By Jennifer McAlister:
Ah, Disney movies. Who doesn’t have innumerable fond memories from their childhood of watching the Masterpieces? Although the studio has branched out over the years, when someone says, “Let’s watch a Disney
movie!” you know they’re referring to an animated movie full of fun characters, musical numbers, and
comedy that appeals to adults and kids alike.
I don’t understand how anyone could dislike Disney movies, but from time to time, I meet a nay-sayer who argues that Disney movies (especially those featuring one of the Disney Princesses) give children unrealistic expectations about life and love. To them I concede that not every little girl is going to grow up to marry a prince, but the movies deal with issues that could actually happen to the viewers. Exposure to these problems could help children make better decisions if they face them themselves. For instance, Ariel from The Little Mermaid, as a teenager, must deal with an overcontrolling father and a sketchy woman trying to sell her potions. Children learn that running away from your parents won’t solve anything, and that buying things that change you generally has a very high cost.
Some people even say that Disney characters, the Princesses in particular, are bad role models. Belle of The Beauty and the Beast must fend off a handsome yet unwanted beau, and ends up choosing a man who is beautiful on the inside. Mulan leaves home and joins the army in order to protect her father. Caring what’s on the inside and family values? These can hardly be considered negative influences on children.
Regardless of their moral merit, Disney movies are a staple of childhood. So as some of us near graduation, I thought it would be good to revisit the films which had such a profound effect on my (and hopefully your) childhood.
Top Ten Disney Masterpieces (in order of release date):
- Snow White
- Lady and the Tramp
- The Aristocats
- Robin Hood
- The Little Mermaid
- Beauty and the Beast
- The Lion King