Over the years, I have noted how popular media has become increasingly permeated with worse and worse values. Remakes of popular old movies and shows that were appropriate for general audiences have become unacceptable. But perhaps the worse part of this is that the use of familiar, old characters and themes are being “updated” with modern culture that ends up promoting immorality in ways that are very hard for concerned parents and people to filter out from acceptable content.
A very popular, but increasingly misleading media outlet that raised red flags for me is Disney. Like most people, I grew up on Disney classic animated movies and continued to enjoy their animated features throughout my life. A lot of their most popular releases have been fine for Christian audiences, but in recent years, I’ve noticed marked worsening of dark influences in their films and other releases that are supposed to be family friendly.
Some of this influence comes from Disney’s acquisition of more “adult” franchises, like the Marvel Comic series, FX network, and their majority stake in the Hulu streaming network, which hosts a lot of content that is completely inappropriate for a company whose brand was built on a reputation for being family friendly.
Today Disney owns a lot of film and media outlets[1.1], which wouldn’t be a problem if they all remained as child and family friendly as the Disney name supposedly implies. I’m sure today’s Disney is far from founder Walt Disney’s vision of what he wanted to contribute to the world, as after his death in 1966, the Disney company grew farther into content for older audiences and into values that matched every other film and media outlet.
What has that produced today? A supposedly family-friendly brand that produces series and movies that feature totally inappropriate content for young audiences and morally-minded people, and sells it in a brand name made famous for being family friendly, on a platform (the Disney Plus streaming service) that is geared towards children and families.
Today’s Disney offerings have so many bad influences that I wouldn’t give children or teens free reign with it anymore. Offerings that are popular to young children, such as superhero movies, I’ve found to have too much casual swearing, many teen-rated releases are over sexualized and promote lust and promiscuity, and I found other releases to support other immoral focuses, such as coveting “heroes” that do not uphold law and honor.
Disney and modern values have turned out some unacceptable releases of even old family-friendly franchises, like Star Wars. And now more recently, Disney has been very open in supporting LGBT+ values and is releasing a big children’s animated feature in July - the new Lightyear movie based on the Buzz Lightyear character from the Toy Story series - that has a scene where gay characters kiss.
It is a PG-rated movie, but the scene got the movie banned in some countries already[1.2, 1.3]. Movie and show ratings were never sufficient for screening out unacceptable content, as I have noted many PG and PG-13 rated movies to have immoral content, while there are many Mature or R-rated features that are still appropriate for Christian viewing.
Media needs to be reviewed on a per-case basis, but my main reason for writing now is to make parents and users of Disney content aware that giving children, even teens, unrestricted access to all of the Disney network’s releases is not a good idea.
Unfortunately, like most streaming networks, Disney+ does not have sufficient parental controls. I’d prefer it if streaming services would let me mask out individual movies and releases, but I’ve not seen any service that supports that.
Disney+ only lets you set up a kid’s profile, which mainly only shows pre-teen content. All other profiles can view everything else, so if your child wants to watch Disney’s most popular features, such as their animated musicals, Star Wars, and superhero movies, they must be watched from a profile that gives access to all content, which will also give children access to a lot of content that supports the wrong values.
May you keep your children from those influences and if you want to do more, may you write to Disney and other streaming networks you use to put much better parental controls into their services.
[1.1] Talia Lakritz. "14 companies you didn't realize Disney owns". Insider. 2020 Jan. 28. Retrieved 2022 Jun. 14.
[1.2] "UAE bans Pixar’s new animation ‘Lightyear’ over same-sex kiss scene". The Times Of Israel. 2022 Jun. 13. Retrieved 2022 Jun. 13
[1.3] "Disney’s ‘Lightyear’ Banned From Children’s Viewing in Singapore". Bloomberg. 2022 Jun. 14. Retrieved 2022 Jun. 14.<https://taboolanews.com/article/7c0c5c14-7ed1-33ad-6b65-48f36dcf9540>