June 29, 2011

I realized after the fact that my rant about Disney might have seemed hypocritical paired with my search for Harry Potter, given that I’m pretty sure Disney distributes the Harry Potter films. However, that is part of my point. They cannot be gotten away from. My main concern is with the animated features and the princess mania. Although the newer princesses are an improvement, they are still rather passive. And all the tie-ins need to stop. Disney may have its corporate fingers in other pies, but it is their own line that has turned into a hydra that just needs to be killed.

And I must say that I am not a huge fan of HP either. It’s not that I am an English professor, necessarily–believe me, I consume a great deal of literary junk food. And many of my colleagues like the books. I just found it rather derivative–perhaps because I am a medievalist and a big fantasy reader. But my daughter is turning eight and wanted to have a movie party with her friends. We figured Harry would have the most appeal. She has read the first book. In this, one must pick their battles. And my search is testament to the fact that the tie-in craze, at least for younger kids, is not so heavy. I like looking around my daughter’s room and, with the exception of a Fetch! with Ruff Ruffman poster (a great show that should be saved), a signed photo with the Hi-5 cast from several years ago, and a small Saddle Club poster, the decor is her own, not dictated by some show.

Does that mean we aren’t sucked in on occasion? Hell, no! She has an ample collection of Build-a-Bear animals and clothes, but those are her “dolls,” so we decided that was OK–picking battles. She has Legos, books galore, Breyer horses, toy tools, a Nano, a veterinarian costume complete with gear–in other words, girl stuff. I just want to steer clear of the things that will try to dictate what she can do and be.

And I also understand that Disney movies are part of our culture–they are stories people are expected to know. Critical thinking skills need to come first. And new releases need a day to miss most of the toys!


One Response to “P.S.”

  1. David A. Salomon Says:

    Actually, the Harry Potter film rights are Warner Brothers. Disney is not involved, for once.

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