Constructions of Masculinity in Disney Movies

Because it is important to think critically about your sources of entertainment, I present to you another youtube find:

I won’t deny the influence on-screen characters have on people’s perceptions of who they are or who they want to be. However, I think having other positive role models plays a much larger role in character development than an animated figure that’s part of story line drawn from classic stories dating back generations.

Also in the above piece, the examples used are often the unredeemed hero or villain. Particularly in the movies since Beauty & The Beast overcoming those stereotypes is an important part of the hero character’s arc. For instance, in The Incredibles it takes the whole family and cooperation to defeat the villain. In Mulan it is her use of smarts and skills that allows her to become a successful warrior.

I will say that my wife and I have worked hard at home to provide all avenues of strong, thoughtful, and caring role models to my 5 year old son. While he shows an interest in continuing to explore those parts of his personality, he still gets the most joy by imitating the Power Rangers, a show he’s never watched at home. But since his friends at school all do, he picks it up.

Finally, it’s nice to think of major media creators like The Walt Disney Company having some responsibility to create better children for tomorrow. But any responsibility they have pales in comparison to the responsibility of the parent and the immediate community around the child to raise a thoughtful, caring, and intelligent kid who is ready to contribute positively to society. Blaming Disney for the failure of that is the easy way out.

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7 thoughts on “Constructions of Masculinity in Disney Movies


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