Disney Culture: From The Playground to the Water Cooler.


In the late 80’s every little girl wanted to be Ariel the little mermaid. I have seen home video of my sister dancing around in front of the television as if our living room was underwater. In the mid 90’s, when I was about 6,  wanted to be Simba. I would have told you over and over again that I was going to eventually be king. Even in school as a young child the question on the playground that everybody wanted to know was “What would your three wishes be if you had a genie?”

Rationally we would expect this to go away sometime before adult hood because we grow out of them, but in all actuality this does not happen. Here is a commercial that aired prior to the Pittsburg Steelers 2006 Super bowl Victory.  From our newer cultural forms of entertainment such as American Idol to more traditional forms such as sporting events, the conversation around the water cooler usually involves the question “did you see the Disney commercial?” 

As an adult I can see that Disney has made movies that kids love and that adults can relate to. For example, we can look at the movie Wall-E.

A computer animated movie about the ills of environmental degradation and thoughtless consumerism. Children enjoy a movie about intelligent robots that interact with humans and parents watch a movie about how life could end up being in the future.

I intend to continue watching Disney movies in the future. I believe that the shared family experience they create is valuable to our society today because it brings generations together. Parents do not have to worry about children seeing immoral movies and children enjoy seeing their parents happy. I am looking forward to  watching Disney movies with my children.

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About John Barr

Double Major Student @ Towson University
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