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Are Disney Films Good for Kids?

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Are Disney Films Good for Kids?

There is no point denying it, we are suckers for a good Disney film.

Ladies, you might as well just admit that you loved Frozen just as much as I did.

Fellas… keep quite or I’ll start singing the song.

One of the things I’m most looking forward to about having kids is not looking like the creep in the movie theatre when I go to see a Disney film by myself.

But all jokes aside, we hate it when Disney gets a bad rap for things like too much violence in their movies, portraying females in gender stereotypical roles and apparently not having enough diversity when it comes to race and culture.

There is plenty of research out there that talks about why Disney films are bad for kids.

So… rather than talk about that, what we really want to do is let you know about some of the positive things kids can learn from Disney movies.

A recent study found that there are actually a lot of pro-social behaviours (characters doing things to help others) displayed by the characters in Disney films.

Interestingly, there is more than 1 pro-social act per minute on average in Disney films (which is a lot higher than any other kids TV show!)

In addition, there is only about 10 mins of physically violent behaviour in each Disney movie, on average.

The great thing about the high ratio of pro-social behaviours in Disney films is that kids can learn about how to help others, just by seeing a character be helpful in a cartoon or movie – pretty handy, right!?

Plus, the more they are exposed to these types of behaviours, the more likely they will be to take on board and display them!

So, based on these findings, we reckon there’s not a lot of harm in kids watching their favourite Disney film on repeat (so long as you can keep your sanity!)

How about you? Do you let your kids watch Disney movies?

Are you a closet (or not-so-secret) Disney fan too?

What’s your favourite Disney film? Let us know!

Before you go… make sure you sign up for access to our simple and effective strategies for everything from toddler tantrums to teenage defiance!

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Download a copy of our App “Parenting Therapy” in the iTunes App Store!

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References:
Padilla-Walker, L.M., Coyne, S.M., Fraser, A.M. & Stockdale, L.A. (2013). Is Disney the Nicest Place on Earth? A Content Analysis of Prosocial Behavior in Animated Disney Films. Journal of Communication. 63. pp. 393-412

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6 Replies to “Are Disney Films Good for Kids?”

  1. I grew up on Disney films and they had a massive impact on who I am today. I would never trade that experience and I think it is so important to keep the tradition going.

  2. I know that Disney takes a lot of crap because people (usually parents) always die in their movies but I think it’s a good way to encourage conversations about loss, grief, and healing. It shows a lot about how to persevere in the face of great loss so it’s a good way to open up a conversation about sensitive topics.

    My favorite was and always will be The Lion King.

  3. I don’t have any kids but I am obsessed with ALL disney movies!! I particularly love The Princess and the Frog (the music.characters) and Beauty and the Beast (my all time favorite- it just has the cutest sentiment behind it)

  4. I definitely let my kids watch Disney movies. Out of all the stuff that’s out there, I think they do a pretty great job. And yes, they watch them over and over and over. For a long time, it was Inside Out. They just recently saw Moana and loved it.

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