What to do with Disney?


Danny Harrison (a few years ago)

I had to laugh the other day when I saw certain friends on Facebook declaring that we absolutely must boycott Disney now that a couple of their films are coming out that have characters sort of… well, coming out. Apparently one of the films has a homosexual character in it, and another film is seen to generally have “too much” sexuality for a kids film.

My sarcastic question is this: Exactly how much sexuality should a kids film have?

My other sarcastic question is this: Aren’t you Southern Baptists already boycotting Disney?

Getting straight to my point (or at least the first half of it): I hope people won’t just start boycotting Disney because someone of spiritual influence tells them they “must” do so. If Disney offends your family values, by all means, shun Disney. But a boycott suggests you’re temporarily shunning them until they come around to your way of thinking, and I will suggest to you the Walt Disney Company has never been truly family friendly. So why the sudden re-boycotting?

Anther common boycotting tactic is to swap one thing out for another. It doesn’t usually mean doing without that one thing. In this case, will boycotters of Disney replace Disney with some other media entertainment company? And which one will that be? And why?

So here’s the second half of my point: We parents should take a deep breath, step back and look at the influences allowed into our homes and into the lives of our children, and we should shun all of those things that conflict with our values. If your family values line up with the Bible, you sometimes have to make tough and unpopular decisions about what is and what is not allowed into your home.

Back to my allegation that Disney has never been truly family friendly, you have to keep in mind that the Walt Disney Company started out making films for grown-ups, not kids. So-called fairy tales, when you look at how they were originally written, are not for kids. They are usually dark, violent, tragic and oftentimes occultic. So you have to wonder why Mr. Disney chose these to help expand his media company.

Case in point: The 1937 film “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” was borrowed from the 1812 story published originally by the Brothers Grimm, who were German authors of many fairytales. In the original story, there is all of the evil, the magic, the hero and so on, but you don’t see dwarves named Dopey, Bashful, Sneezy, Sleepy, Happy, Grumpy nor Doc. Interestingly, cocaine addiction was becoming a big problem in Hollywood already in the 1920s and 1930s, and “Snow White” is and was a street name for cocaine in its powder form. The first six names of the dwarves are progressive symptoms of using cocaine, and the seventh, Doc, is a street name for where you get more.

Was Disney pushing this on kids? I would say probably not. That film was not meant for kids. But over the years, and especially after Disney turned more into a company marketing to kids, those old films were repackaged and then, yes, marketed to families as good, old-fashioned fun. In the 1930s, there was nothing “old-fashioned” (which shouldn’t anyway be equated with “virtuous”) about the fairytale film. It was high-tech for its time to boot.

Am I saying everything Disney has ever made has been terrible? No. It’s not like that so far as I know, but Disney has duped many people over the years into believing they are a family’s best friend, and many Christian families have even bought into that notion.
Keep in mind, Disney groomed both Miley Cyrus and Britney Spears, and then they publicly distanced themselves from both when their acts got too racy for the Disney label. So the singers went to other labels instead. Seems honorable enough, right?

Consider this: Cyrus was with Disney Records then was “dropped” when she became controversial, only to be picked up by Hollywood Records. And who owns Hollywood Records? Disney. In fact, Cyrus’ first Hollywood Records album was being produced while Disney was filming the final season of “Hannah Montana”. So Disney was clearly grooming young Hannah Montana fans to become fans of the very rebellious Miley Cyrus.

If the current iteration of Miley Cyrus was all you knew of her, would you introduce your six-year-old girls to her? Probably not, but that’s essentially what happened when you allowed them to become Hannah Montana fans. Disney had a plan, and it worked.

Again, I’m not picking on Disney. They’re one of many media companies not worth supporting.

Proverbs 22:6 says, “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old he shall not depart from it.”

Look at that verse again. How a child is trained, for better or worse, is how he (or she) will grow up to be.

So who is training your children? Who are they becoming?

This is serious business, training up children, and you only get one shot at it. Move beyond the boycotts, and let’s tighten the filter on what gets through to our children.

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