Friday, November 22, 2013

Online Assignment 3- Chestler

The documentary Mickey Mouse Monopoly touched upon concepts of how Disney is portrayed that unless analyzed, people would not recognize while watching the movies. Disney is so much more than a magical film, it creates realities for people on how people should act, be treated and look. One problem with Disney is that these movies, even though directed towards families, are mainly for children. This gives children an idea that resonates with them even when they don’t realize it is happening.
            The magic bullet perspective is when it takes one “bullet” and the thing that is being told is completely injected. It is the media getting inside of you and is able to incite emotions and actions. In the documentary Dr. Carolyn Newberger states, “Screams at her, imprisons her and rips her family away from her. His behavior is without a question frankly and horrifically abusive. Yet the whole idea of the story is that she returns to him, excuses him, reinterprets his rage and his abuse as temper.” Dr.Newberger is completely appalled by this because abuse is such a big problem in many American families but by Belle then accepting the Beast after he treats her in such a rude and malicious way it shows young girls that it is okay to be treated that way and that every boy has a prince somewhere inside of him. This idea that it was okay for Belle to accept the Beast after she was treated this way resonated with the girls. When they were asked what they would do if this was their friend in that situation they replied that they would be happy for her and that it was nice she treated him in a caring way and brought out the good in him. They did not realize that it was not normal to be treated abusively and be yelled and threatened at. Another example of the magic bullet was how race was described. The girls said that they can’t recall any black people playing “good roles” and can’t even picture any black people in many films either. They picked up on the fact though of white dominance and how the good people were always portrayed as white heroes.
            The cultural approach plays a large role in the Mickey Mouse Monopoly because this approach shows how media reflects society and also how society reflects the media. Dr.Gail Dines stated, “We develop our notions of reality from cultural mechanisms around us. The media gives us a whole array of images, stereotypes, belief systems, race, class and about gender. We now live in a media based society where most of our time is spent viewing media.” Since we are so enriched in media and that reflects how we view things, we as consumers start to believe that’s how we should act. All the Disney princesses are perceived in the same way with small waists and large breasts. They use their bodies to get what they want, specifically in Aladdin; Jasmine uses her body so Aladdin can sneak by. This shows girls watching these films that their body will get them what they desire and that being pretty and having a good body gets them far in life. The content comes from within a culture that has been created based on films like these and are being sustained since people see how characters are portrayed and think they should be that way too. 


  1. I agree with you on your point that "we as consumers start to believe that's how we should act." This is especially apparent in children who are highly exposed to media. Like the documentary stated, girls on a playground will act like the damsel in distress and expect the boys to come save them. It's shocking how much an animated film can influence a child's perception of how to act.

  2. I thought you did a very good job on describing the magic bullet perspective and laid out some specific examples from this documentary. As this perspective is able to incite emotions and actions, the topic of abuse in the Disney movie, Beauty and The Beast, describes how this can influence children's perceptions on this awful and serious situation. I found it more appalling when a young girl said that if this were to happen to her friend she would be happy for her friend for being in love with him. This allows for girls to believe that all men have a prince inside of them and if in order to get to that prince they need to go through abuse, its ok. This message is awful and I am shocked by how many of these Disney movies have underlining meanings associated with them.

  3. I like that you brought up the portion of the film where they talk about Disney's portrayal of women in their movies. It is amazing to look at the standards of beauty that they have set for young girls. The fact that they make all of their female characters, even the animal ones, out as these seductresses with big breasts and skinny waists is concerning and is indeed a problem with the approach Disney has taken towards the cultural representation of women in our society.

  4. I agreed with your assessment, especially when you cited the cultural theory and magic bullet perspective as the two main reasons. This is what I used as well, so it's cool we are on the same page. I agree with how you said that Belles treatment could project a strong image on young girls. It is bad that this could lead to girls thinking being treated like she was is ok. I also agreed with your point about how sexualized Jasmine is, as her body plays a huge role in the story. This could lead girls to be very insecure about their bodies. Overall awesome analysis!

  5. Your analysis of the content of the film is spot on. "Magic Bullet" theory is an extremely accurate way of characterizing the effects that this type of media can have, especially on young children. Children is an important audience because they haven't developed an adequate filter to question and reject inaccurate or harmful messages, which enables the "magic bullet" to have the direct and powerful impact that the perspective describes. I liked how you addressed what the girls said in response to the question of if their friend was in the same situation as Belle. That truly shows how trusting they are of the messages transmitted by Disney's films, and how inaccurate and harmful perceptions of their role both in society and in relationships can be embedded into their minds at such a young age. Cultural messages also play a large role of young girls perceptions of body image and how if they look a certain way they can use those looks to a certain end, as you talk about in your final paragraph. There are some alarming realizations in this film, but you do a great job of summarizing them through the lenses of cultural studies and the "magic bullet".