One night my roommate and I stayed up later then we should have watching clips of our favorite childhood movies on YouTube. To no surprise at all, a majority of our favorite movies were made by The Walt Disney Company. I thought about why mostly all of our favorite movies were produced from that company. Could it be that Disney has enough money to hire the most creative and humorous writers, sure. Could it be because Disney is a huge company that has stellar advertising and marketing schemes, sure. Of course toddler me had no knowledge of Disney’s power at the time, so what really made Disney movies my favorite? I thought long and hard about why a young child might like a movie so much and then it came to me. Children like movies that make them feel good, simple as that. So my question is, are Disney movies good for you and your mental growth? My null hypothesis is that there is no correlation between positive mental growth and Disney movies. My alternative hypothesis is that there is indeed a correlation between Disney movies and a child’s positive mental growth.
In my opinion it is important for children to be unique and creative so that society does not stay the same as the previous generation of children and so that there can be outside of the box ideas. Disney’s Pixar may be the reason that children at a young age get their creativity and unique ideas. Pixar in the early 1990-2000s was at the top of the technological and artistic game. During that time they produced many movies that easily have become classics. It is no coincidence that Pixar movies have a track record of being blockbusters. Pixar refuses to buy film ideas from outside sources, making their ideas original and creative. By pushing both the imaginative and creative boundaries of movie making, Pixar demonstrates to their mostly young age viewers to think innovatively and originally.
After finding out that Disney’s Pixar helps children to become more unique thinkers, I wanted to find out more. In an article I found titled, “Images of Gender, Race, Age, and Sexual Orientation in Disney Feature-Length Animated Films” ideas of how children develop their beliefs was ever present. As a child you are highly influenced by what you watch on television or what you see in the media. Gender roles, race and sexual orientation are heavily evident in the media and of course, Disney movies. To take a closer look at these areas, the study investigated 26 Disney Films from different time periods. What the study was able to find was rather startling. Positive mindsets were few and far between for stereotypes in Disney films. Another thing to note about these 26 Disney films is that, as the films got more and more recent, the stereotypes have become increasingly more positive. A typical Disney Princess movie usually has a princess in distress and a handsome young man that saves her. Disney’s Frozen from 2013 exemplifies a decrease in gender roles and stereotypes. In this film, a princess who is in distress is saved by her sister, not a man.
From looking at these two very different studies, the answer to my question, Are Disney movies good for you, is not crystal clear. Yes they help children to become more out of the box thinkers but up until recently they have had negative tones on things like gender, race, age, and sexual orientation. Based off of the information I have found, I feel as though more studies need to be done in order clearly answer if there is or is not a correlation between positive mind growth and Disney movies. I accept the null hypothesis: that there is no correlation between positive mental growth and Disney movies.