Ethnic Stereotypes Disney Can’t Avoid

Originally my passion posts started out as media false portrayal as a general, broad topic and then as the weeks went on I narrowed it down to false portrayals in movies and now I am narrowing even more to false portrayals in Disney movies to be exact.  And even more specifically the ethnic stereotypes that Disney has yet to be able to avoid in the making of their family oriented movies, TV shows, and even theme park rides.

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Disney movies are our classic childhood movies that we love and have grown up, but as children we don’t pick up on the negative portrayals that Disney has made on multiple occasions that has stereotyped certain ethnic groups.  Now some of our parents may have noticed it and just simply ignored it and other parents caught onto it and banned that particular movie from our movie collection.  I know people in both cases and both cases have admitted to seeing these stereotypes when watching them again.

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http://38.media.tumblr.com/fb243ceb688d871d1b3396a6d4c8ff8e/tumblr_inline_nhzpurDqyR1sm3hi1.jpg

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https://shardlowcr0910.wikispaces.com/file/view/Hyenas.jpg/147158771/232×136/Hyenas.jpg

These stereotypes cross many ethnic groups and have caused many problems and uproar between amongst these groups.  So much controversy has come from some that they were taken off of publishing and in some cases certain characters were blocked or cut out and then others just caused problems but nothing was done.  Some of these stereotyped ethnic groups were African Americans, Asians, Native Americans, Japanese, Mexicans, and Arabians.  Movies that demonstrate these ethnic stereotypes above are Fantasia and the African American centaur waiting on the white centaur, Aladdin and the lyrics to Arabian Nights (where they cut off your ear if they don’t like your face), Lady and the Tramp with the evil siamese cats, Aristocats and the chopstick piano playing cat, Peter Pan and the red bodied Native Americans along with their song “What Makes the Red Men Red?”, and lastly The Lion King with the gang slang speaking hyenas.  Some of these movies, including Fantasia, have had the characters cut because the stereotype was so offensive and it was only in their for historical preservation.  Clearly these stereotypes have falsely portrayed ethnic groups and they have clearly been offended.  Because of these false portrayals the ethnic groups have put up a fuss about these movies and asked either for an apology or for them to be blocked out or cut.  I agree that these groups have a right to be mad and have a right to ask for the removal of these characters in their childhood and child’s favorite movies.

4 thoughts on “Ethnic Stereotypes Disney Can’t Avoid

  1. This is such a cool, original topic! I think you are spot on with your observations about Disney stereotypes. I never realized them until fairly recently. It seems like more recent Disney films are doing a better job though.

    Katie

  2. Hello! I think that you pointed out a topic that a lot of people are starting to have an issue with. Though, I think that it would be beneficial to address the historic allusions in the movies. Due to curriculum differences between high schools, I am not sure that you discussed The Lion King’s reference to Hamlet in addition to the clear historical story of Pocahontas. However, I can see that certain moves do not have such a basis.

  3. You tackled a large topic in one post and did a good job analyzing the different racist aspects of Disney (of which there is a lot). What seems to be the most insidious part to me is the lack of recognition when you were young. I know when I went back and re-watched these movies, I saw a completely different racist atmosphere. These stereotypes normalize things that aren’t normal.

  4. I’ve enjoyed reading your blogs because growing up I watched many Disney movies and never realized the stereotypes. Maybe when you talk about how the ethnic groups have been falsely portrayed and how they have been offended you could give an example of how they have publicized their opinions. It would just be interested to see how they brought the stereotype to the attention of the public!

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