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Lessons I've Learned from T.V.: Flawed lessons from Disney

By Maurilio Amorim
On April 13, 2014

We all have those days where we have a nostalgic urge to watch our favorite childhood Disney movies. We immediately notice the dirty jokes and adult humor we missed as kids. The most disturbing thing is the lessons these movies teach children.
Let's begin with "Beauty and the Beast." Ignore the romance and charm of this film and look at what it actually tells us. Belle is a good girl who meets a literal beast. Although he abuses her physically and emotionally, Belle stays with him. She wants to change him for the better. In the end, she succeeds and all the furniture dances and sings, but does this ever happen in real life? Should women be trying to fix abusive boyfriends rather than leaving them?
A more recent movie I had a huge problem with was "Monsters University." If you haven't seen this movie yet, spoiler alert. I have a problem with the ending. When Sully is caught cheating, he and Mike are expelled from Monsters University. They are then only able to get jobs working in a mailroom, since they do not have degrees. We are shown in a rather short montage that they quickly move up from the mailroom to being the important people they were in the first film at Monsters Incorporated. Of course, there are people who do not go to college and end up successful, but should we be sending this message to children everywhere?
Technically, this next one is not a Disney movie. While I enjoyed the film, there are a lot of questionable things happening in "Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace." First off, the bad guys were an alien species with a stereotypical Asian appearance and accent. Furthermore, Jar Jar Binks is the stereotype of a laid back Jamaican stoner. There was a lot of controversy over the character, and George Lucas was accused of using stereotypes. I wouldn't be surprised if there was a deleted scene where Jar Jar Binks lights up a joint. Then there's Darth Maul. The character was supposedly based on biblical and cultural descriptions of the devil, but the character is black. He has red stripes and some designs going on his body, but he was mostly black. He also happens to be the only black character, besides Samuel L. Jackson, who hardly got any screen time.
 


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