This documentary uses various media perspectives when analyzing it’s various critiques of Disney. They complain about how various facets of Disney, from how their portrayal of women is repressive, to how their portrayal of any non-white race implants stereotypes in children’s minds. They also complain about how Disney makes an unrealistic portrayal of the world, and make a key point about how the story of Pocahontas is not an accurate portrayal of the Indian-American conflict. The documentary focuses on these critiques for the most part, and they all share one common theme. From stereotypes to feminine repression, these problems all focus on the Cultural perspective of media influence. More specifically, they talk about how Disney’s intent was to reproduce existing power structures. Dr. Gail Dines talks about how Disney’s projections of women and their role cause younger girls to have distorted perceptions about what it means to be a woman. She says “It is important for us to understand the role media plays in forming certain belief systems”. These belief systems are not in a religious sense, but more in a worldly sense, and Disney forms a child’s belief systems about culture. Dines says that Disney’s portrayal of women “Presents people with what femininity is about”. She continues to examine that in each of the Disney films, the woman always needs a man’s help to succeed. Another example of this is in Beauty and the Beast, where the beast yells at, is mean to, and imprisons Belle, but Belle still ends up loving the beast. The Doctor claims that this teaches women to be weak and allow men to be mean to them, because eventually the woman will find the mans nice heart inside his cold, mean exterior.
The other perspective this documentary focuses on is the “magic bullet” perspective. This is best displayed in the example the movie provides about the Lion King. In the movie the hyenas are evil, and also happen to have distinctly African-American voices. This caused a child who overheard black children playing at a mall to associate them with the hyenas from the Lion King. This terrified the mother because the media Disney had made had made such a big impact on how the child views the world. However the most disturbing part was how the child also associated the evilness of the hyenas with the black children he had never even met. He thought they were bad people just because of how they sounded. This shows how Disney was able to form a direct and powerful affect on children’s views of the world. Another example is how the opinion on the Middle east from Aladdin could affect how a child views that area. Disney misrepresents the laws of the area, implying that the woman could have her hand cut off for stealing an apple. This shapes a child’s view of the Middle East as an area much different from what it really is.
Overall, through the Magic Bullet and Cultural perspectives, Disney’s misrepresentations of the world and the people in it, as well as their questionable portrayal of feminine inferiority, lead children to have a confused and incorrect view of the world that Disney has showed them.