Mouse Morality

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Overview

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 ...

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Mouse Morality: The Rhetoric of Disney Animated Film

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Overview

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.

Clifford G. Christians Ethics Research Award, sponsored by the Carl Couch Center for Social and Internet Research.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780292791534
  • Publisher: University of Texas Press
  • Publication date: 12/1/2002
  • Edition description: 1ST
  • Pages: 204
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.43 (d)

Meet the Author

ANNALEE R. WARD is Chair and Associate Professor of Communication Arts at Trinity Christian College in Palos Heights, Illinois.
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Table of Contents

Foreword
Preface
Acknowledgments
1. Disney, Film, and Morality: A Beginning
Disney as Moral Educator
Concern for Morality
A Unique Audience
Method of Research
Definitions
Reading the Texts
2. The Lion King: Moral Educator through Myth, Archetype, and Ritual
Film Background
Mythic Narrative
Archetype
Ritual
Communication Tools
The Lion King as Moral Educator
3. The Symbolic Boundaries of Moral Order in Pocahontas
Film Background
Disney and History
Symbolic Boundaries of Moral Order
Conclusion
4. Comically Framing Virtue and Vice in The Hunchback of Notre Dame
Film Background
Interpretive Frames
Virtue Ethics
Conclusion
5. Hercules: A Celebrity-Hero
Film Background
Identification through Narrative Strategies
Conclusion
6. Mulan: East Meets West
Film Background
Interculturalism
Moral Tensions
Conclusion
7. A Disney Worldview: Mixed Moral Messages
A Disney Worldview
Implications of the Disney Worldview for Culture
Conclusion
Notes
Bibliography
Index
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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 31, 2010

    This book is trying a bit too hard...

    I was forced to read this book for an AP English and Rhetoric class, of course my teacher saw analyzing the rhetoric of Disney, a large force in most American children lives a great opportunity. I was very excited to see what this book was about and the ideas it had to present. I tried to go into it with an open mind, analyzing what the author said and analyzing how she did. Unfortunately, I found myself getting extremely angry at this "book". This woman is very bias in her views, not accepting of anything besides her own religion. She basically just cuts and pastes ideas from other sources, using very little of her own brain to bring any of the thoughts together. She also contradicts herself constantly, or has a clear disconnect in her reasoning and the point being made. She skipped over many essential ideas. For example, when criticizing The Lion King for being sexist, she forgets to mention the arrangement, in nature, of a pride of lions and who is in charge and the male and female dynamic presented in nature itself. It seems to me that this book is bias and naive, this woman can not be taken seriously as an author and really does need to learn to write a book and keep personal bias out of a book of this genre.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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