Are Disney movies too violent for kids?

United States
April 12, 2013 10:49am CST
I have a three year old niece who I'd love to expose to some of the childhood Disney flicks I grew up watching. I was going through some of my old VHS tapes (yes, i still have some of those) and found Bambi, The Lion King, The Little Mermaid,Dumbo, and Cinderella. After taking a brief trip down memory lane, I came to make a disturbing discovery. All of these movies have one horrific thing in common, one parent was either killed, or absent, in each one of these movies. Just in case, you dont recall, let me refresh your memory. Bambi- Hunters shot and killed his mom The Lion King-Scar, the evil Uncle, caused a stampede which led to Simba's father (Mufasa) falling to his demise. Oh, and his own brother Scar purposely let him fall so he could be king. Nice for kids to see, huh? The Little Mermaid- Ariel ws raised by her father, King Tritan. The whereabouts of mom was never explained. Dumbo- No father in sight! Mom was whipped and caged through most of the movie. Cinderella-lived with evil stepmother who ignored her and treated her like dirt. Am I overthinking this, or do these movies send bad messages to our youth? I cant understand how, or why, such great classics have such grim undertones. I found these movies great to watch and it was not until I got much older that I came to this realization. Perhaps my niece will be the same. I can only hope so. With the way the world is today, she has more than enough to fear as it is.
8 responses
• Atlantic City, New Jersey
12 Apr 13
Although these movies have a bit of violence in them....I think it teaches kids how to cope with something so traumatic. I personally LOVE Disney & Pixar films! I don't even have children and collect and watch them for my own enjoyment :) The one thing I do NOT agree with is some of the adult innuendos they sometimes include. For example..there is a part in Toy Story where Mr. Potato Head takes his lips off and makes the gesture of kissing his own A$$- referring to one of the toys being an a$$ kisser....now in that tone..sometimes they go to far!
@Fishmomma (11443)
• United States
12 Apr 13
I agree with you about the Mr Potato Head Scene. It did go to far. Our kids do need to learn coping skills, as we know there will be bad things that happen no matter how much protection we can provide with the passing of loved ones and friends. Thanks for mentioning coping skills.
@lady1993 (20416)
• Philippines
21 Apr 13
Yeah, not that you mention it- not many Disney princesses have complete families..sadly. Good thing the violence is not depicted in the movie itself. Belle has no father too, and Rapunzel was raised by an evil old witch? who just wanted her hair.
• Indonesia
13 Apr 13
Yeah it's true that most of those movies have characters with missing one of their parents but it should not make you worry. Back then when I was a kid, I don't realize this cruel facts .. I just enjoy the movies especially bambi and lion king. Children don't have that thoughts, they just think simply and naive. If you still worry that much, try to accompany them while watching.
@burrito88 (2779)
• United States
13 Apr 13
The Disney studios used to make mostlty animated movies before also making films with live actors. They started moving into making more adult fare and some of their movies like The Pirates of the Caribbean series might not be good for children. One of the darker movies they made going back a ways was "Something Wicked This Ways Comes" based on the story written by Ray Bradbury. The story centers on two young boys but it involves an strange circus that comes to town and the evil circus ringleader who wants to kidnap one of the boys. This might be too scary for kids.
• India
13 Apr 13
Hello mizzty, I do agree with you that these movies and most of all the fairytales that we all grew up with indeed have violence in them. eg. In Red riding Hood the wolf eats her and her granny and then the woodsman comes along with an axe and cuts the wolf up, the witches in Hansel and Gretel and other stories etc. They are all mostly violent. But I feel that the violence is there so that the children know and prepare themselves for the reality of life, which is quite ugly and grim. If we took out all the violence from the stories, the children would not be really prepared for grimness later in life and that would make it difficult for them to cope up. But on the brighter side, each of these do have happy endings and the right always triumphs over the wrongs. So actually we are teaching them how the right always wins, so don't worry about it much!
@Fishmomma (11443)
• United States
12 Apr 13
I understand your looking for a movie with zero violence for your child. Personally, we should explain the parts of the movie that sends a bad message to our child that this is a movie, as a parent my daughter needs to know the difference between what is in a movie and real life. I agree there is a lot to fear in this world today. Its hard to believe just how much changed during my life time and some of the changes really scare me. Sadly, we can't shelter our child (ren) from everything that happens around us.
• Indonesia
12 Apr 13
I do not think like that. All films will inevitably be the message conveyed. I also have a younger cousin who likes to watch disney movies. I always accompany my younger cousin to watch the film. slightly hard when there's a scene, I always give guidance or input if "like it should not be done because it can be like that"(the law of cause and effect). So that, my younger cousins ??so could understand what the message of the film.
@Deepak2J (1179)
• Bhubaneswar, India
12 Apr 13
these are good enjoyable movies. Just enjoy I don't think anything is wrong. kids just enjoy watching these and then forgot. So,don't worry .these are entertaining movies.