Disney, an Influence on Modern America

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Disney, an Influence on Modern America While most just think of Walt Disney as the creator of the Disney movie empire and the Disney theme parks, those such as author Steven Watts, who think more deeply about Disney, consider him to be the “influential architect of modern America” (Watts, p. 4). While the genius of Walt Disney has affected many aspects of American, and now overseas, cultures, his empire has had a significant impact on what people experience during childhood.
BACKGROUND OF THE DISNEY EMPIRE Walter “Walt” Disney was born on December 5, 1901 in Illinois, but he lived most of his life in Missouri. He began drawing and painting when he was quite young and would sell his work to family friends and people in the neighborhood.
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Disney movies from year past are still being viewed daily through the use of modern technology. For example, Disney’s first full length film was released to the public in 1937. This was, Snow White. Although released decades ago, children of the 21st century know and watch this movie (Johnson). The character of Snow White is one of Disney’s famous princesses and little girls all over the world easily recognize her. Those little girls who first watched Snow White are now watching it with their grandchildren. This is an example of a timeless movie. As the above example suggests, people grow up with Disney movies. Recognizing the plot from these movies and knowing the associated characters has become common knowledge in the American culture. The Disney Company has received much criticism with regards to their princesses and the roles of feminism portrayed in their movies. Many believe that the way the princesses are portrayed depict a negative view of women and present a stereotypical view of the woman’s role in society (Bailey). This viewpoint has merit in that many of the Disney princesses are portrayed as waiting for a man to rescue them such as in Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty. Women are also viewed as the caretakers of the home such as in Snow White where she happily takes care of the men while they go off to work. It is important to
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