Racism in Disney Movies Dissertation

Anastasia Trus

WRTG 3020

Professor Pat Sullivan

31 March 2010

Racism in Disney

During the last several many years, the press has become a strong agent in directing and controlling cultural beliefs and behaviors. Kids, by nature, may be particularly at risk of the influencing powers from the media, starting an avenue wherever media made especially for children can indoctrinate entire generations. Disney movies, like all other press " happen to be powerful automobiles for certain notions about our culture, ” including racism. (Giroux 32). Racist scenes in Disney movies tend to be identified as simply being " symbols of the time” if the films were produced. Furthermore, Disney racism is often approved over as simple humor, or perhaps as a simple guide to kid's understanding of civilizations. These answers of racism in the videos are unfinished because that they fail to consider the fact that the main audience people of Disney films are certainly not old enough to find the movies since relics of a different some place. This is simply not to say that Disney motion pictures indoctrinate children with hurtful tendencies; even so, racist views in still-popular films ensemble a quilt of insensitivity over the subject matter of racism. Disney's reputation of being racially insensitive is never more apparent than in time leading up to the discharge of the latest movie Princess as well as the Frog. Nearly everything concerning this film offers caused a storm of critique both in the public and from people within the film industry alone. It is wondering that people are really enraged and concerned with this kind of movie, when they ignore potentially more unpleasant racist elements in other movies. If one particular analyzes society's response to Princess and the Frog as a one phenomenon, then it does seem to be a bit odd that a children's film could start such a heated social controversy; however , following taking into account Disney's history with racism and racial insensitivity, it is not astonishing at all the first black Disney princess would be this sort of a controversial figure.

Swamped with claims of anti-Semitism and racism, in the 1940's Walt Disney was an avid supporter of the Motion Picture Bijou for the Preservation of American Ideals, a " red-scare” anti-Semitic market group that wanted to blacklist artists (Alan 12). Maybe this is a primary reason Disney's previous is filled with suspect cinematic materials. Fantasia was released in 1940, the third theatrical full-length animation, as shown in Disney's canon of animated videos. The original edition of Disney's classic " Fantasia" (1940) features a character called Sunflower, a little black centaur handmaiden. Sunflower is definitely an insulting pret, and a bluntly hurtful stereotype of the " facile grinning nigger" variety (Walker 22). In a featured field during " The Pastoral Symphony” elegant white centaurs frolick through the woods and are also waited about by Sunflower. She is significantly smaller than the other centaurs—ostensibly because the girl with half-donkey instead of half-horse, yet more likely to twist her inferiority—and has a darker complexion. Her sole function in the film is to excitedly polish and shine the hooves of the tall, alluring Aryan centaur women who excessive luminance down all their petite a nous at this horrible servant. This kind of scenes had been later censored in the film due to the personas being considered " ethnically offensive through the civil rights movement" (Walker 26). 


In addition to reinforcing the stereotype of blacks since inferior creatures, the field from the " Pastoral Symphony” also furthers racism by supporting segregation. Throughout the film the female Aryan centaurs pair up with the males with their " competition, ” going out of Sunflower alone and separated from the group. Rather than correcting the racism within the field, Disney later chose to eliminate it from the film – as if it by no means happened. When the racial climate of America changed in the 60s, the portrayal of such disparaging stereotypes in movies and television started to be politically...

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