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Anti-Disney Films: Continuum Movies for Kids

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Posted on : 9:18 AM | By : Nic | In : ,

Maybe the title of this post is a bit of an oxymoron, but in our culture movies are a very important social media (and I really love movies, lol). Not all children's movies are created equal, however. Many, many movies are specifically made to instill consumerism and unhealthy attitudes in our children, and if you are like us and you have a very unique lifestyle, it can be tough to expose your kids to other kinds of attitudes in an educational way. For example, my girls love Disney princess movies (or would love them if they had seen more of them) but after having to explain to them why a woman would want to marry a stranger, why all of their family members are so mean and filled with anger, why all of their friends have Disney princess Barbies... etc. etc. I just got tired of it. For a while, I think I will only have some movies that teach children to be out in nature, take on responsibility, work hard, homeschool, and/or be free of the need of consumption. Here's my list of kid's movie DO's and DON'Ts according to our family values (some need explanation, some don't):

Don't:
Babe - This is such a cute movie, and does champion vegetarianism if that's what you are into. I personally feel like it might be unhealthy to anthropomorphize animals, and the children in the movie are atrocious.
The Lion King - You would think I would like this, right? It's that animal thing again... and the Nazi imagery during the hyena scenes. There's a strong political message and lots of consumer aspects to this movie.
The Little Mermaid - As a child I LOVED this movie. But this movie is not ok on so many levels. Ariel basically sells her soul for a stranger and then that big octopus lady bursts giant-breasts-first out of a dress.
The Princess and the Frog - There are several moments when the characters have to make choices. The first choice the girl makes is to sell herself for money. I still don't quite understand why they have a Voodoo shadow man following them - the story is a bit confusing. I like the New Orleans culture in the movie, but the story is weird.
The Fox and the Hound - This was another favorite movie of mine, but now I realize the political agenda behind it and it's not so nice. This was a film about segregation.
Milo and Otis - Remember the cute little cat and dog? Well, it turns out that this was filmed in Japan and it was sort of a documentary about putting two house pets in the wild and seeing how they would react to bears and other hazards. Animals WERE harmed during the making of that movie.
Hannah Montana - Argh! I actually like some of Miley's music and she's so talented. This movie failed in it's attempt to promote small-town values over big-city consumerism.

Do:
The Black Stallion - I haven't watched this in a while but all I can remember is beautiful images of a boy riding horses and surviving on an island on his own. Lovely!
Fiddler on the Roof
The Iron Giant
A Little Princess - I loved this movie, which is actually quite different from the book. The little girl is free, responsible and strong, and stands up to injustice.
Little Women - The 1994 version is my all-time favorite movie.
Hook - A man realizes he's become lost in the rat race and returns home to reclaim his own childhood and enjoy his children. What's not to like?
The Princess Bride
Indiana Jones
The Secret of Roan Inish
Swiss Family Robinson
The African Queen
Nim's Island - A homeschooled girl gets left alone on their sustainable island home and survives quite happily by keeping out the tourists.
Mulan - This is probably the one Disney movie that I can't find too much fault with. She doesn't sell out, she's not a princess, and there's not a lot of licensed products for it.
Stardust
The Neverending Story
War of the Buttons - This is a movie about to warring factions of Irish children who run wild and have very little supervision.
Spirited Away - This is a little bit like watching a child's bad dream and then watching that child become independent and strong and beat the nightmare.
Where the Wild Things Are - The monsters are alarming, exactly like in the book. I loved it in the exact same way that it freaked me out a little when I was a kid.

What other movies are missing from the list? What movies do you hate?

Comments (5)

I loved Willow as a kid - a little guy doing big things and learning to trust in his abilities.

I also really liked Ferngully, as I was a huge save-the-whales environmentalist when I was a kid. I don't, however, remember much of it now, so I can't vouch for other scenes or messages.

Yes! Willow is a great movie :) I haven't seen Ferngully.. my parents wouldn't let me watch such an environmentalist movie, lol.

Willow, yes, and the Dark Crystal (still too scary for my young ones). I've always liked the emperor's new groove, provided smootch isn't picking up sarcasm that week, and the scooby doos have been good to us too.

The best videos of all time are the Wee Sing vids - grandpa's magic toys, marvelous musical mansion, and the wee sing train. Entertaining and more. Love them!

Little Bear is amazing. :)

We're watching the first series of Little House On The Prairie with our kids. Lots of good family values, hard work, no buying things on credit ("cash on a barrel, Pa always says!"), etc. It's a little cheesy, but that doesn't seem to bother the kids.