understanding media

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Welcome to the forum for the Oxford Brookes University module U75102 Understanding Media.  The forum is currently closed.

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Author Topic: Happily ever after? I think not.  (Read 15892 times)

Shaloha

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Re: Happily ever after? I think not.
« Reply #15 on: October 30, 2014, 11:40:21 am »

In reply to 'milkyway'...
As these Disney films and cartoons have a target audience of young children I don't think its right that they are deemed unrealistic and a fake reality. Of course it is a fake reality! It would be stupid to take these stories literally as there are many signs that show us towards not taking it too seriously.
Firstly, the majority of Disney films are in cartoon which already shows a fake world and shows no similarities between the real world. We therefore instantaneously can't compare the two worlds together. Children are able to differentiate between real people and cartoons. We know the films and stories aren't real because their world doesnt' exist.
The second reason is that they have a genre of fiction. Fiction literally means the works of imagination or something being invented for a purpose. We can't assume that the story lines give false hope when the genre means that the film is not based on actual events and it is all made up. The film is purely for entertainment and so I think it is right that we expose ourselves to these sorts of films as we should be able to distinguish between the real world and real expectations and ones in a cartoon.
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Cassiope

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Re: Happily ever after? I think not.
« Reply #16 on: October 30, 2014, 03:57:05 pm »

I agree with ‘Snowflake’ that as a child of 90’s I can’t imagine myself without Disney’s movies. I think that usually children can learn a lot from these. One of the most important ones is the fact that they learn to be more optimistic about life. They understand better how to be polite, how to have fun what is right and wrong etc. Moreover, it is a really nice way to spend their time and have fun.

But researches have shown that such movies can have an impact on children psychology. Every child develops a unique relationship with his favorite cartoon or character: children usually watch these movies with passion, they imitate the heroes style, integrates them in their games or they evoke them on daily basis.

  Consequently, this every-day contact with these fantastic creatures is like “feeding” their thoughts, behaviors and choices. I think that a child should (or its better to say “must” ) watch Disney’s films, but if the parents find it hard to understand that they should put some boundaries, their child’s thoughts are going to be created through these movies. This is not something which is bad, but simultaneously is not ideal! Children should know that in life there isn’t always a happy ending. But they should know that they always have to try in order to reach their life’s happy ending. This is what Disney’s film could add in their movies.
« Last Edit: October 30, 2014, 03:59:54 pm by Cassiope »
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Hans Moleman

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Re: Happily ever after? I think not.
« Reply #17 on: October 30, 2014, 05:35:47 pm »

It can definitely be argued that Disney's movies do not prepare children for the norms and expectations that life will throw at them. Disney presents exaggerated story line, usually following the fairytale structure all of which convey elements of unrealistic material e.g. talking animals, unrealistic romance, magic. There has been some critique in regards to the representation of Disney Princess' and the ways that they are presented, causing young girls to aspire to an unrealistic role model. Feminists often critique the protrayal of Disney Princess' as being sexist, racist or again unrealistic.

However it can also be argued that Disney are subtle in their ways of communicating underlying morals and messages that teach children vital life lessons. The film 'Aladdin' focuses on themes such as arranged marriage, poverty, the divide between the rich a poor, all of which are apparent in some countries. Although the film itself focusses on Aladdin and his wishes, these subtle themes underline the movie, and attempt to inform children about these conflicts. It can even be argued that some of Disney's narrative includes very questionable content for children e.g '101 Dalmatians' and the skinning of the dogs fur for a coat or 'Bambi' and the death of his mother..etc

People are quick to judge Disney and say that their stories lines are not realistic, however it can be argued that that's not such a bad thing. There is so much debate about children growing up to fast due to the images within the media and the expectations they provide for children. Along with children becoming so desensitised to the material within the media, why is it so bad that Disney continue to provide them with that element of escapism within their movies. This magical and unrealistic element is one that children crave. Although unrealistic, at what age are children expected to be realistic? Why should we take away a magical and overall pleasant aspect of which I'm sure was apparent within most of our childhoods? There is nothing wrong with letting kids be kids.. although the content of Disney's films may not prepare children for adulthood, do we really want children's movies to focus on more current world issues such as war, terrorism, murder, sexual abuse? Or even more basic and realistic plots such as 'Mickey Mouse Gets His First Mortgage!'...'Snow White And The Seven Points on her License!'...

