"Through the worldview perspective, this book comes to grips with
the incongruous moralities in Disney. It enables both parents and
educators to gain a critical understanding of Disney content
without being judgmental or promotional for the wrong reasons....
Mouse Morality is a pleasure to read and discuss in itself, but
shows the pathway to media criticism of the first order."--from the
Kids around the world love Disney animated films, and many of
their parents trust the Disney corporation to provide wholesome,
moral entertainment for their children. Yet frequent protests and
even boycotts of Disney products and practices reveal a widespread
unease with the sometimes mixed and inconsistent moral values
espoused in Disney films as the company attempts to appeal to the
largest possible audience.
In this book, Annalee R. Ward uses a variety of analytical tools
based in rhetorical criticism to examine the moral messages taught
in five recent Disney animated films--The Lion King, Pocahontas,
The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Hercules, and Mulan. Taking the films
on their own terms, she uncovers the many mixed messages they
purvey: for example, females can be leaders--but male leadership
ought to be the norm; stereotyping is wrong--but black means evil;
historical truth is valued--but only tell what one can sell, etc.
Adding these messages together, Ward raises important questions
about the moral ambiguity of Disney's overall worldview and
demonstrates the need for parents to be discerning in letting their
children learn moral values and life lessons from Disney films.
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