Lessons in Childrens’ Films

Movies and the media affect our minds strongly. This is especially true for children. Growing up, I latched onto the beauty and sweet nature of the Disney Princesses. Dick Van Dyke’s goofy antics in Mary Poppins and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang touched my heart and taught me to value humor. Rasputin and other villains caused nightmares for years.

Thus kids’ movies impacted our world majorly. What we put into our minds as children influence who we become as adults. No, the media should not be blamed for everything that is right or wrong in the world. However, it is wise to be aware of how films affect our world. For example, the extremely thin heroines in nearly ever film have caused me great distress in body image and wanting to restrict food.

This video has a great message concerning this especially in the area of gender. When people continuously complain about Disney princesses, I feel guilty and a bit annoyed. These beautiful women have problems with their ultra-thin frames and damsel-in-distress nature, but they also have some wonderful characteristics. One of my favorite elements of this video is that the speaker acknowledges the good in Disney princesses instead of slamming them completely.

Having women and men that lead is important. When you eliminate either of the genders, you lose out on individual strengths of one. When a movie or show makes the girls all helpless and whiny, I am annoyed quickly. Women have an amazing strength and empathy despite their many flaws. However, films that show men as macho, stupid, or angry all of the time bother me as well. Many of my male friends are wise individuals who bring humor and stability into my life.

So, I like the idea of finding a balance between male and female leadership in movies. By not belittling each other, we can instead look at the strengths and weakness of all people no matter what gender they are. Talks like the one above give me hope that we have begun to move in this direction.

How have childrens’ films influenced you? Did you notice the difference between girls and boys in them? What would you change or leave the same?

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2 thoughts on “Lessons in Childrens’ Films

  1. slesser1013 says:

    Anna, Thank you for this post. I think there are a lot of lessons in children’s films. I think they are based on real life experiences and portrays some of the struggles, joys, etc. that we all go through. They make us think and if we stick to the lessons they are trying to teach we can achieve what we truly want in life.

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