Stereotyping and Prejudice in Disney Movies

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The Walt Disney Corporation is a very famous company that had been produce a lot children movies and fairy tales through out many years and some of the scene in Disney movies also included stereotypes and prejudice. Such as, the famous Disney classic fairy tales movies from 1991,‘Beauty and the Beast’ and also 1950,‘Cinderella’ . The story of ’Beauty and the Beast’ and ‘Cinderella’ contains stereotypes and prejudice which is related to race and social hierarchy .Nowadays,Disney fairy tales is very important and also the most favourite for children.We cannot deny the importance of fairy tales in children’s lives and especially their influence on the fundamental moral principles the children should obtain.Therefore,parents and educators have recently started to challenge the Disney conglomerate regarding their stereotypes-laden products (Guenther, 2009). Many people believe that due to its unwavering influence on children’s imagination, Disney should ensure that their movies are free of stereotypes and prejudice.

One of the stereotype and prejudice that we can find in the story is gender stereotype.Such as,in the story of “Beauty and the Beast” there have several characteristics about ‘Disney Princess’ and ‘Prince Charming’. Besides,there are two male in the story of ‘Beauty and the Beast’ also shows us gender stereotypes and prejudice. Such as,Gaston and the Beast.Gaston is the most famous guy in town and he thinks that man are more powerful than women. Although he is very handsome, manly, muscular, rich and being respected by all the people in town, but Belle also rejected him and don’t even attracted by him at all.

She sees Gaston as nothing and ignore him as always,because he only wants to marry Belle as a “little wife”. Gaston is a person that stereotype: “ It’s not right for a woman to read”.The patriarchal mindset is evident in all of Gaston’s actions (Maio,1998) .He assumes that as his wife, Belle should serve him at all times such as taking care of ‘his’ kids and taking care of all his needs and wants not always holding a book to read. (Masterson,2014).He wants to marry Belle because “no one says no to Gaston.” He does not care about her truth feelings and what she really wants.But in the end of the story,Gaston become a“bad guy”.Because Gaston is rude, insensitive, and disrespectful towards Belle’s father.

Besides that,the people in this story have a stereotype mind that they think people that looks ugly and weird are ‘ferocious’ .In the story ‘the Beast’,he is very ugly and look alike with monster.Therefore,many people that lives in the town who saw him called him ’Monster’. The people in the town dislike and afraid about him.They stereotype him ‘Monster’ which are very fierce and he should disappear in their town.The people in the town thinks that he will eat their children and also destroyed their town.But in the end of the story, he turns out as a ’Prince Charming’.Actually he is a sensitive person,caring and loves Belle very much .He ends up marrying her and enjoying their life with happiness.

The story “Beauty and the Beast” also reinforcing racial stereotypes and prejudice.This can be seen through the characters in “Beauty and the Beast” are all white and “Disney-typical.” Nonetheless, specific racial stereotypes and prejudice of French and British appear in the characters of Lumiere and Cogsworth.Lumiere is a candle holder with a strong French accent. He affirms that once he turn back into his human appearance, he will resume cooking and keep on dating. He is a hot and warm romantic person, which is a stereotypical representation of Frenchmen (Wynn, 2010).

Because Frenchmen is the most romantic people in the world.On the other hand, Cogsworth is a clock who is obedient to all the rules and regulation in the Beast’s castle. So,when Belle’s father enters the castle and get lost inside, all the other alive objects started to rush and help him. Thus,Cogsworth is the only one who is reminding them not to talk to anyone. Because this is the rules and regulations in the castle.In addition, he also affirms that once he becomes human again, his dream would be to “sip tea.” Thus, the French are stereotype as being controlled with romantic actions while the British are much more formal, strict and boring (Wynn, 2010).

Other than that, stereotypes and prejudice also will related to social hierarchy.For examples,the servants in the story are represented as happy to be serving their masters ’the Beast’ and never complaining anything about him.All of his servant likes him so much even dough sometimes he might scold them for doing something wrong or he is in the bad mood.This shows social hierarchy and also prejudice because the people in lower class must listen to what upper said just like the Beast and his servants.

Gaston’s sidekick, LeFou, constantly suffers from physical mistreatment and emotional abuse from his master,Gaston.Because throughout the movie, Gaston has dropped LeFou in a pile of mud, hit him with a gun strongly, squeezed his head underneath a chair and also smashed him against the wall, yet LeFou still remains faithful and obedient to his boss. LeFou is also a clever man.Because he successfully tricks Belle’s father into describing the Beast in front of the doctors,so that they will think he is insane.Despite his resourcefulness, he is always portrayed as Gaston’s dumb sidekick. He has a funny body size. He is short and fat, with missing teeth and a big red nose. Thus, the “Beauty and the Beast” seems to the message that servants are oriented to serve their boss no matter how badly they are treated from their boss due to social hierarchy. They are poor and ugly, they are also in the lower class in the society,so their feelings are not important as those with beautiful and rich or even powerful in the world.

In conclusion, the scene of Disney movies are included with gender stereotypes and prejudice. A first look at the 1991 Disney classic movie “Beauty and the Beast” and 1950’Cinderella’may lead us to believe it is an exception, with its portrayal of a handsome “mean guy” and an ugly beast “Prince Charming.”Nonetheless, after a closer look, the characters’ behaviour, speech, and characteristics shows that implicit ideas did exist in Disney Fairy tales.

Cite this paper

Stereotyping and Prejudice in Disney Movies. (2021, Jan 24). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/stereotyping-and-prejudice-in-disney-movies/

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