Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Online Assignment 3_Alvarado Silverman

The documentary “Mickey Mouse Monopoly” discusses many ways in which Disney movies and products affect children around the world. It talks about how racial depictions, gender roles in society, the commercialization of Disney’s products, and other things in the Disney universe affect children’s ways of thinking about the world around them. The media perspectives discussed in lecture which I feel apply best to the views expressed in the documentary are the Magic Bullet,  and Cultural Studies.
            The Magic Bullet is the idea that media are powerful, direct, and able to incite emotions and actions. After watching the documentary, there is no doubt that Disney has a powerful and direct effect on children. When the teacher is describing how her children play the “damsel in distress” game at recess, this shows that viewing Disney movies has a powerful effect on the way children play and interact with one another. This point is further emphasized later, when they discuss how the commercialization of Disney movies into toys directly effects how children play, because children want to play with the toys as if they are in the movie. This shows just how powerful Disney is in the lives of children everyday. It also shows how Disney can incite emotion and action, as playing is a big way for children to express themselves.
            The other media perspective which is clearly shown in the film is Cultural Studies. Cultural Studies deals with how media represents culture in society, and also with how power works in society. This is discussed in depth throughout the course of the documentary, but the main two points that stuck out to me were gender roles and racial depictions. According to the documentary, Disney movies tend to display minorities as inferior or evil in a majority of their movies. This greatly affects children’s views of people of different ethnicities and races from their own. An example of this from the documentary is when one of the professors talks about how a white friend of hers had a child who saw black children playing on a carousel, and referred to them as the “hyenas,” because in one of Disney’s movies there are evil hyenas whose voices sound more like a typical black person’s voice. This also relates back to the idea of the magic bullet, where the Hyenas had a powerful and direct effect on the child that incited emotions. The film also discussed how a child’s view of gender and gender roles is greatly affected by Disney films. They discuss how women in Disney films are always depicted as large-breasted, skinny waisted, seductresses, and this makes children believe that this is what women should look and act like. They also discuss how in many movies, such as Mulan, men are shown as the power figures, and/or always have to save the women in the end regardless of how strong she is. Overall, when you look at Disney movies through both the Magic Bullet view and the Cultural Studies view, it seems as if Disney films are much more harmful than helpful to children.


  1. This is a great analysis Sam! You clearly outline the perspectives and explain how they relate to the documentary. You recognize that Disney has had both direct and indirect effects on the youth through your discussion of the magic bullet and cultural studies perspectives. Something to consider about the documentary in preparing for your essay, would be cultivation research. Disney has had incredible longevity in the market, and that plays a huge part in why it's so inherent and natural in our lives. Great job and good luck on your essay!

  2. Very well done Sam! I thought you did a great job explaining course concepts and relating specific aspects to the film. You made a lot of interesting connections. Your example of the Damsel in Distress in your Magic Bullet perspective really showed the impact and effects media can have on children. You make it clear that the media not only psychologically affects children, but affects their visible behaviors as well.

    I also thought your Cultural perspective paragraph was very strong. You offered strong examples for both the racial and gender side of this perspective. You showed just how powerful and influential the media can be. I thought it was great how you tied the Magic Bullet perspective back in halfway through the paragraph. It's important to note that these perspectives are closely related and can often impact each other.

    Overall I thought this was a great analysis with strong support and explanations of course material.

  3. I really agreed with this analysis. I think you used strong evidence to explain why both the Magic Bullet and Cultural perspectives can be used when analyzing Disney movies.
    The Magic Bullet, in particular, is apparent through what children do right after they watch a Disney Movie, like through play. I liked your example of how the children played the "Damsel in Distress" game.
    Furthermore, I thought you had a great example of Cultural Studies, and in particular, how it affects minority children. I think this is important to keep in mind when analyzing anything that comes through the media. Also, great examples of gender roles and how that can affect women - especially when Disney princesses always need to be saved.
    Great work and great job pulling examples from the documentary and class!

  4. Great analysis. I feel like you really made a connection to the theories in concepts displayed in this film. The children playing as specialized gender roles is a great example of the magic bullet perspective, which I did not realize until now. Not only does the way women in Disney films act impact their play, but so do the roles they play. There is almost never a strong female role, which is why there is always the "Damsel in distress". It made me think about what if the roles where different in movies and how my childhood would be different. In my opinion, it shows how much media reflects the views of society. As the society has gotten less racist, so has the media we make.