Click on the link for more images-
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2633879/Not-happily-Disney-characters-battle-poverty-natural-disaster-pollution-artist-imagines-real-world.html
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Interealism

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Re: Happily ever after? I think not.
« Reply #18 on: October 31, 2014, 11:51:42 am »

Naturally, we can see that movies are either made to entertain or inform, and Disney films are predominantly made to entertain. These films seem to give a positive outlook on life to children who need positivity in their lives, it allows them to escape from their current lives and enjoy watching something that is attractive to the eye and something that will create emotions and connections towards the characters. This all seems great, but there is one thing - the fact that the majority of these children don't know that these films are not an accurate representation of any life. As a child, a happy ending is something that comes at the end of a film and makes everything better again (restoration of equilibrium), but as an adult, a happy ending is something completely different. As we've grown up, we have become more mature and have realised that these fairytale endings do not happen in real life - nobody told us that specifically, but we just figured it out. The films are quite frankly, unrealistic, but that doesn't mean they should be stopped or made more real, it just means they should be taken with a slight pinch of salt. When you were young, you didn't have a depressed adult sitting next to you while you were watching Mickey Mouse telling you that the cat killed his wife last week so he's not real; which is a good thing, because otherwise children wouldn't actually grasp the primary intention of these films - to entertain. Some people have not realised, but every single Disney film has an underlying message (a moral) that comes with the story and usually is clear at the end. For example, in Frozen, a message is that you should love and trust your family, and never betray them (that's what I got from it). These messages may not necessarily come to the child while they are watching it, but as they grow older, they may realise it eventually and be able to apply it to their own lives. Making Disney films more 'realistic' would be dangerous, because it would remove the entertainment factor out of these films, and let's face it, I think I speak for the majority here, life is quite boring right now and we'd all rather be Cinderella, chilling in a castle with Prince Charming.

Have a look at this article (ignore the fact it's from The Mirror, sorry) - http://www.mirror.co.uk/tv/tv-news/disney-90-hidden-lessons-favourite-2458104
« Last Edit: October 31, 2014, 11:53:21 am by Interealism »
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taurus123

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Re: Happily ever after? I think not.
« Reply #19 on: October 31, 2014, 12:08:23 pm »

Being a 90s kid, Disney was all I watched growing up . It was probably where I learnt the majority of life lessons from never accept anything from a stranger (snow white) to all about love and friendships.

I realised once I was a little older that those kids movies I watched weren't that useful for real life. In what world do teacups and clocks dance? and frogs turning into princes? This goes with what ‘Milkyway’ said about how these movies have an effect on children’s perception of the world. Take for example the fact that we are brought up on these fantasies of ‘Happily Ever After’, that the guy always gets the girl and good always beats evil. These scenarios are great to watch growing up, it allows you to dream and fantasise about the future from a young age but is it really realistic? Here are some facts I found on the guardians website;

There were 13 divorces an hour in England and Wales in 2012
• Women were granted 65% of all divorces
• 9,703 men and 6,026 women aged over 60 got divorced
• One in seven divorces were granted as a result of adultery
• 719 (less than 1%) divorces were granted because of desertion
• The average age at divorce was 45 for men and 42 for women
• 9% of couples divorcing had both been divorced before
• 48% of couples divorcing had at least one child aged under 16 living with the family
It is expected that 42% of marriages will end in divorce

I agree with the point ‘hrkbn0609’ made in their final paragraph…Eventually we grow up and realise that these movies are simply fairy tales. Nothing more.


http://www.theguardian.com/news/datablog/2010/jan/28/divorce-rates-marriage-ons
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laluna

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Re: Happily ever after? I think not.
« Reply #20 on: October 31, 2014, 12:42:09 pm »

I think Disney has really accommodated to more modern expectations and the demand for strong female characters and providing inspirational morals and stories to accompany. I disagree with 'Margarita's point about children not caring about the love aspect of films, as that was part of my main interest in Disney as a child. My favourite being The Little Mermaid, because it made me happy to see Ariel happy with the man that she loved. Of course now I look back it's a pretty juvenile opinion on my enjoyment of the film, but a justifiably innocent one at that. Now I am older I do think it's important for younger children to be exposed to films with more moral substance.

Recent films I do think should be acknowledged in this thread are Frozen, and Brave. They shy away from the traditional Disney lesson that to complete your life, you should be pretty, sing songs about birds and marry a prince. Elsa and Merida from Frozen and Brave are empowered at the thought of their own independence, the moral in both films is learning to over come insecurity and fear of failure to be at peace with themselves and their true identity.

Traditional Disney films are being brought to light now with different contexts that females around the world can learn something from. This is a Huffington Post article depicting the cartoon princesses in situations of domestic violence, to promote awareness to young teens especially that some of you may find interesting : http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/07/09/disney-princess-domestic-abuse-saint-hoax_n_5567711.html
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thelittlemermaid

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Re: Happily ever after? I think not.
« Reply #21 on: October 31, 2014, 12:56:37 pm »

Although I too believe that Disney films give false expectations of reality and life expectations, I think we have forgotten the purpose of these films. Disney is loved for the famous "happily ever after" and if society is seriously influenced by these cartoons then we should be questioning the human mind not the entertainment value of Disney. Disney is not viewed a some what deceitful to many children now growing up this harsh world but I would be interested to see how effected these children would be if they were to watch the truth on the 10 o clock news every night.
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