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The Great Disney Monopoly

            The Mickey Mouse Monopoly documentary reveals the obscure social messages behind the animated films created by the Disney Company. Although we are conditioned to believe that these movies are pure forms of entertainment, further examination has proved that there are hidden messages concerning gender, race and class that Disney is instilling in the minds of children. The speakers in the documentary argue that Disney is extremely political and hides its ideas behind innocence, magic and fun. When masked by features that are appealing to a younger audience, it is difficult to realize these ideas without taking a closer look.
             One of the main controversies discussed in this video is the way that Disney portrays women in its productions. The way that females are shown is similar across all Disney films, even animal characters. They are shown having a seductive or entrancing way about them, large eyelashes, attractive bodies and large breasts. Doctor Carolyn Newberger, a psychology professor at Harvard University, pointed out the scene from Aladdin when Jasmine seduces Jafar to distract him while Aladdin tries to rescue her. This scene suggests to viewers that women can use their bodies to manipulate men in order to get what they want. Other ways women are portrayed in these films are vulnerable, weak, and always needing to be rescued by a male.
             Aside from gender, race is another issue that is often misrepresented in these productions. One example in the documentary that directly correlates with one of our assigned readings involves the hyenas in Disney's The Lion King. In the movie, an evil lion king named Scar is the master of three hyenas and exerts complete control over them. The interesting fact about these hyenas is that they speak and behave very similar to the way of a stereotypical African American. It is blatantly obvious that the hyenas are being portrayed as African Americans because the rest of the animals do not sound like them when they talk or react to situations in the same manner as them.

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