Disney Disrespects Discipline

News flash! News flash! Calling all adults and parents!!  Maybe you’ve already heard that some Disney movies made their mark by using subliminal messages, like writing the word ‘sex’ or drawing penises in scenes, such as in the Lion King or The Little Mermaid. But have you noticed as the years progressed that, not particularly the Disney movies, but the Disney channel shows have become just as disturbing? To some parents it can be hard to let a child chime into the Disney channel because of the shows lack of discipline, perspicacity, and empathy between the characters. Why is Disney dumbing down the progenitors, and allowing kids to act wildly and compulsive as if it is “normal”?  Also, I got some kids’ input on the matter!

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I don’t have children, and I don’t have family with small children, but I have friends who do have children and occasionally get a glimpse of what they find interesting to watch. Most of the time though I’m just that 30-ish year old adult that lands on that channel, mostly out of curiosity to see what has changed with family friendly shows and cartoons since I was a child. I better not hear that you haven’t done that at least a few times in your life, LOL! In my opinion (because I don’t need to give you advice), times have certainly changed in the boob-tube world . . . and I’m almost thinking literally!

What I’ve witnessed on 5 different Disney shows that I’ve watched were relatively harmless or mildly pernicious. Now with that said, children perceive these subliminal messages differently than adults. In fact, most young brains are not fully developed until 25 years of age! So, if you or someone you know is under that age you may right now be getting influenced . . . [cough, cough] brainwashed (but of course, certainly not by me). Let’s see what subliminal messaging means as defined by dictionary.com:

existing or operating below the threshold of consciousness; being or employing stimuli insufficiently intense to produce a discrete sensation but often being or designed to be intense enough to influence the mental processes or the behavior of the individual.

and

resulting from processes of which the individual is not aware.

As stated, the conscious mind may not be aware of what the message is intended to say, but the unconscious mind does and stores it for later use. Why do you think advertisers are so good at what they do? Because they are able to grab your attention – not always the first time, but you think and rationalize why you want their product (or watch their product in this case) the next time you encounter it and later find yourself either craving for it or beginning to absorb yourself in it.

So what about Disney? Well, here are 7 amusing, yet disconcerting issues about some of the shows on the Disney Channel:

  1. My biggest pet peeve is how some shows are focused on teenagers reprimanding their parents and other authoritative figures, and at the same time it appears that the parents or the authoritative figures cannot or will not discipline in any way shape or form. The teenager stomps off, daydreams about getting away, landing a great singing career, becoming a famous actor, or landing the perfect boyfriend/girlfriend. Then later you see that teenager plan it out, disregarding empathy toward the parents or the disciplinary consequences of his/her actions. Let’s face it – this is reality for most teenagers, so I get that the show is to “relate”. But, why does a TV show have to reinforce the behavior? And for those teenagers who don’t relate, why have them be even more self-conscious of themselves and those who are around them? I saw firsthand how a show like this can reinforce behavior by witnessing it come out of some of my friends kids, and we were like “where the heck did that come from?” It was taken right out of an episode and they thought the characters judgement was empowering.
  2. Dressing with attitude and style. Sure, it’s hip . . . it’s hot, but what are we really implying when we dress our female actors in skintight clothing, short skirts, net stockings and knee high-heeled boots? No wonder pedophilia is running rampid these days – give a dog a bone, and he’ll chew! But it isn’t so much the clothing that is the culprit, it is the sexy allure the characters give off. At least in one of the 5 shows, you will see a young female wink at the camera or a cute boy in the storyline; you will see her in a skirt and kick up one of her legs, or do the infamous duck-face puckering her glossy red lips. Some of the guys are not in the clear, either. What I noticed most about them is their snug pants and shirts against a muscle bound body that screams that he is much older than he truly is. Or if he is older, he shouldn’t be portraying a teenager. Most men at that age will not look like that – or do they now because body image these days are everything??
  3. In another show all the girls do is talk about boys! Yeah, the kids watching this show is really learning something here – probably not what we’d like them to learn. One main character even states “If you get your heart broken, you won’t get any reward.” Maybe she’s implying something different, but the subliminal message to me is that “life is doomed if you ever get your heart broken”. Depressing! This show revolves too much around how the girls should act around boys than being themselves and being independent to know who they are and what they want in life.
  4. A young character eats a rat trap sandwich. What? Why? Why would you teach kids that it’s safe to do that? I’m just going to wait and see if someone sues Disney over this one one day. Luckily this particular show has recently been cancelled.
  5. Profanity. It may not be that serious to us, but as small children, it doesn’t fall on deaf ears. In one episode of a show I caught a mother dropping the S-bomb (another name for poo). I’m unsure if it was intentional, but if not Disney certainly didn’t catch it. Other words like “damn”, “pissed”, “screw you/off” and name calling (and not in the bullying awareness and prevention way) are just a few other mild profanities on these shows.
  6. What happened to Mickey Mouse? In fact, what happened to the original Disney characters? Am I just not seeing it. I know Mickey is in the Disney show logo (but usually it’s just a silhouette), but I haven’t seen any real original Disney characters.
  7. Is it me, or is the Disney channel now more of a teenage soap opera intended for 14 years and older to watch (even if in my heart I don’t think any teenager should watch)?

You’ll be surprised what some kids said about the Disney Channel:

“[It] doesn’t teach me anything!” – Carmen, age 11

“Jessie [from the Jessie show] dresses so cool. But how does she have the money to buy the clothes, it’s so much for my parents?” –Tyler, age 13

“What is up with the British flags everywhere?” – Thomas, age 15

“I like the concept that [they] made it famous by posting videos online, but it’s not that realistic and I felt like a failure for a long time when I tried it and it didn’t work out for me. It’s like false teachings, I guess.” – Amber, age 16

I guess Disney can pervasively do these things without barely a slap on the wrist because they have risen to become unquestionably the largest media entertainment conglomerate in the world, and was ranked company No. 48 in the top 500 companies by Forbes 500.

Do you think the Disney Channel is suitable for children under the age of 17?

. . . And since I could not embed these videos above because of some glitch, here they are below. These are better than what I saw on the shows, but you my get my gist when it comes to snarky attitudes and the make-up and get-up.

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