike the hapless creatures we can choose to orient our instincts to a supernatural end, that of virtue. The moral or motto of each tale was a simple didactic conclusion about shortcomings of being “beastly” ie they taught the primary capital virtue of prudence, first do no harm or “Ubi fuerit superbia, ibi erit et contumelia; ubi autem est humilitas, ibi et sapientia” as Psalm 11:2 puts it.

      Contumacy aka l’orgeleuse haughtiness is the psychological twilight zone of the realm of faerie-Eden; between our base animal capacities for sentience (anatomical feelings) and consciousness (mental awareness) and the higher faculties of moral conscience (virtue and vice) in our fervid imaginings. Such coveting is where we let false sentiment rip — leading to greater evils. Reality bites. We learn by doing. To err is human. To forgive Divine.

      Disney skips that concluding thought. But why?
      Perhaps to justify the premise of all that covetous merchandizing associated with their fable-brand equity? Sentimentality sells?

  • Megan

    “I wish Disney would make this movie so the kids of today don’t grow up like I did, with impossible expectations of life and other people and an entitlement complex whose sheer girth swallows up their work ethic.”

    Maybe this is sarcasm but I would like to address it as a serious point. I am part of the Disney generation (and proud of it!), I’ve seen every movie and can sing every song. I really feel that they shaped me as a child, but not in the ways that you are mentioning. First things first, I didn’t learn about virtue from Disney. I learned that from other sources, from teachers, friends, priests, coaches, parents etc. I, and many of my friends who are of the same generation, managed to make it through our Disney-soaked childhood without then negative effects you mentioned. (Granted, we might all have other issues that can be traced back to Disney, but I doubt it. I think their root lies elsewhere) I think your blog overemphasizes the power of a children’s movie to say that it could cause so many future problems.

    As a child, I never realized the inherent problems in Disney movies. It never even registered that the men in Dumbo were all black, that the jazz band monkeys in Jungle book were a comment on race, that that Ariel was selfish and disrespectful to her father (and that used to be one of my favorites!), that Bell and Beast were a relationship dabbling in bestiality, that Jasmine was spoiled… It wasn’t until I was a teenager and re-watched them that I realized they didn’t make any sense and they often rewarded bad behavior (I was actually shocked to see how spoiled Ariel was because that was not how I remembered her at all in my mind). As I child what I DID notice was that the circus didn’t really treat the elephants well (since they made them work in the rain), that the monkeys made catchy music, that Bell was the kindest person in the world and she treated Beast kindly even when he was mean to her (besides, he was a prince in disguise anyway), and that Ariel and Jasmine were misunderstood and unheard by their parents. (Besides, Ariel was a mermaid and Jasmine had a pet tiger, how cool is that?!)

    I do not think children are stupid, or that they require dumbed down versions of the world just so they can learn. I just think they see things completely different from adults. They see in simple, often profound, pictures. They accept the fiction of the story and don’t try to apply any extra-textual ideas. Adults do that. We learned at some point that fairy tales don’t happen too often (I won’t say “never” because I’m an optimist), that they rarely happen without a great deal of hard work, and that, sometimes, they never happen at all. This realization makes us question everything. Kids will learn that too eventually. They don’t have to learn it from their movies. Their innocence, hope, trust, and belief in magic and “true love” is what marks them as children. And it is refreshing to be around little ones who don’t know how cruel the world can be.

    What Disney taught me was that such a thing as a “happily ever after” existed. Maybe only in Disney, or in a parallel universe, but it existed somewhere and that is all that mattered. And, armed with that hope, I grew up and tried to make it a reality. (Granted, the first time I tried yelling back at my Dad or stomping my foot to get my way, correction came swiftly and I learned that what worked for Jasmine and Ariel was DEFINITELY not gonna fly in my house… like I said before, virtue was learned outside of the TV screen). Anyway, this post turned out to be much longer than I had anticipated! Thanks for the thought provoking post Calah!

    • leogirl87

      I understand your point about children seeing movies differently than adults do. I didn’t even notice these problems until I was a bit older. “The Little Mermaid” came out when I was two and I liked that Ariel was a pretty mermaid who got a happy ending. That was my favorite movie when I was little and I would watch it two or three times a day if I was allowed to. The whole disobeying-your-father-is-okay or dad-handing-the-kingdom-over-to-the-sea-witch-to-save-a-daughter-who-brought-this-mess-on-herself were lost on me.

      But here is the key: you had good people (people who wanted to grow in virtue and to help you grow in virtue) around you growing up. Most kids grow up in secular backgrounds. Church attendance is very low, and not all people who attend weekly mass are following Church teaching. Kids grow up with parents spoiling them with iPads, iPhones, Xboxes, etc. Laws are so strict that parents can’t discipline their children the way they used to. Schools hand out awards for mediocrity just so everyone gets something at the ceremony. Kids who work their butts off only get one award announced at the end of the year ceremony. They grow up to be narcissists with huge entitlement issues. Divorce rates are high because people leave rather than working out their problems, and many cohabit and never marry at all. Parents want to be their kids’ best friends instead of setting boundaries and helping their children grow up to be good people. Sadly, even those with the best backgrounds (good Catholic schools, holy priests, strong faith community) sometimes end up that way as well.

      Disney used to be okay to be fairy tales because kids had strong virtue ethics and education. Today, not so much. Virtue ethics has been replaced by situational ethics. Kids raise themselves (parents are often too busy or don’t care) so entertainment is going to have to move toward teaching life lessons. Because the world is going to be a very scary place in just a couple decades if another generation is allowed to grow up the way mine did (or worse, because there is more technology and less time outside).

  • Anne Watson

    But but but…what about Mulan? She totally rocks.