Disney’s Becoming More Open-Minded Culturally


Rhonda Corona

Over the years, Disney and Pixar have been branching out to other cultures than other ones shown in their previous films.

Over the years, Disney has featured characters from different places, but there is a recurring pattern of stereotypical characters. Constantly, people watch these films with open arms and don’t realize the dark humor used, like in “Princess and the Frog,” “Pocahontas,” and “Aladdin”. These fictional characters are represented in many ways, sometimes portraying things such as poverty, beliefs, and gender roles.

Recently, an upcoming movie called “Turning Red,” has featured Meilin Lee, a young girl who, when experiencing intense emotions, turns into a red panda. The Asian representation in the film is when characters are seen from multiple cultures and she is no exception to this multicultural community.

A short picture titled “Bao”, shows a mother taking care of her child and the growth over the years represented as a dumpling. The key point is a cultural appreciation shown in food, lifestyle, and the appearance of background characters. The meaning behind the film is how we as people hold and should learn to let things go, shown when the mother learns that food brings the family closer together.

Similarly, “Big Hero 6” is an inspiring story featuring Hiro Hamada, with the tragedy he faces as a teenager, due to the tragic passing of his brother, Tadashi, but he has friends to support him all the way. The New Yorker has stated “Big Hero 6,” such authentic details add up to a portrait of two onscreen cultures sharing the same world, undiluted by their affinities, tethered by mutual respect”(Japan and America Meet in “Big Hero 6).

As proof of Disney’s awareness of the diversity issue, Yohana Desta, a journalist has stated “It’s very important to us… to have female and ethnic characters,” he said during a press conference last May when asked if Pixar would release a film with a black protagonist. “It’s grown in importance over time. As you’ll see in future films, we’re really paying attention to that.”(The Year Disney Started to Take Diversity Seriously).

In “Mickey Mouse,” an animated series, a variety of cultures are shown such as Asia and India, along with some showing different cultures that come from many languages which in a variety of episodes varies from time to time. Also, different locations and animals of many cultures, showing the individuality and beauty of each society.

Overall the diversity of cultures has opened drastically over the years, including children and connecting them. Disney is a magical place that makes each individual feel included, bringing people closer together.