The Disney DebateThe Disney DebateNicole CamposBrand Loyalty and SubliminalBrand Loyalty and SubliminalMessaging in Disney Films andMessaging in Disney Films andCartoonsCartoons
Disney’s Approach to Brand Loyalty• Brand loyalty is where a person buys products from the same manufacturerrepeatedly, rather than from other suppliers.• Walt Disney understood that if everyone who worked in his organization caredabout their customers and treated them as “guests in their home,” they wouldremain loyal to Disney forever.In this 2011In this 2011commercial forcommercial forDisneyland, we canDisneyland, we cansee the emotionalsee the emotionalconnection at work.connection at work.The guests are notThe guests are notonly expected to beonly expected to beentertained andentertained andamazed by theamazed by theDisney-themed park,Disney-themed park,but also to feel thatbut also to feel thatthey arethey are special.special.
Notice how Disney villains are either ugly, old or fat.This teaches children that physical attractiveness determines whether a person is goodThis teaches children that physical attractiveness determines whether a person is goodor bad. A child’s brain is learning morals, language and recognizable patterns.or bad. A child’s brain is learning morals, language and recognizable patterns. Disneymovies tend to cause a child to associate a bad personality with an unattractiveouter appearance, which is certainly not always the case in reality., which is certainly not always the case in reality.
Examples of Subliminal Messages in Disney MoviesIn one particular scene, as Simba from the Lion King slumps down to concentrate on hislife, particles of dust float away from him spelling the word sex. In Tangled’spromotional poster, the word ‘sex’ can be found again, this time on Rapunzel’s hair onFlynn.
Satanism was a heavy theme shown inSatanism was a heavy theme shown inthe moviethe movie FantasiaFantasiaThree 6’s can be found in Walt Disney’sThree 6’s can be found in Walt Disney’strademark signature. The number 666 wastrademark signature. The number 666 wasthe number of the Beast of Revelation 13.the number of the Beast of Revelation 13.Walt Disney was not a pleasant boss.Walt Disney was not a pleasant boss.Many of his employees feared his short temper.Walt Disney was a genius and a morbidperfectionist. He wanted everything in hiscompany done a specific way. It was speculatedthat he was part of the Illuminati and a Satanist.
A few more examples of subliminalA few more examples of subliminalmessaging in Disney films. Speculatorsmessaging in Disney films. Speculatorsbelieved that there were racistbelieved that there were racistconnotations in Disney movies, such asconnotations in Disney movies, such asAladdin’s skin color changing inAladdin’s skin color changing inaccordance to his wealth. A famousaccordance to his wealth. A famoussubliminal message was a phallicsubliminal message was a phallicsymbol in a promotional poster forsymbol in a promotional poster for TheTheLittle Mermaid.Little Mermaid. In the filmIn the film Who FramedWho FramedRoger Rabbit,Roger Rabbit, Donald Duck can beDonald Duck can beheard saying the N-word, though Disneyheard saying the N-word, though Disneylater denied this claim.later denied this claim.You decide whether he said it or not.You decide whether he said it or not.
