Growing up as a kid, we were exposed to a lot of Disney movies, that looking back at now, I’m surprised I haven’t been scarred for life! There’s a lot of hallucinating scenes that I hated as a kid, and looking at as an adult, I don’t want my kids watching. Then there’s the evil step mom, the wicked witch, the jealous queen …sensing a theme. While we have the fathers either dead, aloof or super protective of their glass like daughters. And I haven’t even gotten to the damsel in distress, waiting for a zillion years, waiting for her prince part.
As a mother of two daughters and prominent feminist 2 year old son, I have to screen the dated Disney films, and pretty much all of them go out the window.
However, I must say the newer breeds coming out from Disney and Pixar have been pleasantly surprising and don’t have me throwing the remote at the tv.
See my selection below and let me know if you agree.
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Brave is something I recently discovered and I’m so glad I did. It’s about a princess, but hang on, she’s not your average sitting pretty, dressing in gowns, swirling in a ball room, princess. She’s your feisty, running wild, not caring about social norms, girls can rule the world, who needs a man, kinda princess. This princess, cliche granted, has her neck on the guillotine, to choose a suitor, and get married, but there’s a twist. Princess Merida isn’t satisfied by becoming a wife to some guy, she fights back at tradition and fate and seeks to change it. The story is about trying to change generations of tradition and destiny, contrary to the uptight queen’s wishes. This movie explores the relationship of mother and daughter, social pressures, and having open communication between kids and parents. Many kids can relate to Merida and the Queen’s relationship, where one is told what to do and does the total opposite, whilst the other is a head strong authority figure trying to refine her daughter into marriage material.
Suitable for 7 years + some scenes may scare sensitive children.
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Mulan is a childhood favorite and whenever it comes on now I force my girls to watch it. My girls are all about pink and fluffy things to my dismay, even though I’ve tried my best to teach them that girls can do anything they want, they still have gender roles in their heads. Mulan shows them that they can do and be anything a man can be. Mulan, a warrior is an inspiration as a young girl growing up. The story tells us that girls may be physically weaker than men but they are not mentally weaker which can lose the war. The movie address gender stereotypes, issues such as honor and ego.
Age range 5+ years, has some scenes that may disturb younger viewers.
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Frozen another film I watched as an adult and mother of young daughters and I’m glad that there are movies like these coming up. Although there are elements of romance and falling madly in love at first sight bleurgh! That isn’t the central message and this is falling in love thing is made fun of in the movie. Nothing wrong with falling in love, but getting married after just the first meeting that’s just in Disney right? . This movie is about Ana and Elsa which has birthed many Anna and Elsa’s around the world which celebrates the bond of sisters. Elsa the protective older sister and the heir to the throne has a secret which she can not share with anyone. She is made to feel guilty and ashamed of herself and leads a life of seclusion even from her kids sister. Anna the complete opposite is a young naive klutzy living in fantasy type if girl you might say the typical Disney princess. However, when it comes to sticking by to family bonds, and not giving up on someone even if they’ve given up themselves, she is a force to be reckoned with
Age range: suitable for whole family.
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Moana a chiefs daughter knows her destiny but she is constantly battling her personal legend of wanting to sail beyond the barrier reef. Her dad fearful of her lustful wondering of what is beyond the reef tries his best to commit her to her people as she is the heir. No gender stereotypes here, no one even questions how will a woman lead. No romantic storylines to divert her focus and waste her time with. Moana’s island is in danger and she has to save it, no time to wait for Prince Charming. She has a protective father who reminds her of her responsibilities, however she also has empowering women surrounding her that believe in her and what she is capable of. A movie about personal identity, social responsibility, and being your own hero.
Age range: 5+ years, some scenes may scare younger viewers.