To find a good subject for your research, on a school that focuses on art culture is not an easy task. A lot of subjects rolled into my mind when we where asked to think of this particular subject. Hmm am I going to do a research about the influence of graffiti artists? No! Do I want to do something with books? Maybe… As I was thinking about the subject, I saw something on the internet about an educated guy giving a lecture. This lecture was about the influence of South Park on social society and politics. I thought this was great news because a program like South Park isn’t just a cartoon and it’s certainly not something for kids. South Park has a lot of political messages and is often a mirror to certain layers of society and celebrities taking advantages of their positions. I didn’t however wanted to do my research about South Park but the base was set. I wanted to do a research about the influence of animated movies and programs on our society. This because in my opinion are being underestimated by adults and a lot of people. “Those shows are for kids’’ they would say. But think about it, aren’t the children of today the providers of tomorrow? And isn’t education the cornerstone of becoming a decent and balanced person? Well if this is the case, and the fact that kids do watch a lot of cartoons and animated movies, these movies aren’t there to take lightly. I was reading and becoming more and more interested in the subject. I found articles about Felix the Cat and his influence in times of war. Political messages that where spread in Russian cartoons to suppress and criticise the communistic regime. Lectures about shows like South Park, filling entire halls and rooms with eager students. But as I continued my search, me and my research coach found out the subject is too broad and I needed to narrow it down. So there I was back to square one on my subject. It was then I got the input for my new idea.
Every Tuesday my two little cousins stay at our home in the afternoon, because it was vacation I wasn’t in Tilburg but home in Gemert. While I came downstairs, my little nephews where 5 inches away from our TV, watching the Disney movie Aladin. As the movie was progressing I thought of all the Disney movies I had seen, and was surprised I knew them all by name and scene. The movies brought me a lot of joy as a child and I was enjoying the moment with my nephews. At a certain point one of them asks me why Aladin is stealing bread from the market, because he of course learned that stealing is bad. But before I could give a answer, my 8 year old nephew beats my to the punch and told his 2 year older brother that Aladin did it to survive, to feed himself, Apu, or even children who are starving. The older one replies smartly that it’s still stealing and it’s forbidden. My 8 year old cousin shudders with his shoulders, thinks for a second and replies with the magnificent answer: ‘Sometimes people just know that they got to do’ This conversation from the children younger then 11 really had my mouth open wide. And while I was lying in bed that night I was thinking about how great Disney is in teaching young children important lessons. More lessons then I ever thought from religion, or educational programs that bore me as a child. Disney certainly disserves some respect and credibility for this educational aspect. But they also deserve some gratitude from me, because this revelation combined with me earlier subject gave me the idea for my research. The following posts on this blog will study Disney and focus on the educational aspects Disney has given us through the years. So as Walt Disney would say: Sit Back, enjoy and let the magic happen!