Q:Q: How would you describe a princess?AA: I think a princess is a really pretty girl who’s smart, nice, young,skinny and rich.QQ:: What was Disneyworld like? What madeDisneyworld special for you?AA: Disneyworld was so fun, I got to meet Buzz Lightyear and Mr.Incredible and [other characters]. I really felt like I was part of themovies and everything felt so real.Q:Q: (After explaining to him how Disney movies couldpossibly corrupt the young minds of children) Do youfeel that Disney is bad for kids or its just there forentertainment?AA: I think…that kids look up to heroes and Disney characters a lot.Everyone wants to be like a hero or princess. So yes, Disney teachesus bad things without us knowing it.Interviewing my 10-year-old brother on his perspectiveInterviewing my 10-year-old brother on his perspectiveof Disney cultureof Disney culture
Disney’s Princess EffectDisney’s Princess EffectOne of America’s popular cultural institutions is Disney. From Mickey Mouse to “Sleeping Beauty” to“Cars,” everyone has seen, or is at least familiar with, something from Disney. We view Disney as afamily-friendly and wholly moral corporation, one that does not stand for anything that could offendanyone. But are we looking deep enough?….The problem is: What is between the lines? Aurora is described as an extraordinarily beautifulwoman, so young girls will understand, even if they are not directly told, that is how they are supposedto strive to look. If you have ever seen “Sleeping Beauty,” however, you will notice that Aurora’sfigure is as impossible as Barbie’s for humans to achieve. Unfortunately, this is not isolated just to“Sleeping Beauty.” All of Disney’s princesses, and even some of the female villains, are impossiblyproportioned, and the ones who are not, like Ursula of “The Little Mermaid,” are still hyper-sexualizedto the point of absurdity.….Disney movies also teach little girls they are supposed to be complacent and weak if they want to besuccessful. “Sleeping Beauty” is a perfect example of this. Aurora, as the perfect woman, is depicted asextremely demure. In every case she is merely whisked through the story, rarely taking a proactivestance. Even when they are proactive, like Ariel in “The Little Mermaid,” it is because of theiraggressiveness that everyone else is plunged into peril.….The vast majority of women who do use power in Disney movies are the villains. Maleficent’smagic is more powerful than anyone else’s in the kingdom, including the combined power of the threegood fairies. Ursula is the sea-witch people go to when their problems cannot be solved by ordinarymeans.….While men in Disney films are allowed to be aggressive, they are not allowed to be much else. Theprince in “Sleeping Beauty,” Prince Phillip, is utterly forgettable, a completely flat character. I did noteven know his name was Prince Phillip until I saw the movie. I thought his name was Prince Charming.Charming is actually from “Snow White.” Shows how memorable he is. All of this teaches the boyswho watch Disney movies they need to be strong, but silent and withdrawn, to be successful.
Follow up• The article discusses the effect of Disney princesses in AmericanThe article discusses the effect of Disney princesses in Americanculture.culture.• According to a 2011 Disney release, $4 billion is spent a year onAccording to a 2011 Disney release, $4 billion is spent a year onDisney princess products, most of which are “geared towardDisney princess products, most of which are “geared towardappearance.”appearance.”• Many princesses are highly sexualized and have impossiblyMany princesses are highly sexualized and have impossiblyproportioned bodies (lean waists, long flowing blonde hair,proportioned bodies (lean waists, long flowing blonde hair,slender figures). This indirectly tells young girls that this is howslender figures). This indirectly tells young girls that this is howthey should strive to look.they should strive to look.• Disney films also have a negative effect on boys. They are taughtDisney films also have a negative effect on boys. They are taughtthat they must show aggression to obtain the girl that they like.that they must show aggression to obtain the girl that they like.
QuestionsQuestions• Do you think Disney movies provide entertainment toDo you think Disney movies provide entertainment tochildren, or are they detrimental to the youth?children, or are they detrimental to the youth?• How do you feel about the sexualization of teen DisneyHow do you feel about the sexualization of teen Disneystars (i.e., the moviestars (i.e., the movie Spring BreakersSpring Breakers))• Is brand loyalty (buying from the same company for all yourIs brand loyalty (buying from the same company for all yourlife) good or bad for the customer?life) good or bad for the customer?
ReferencesReferences• "Top 10 Ways Disney Corrupts Children." Listverse. Listverse, 22 Nov. 2012.Web. 13 May 2013.• "Top 5 Disney Subliminal Messages." Movie Moron - Movie News &Humor. Movie Moron, 16 July 2011. Web. 13 May 2013.• "Disney Influence on Children." Psychological Effect of Childrens Movies.Association For Natural Psychology, 12 Mar. 2012. Web. 13 May 2013.• Newman, E. "Subliminal Messages In Disney Movies." ScreenJunkies.com.Screen Junkies, 2 Sept. 2012. Web. 12 May 2013.• Orenstein, Peggy. "Whats Wrong With Cinderella?" The New York Times.The New York Times, 24 Dec. 2006. Web. 13 May 2013.
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