Looking at the surface of the films The Fox and the Hound and Monsters Inc, we probably would not see any similarities whatsoever. This is hardly the case once looking past the animated animals and monsters. The Fox and the Hound, which was released in 1981 by Disney, portrays a fox named Tod and a hound dog named Copper. Even though they grew up together, they are socially supposed to be enemies. They do overcome this stereotype at first as they become best friends and vow to forever.
In the end of the film they stay friends, but end up living separate from each other. Each one living in the world that is socially acceptable to each animal. Similarity, Monster Inc. , which was released in 2001 by Disney and Pixar, portrays monsters that live in Monstropolis. Monstropolis is a world separate from the human world. Two monsters Sully and Mike take care of a human, named Boo, that accidently escapes from the human world through her closet door.
At the end, even after realizing that there is no such harm with the other world, and not wanting to say goodbye to their new friend, they must. Boo goes back to her reality as do Sully and Mike. An analysis of these two films reveals the deeper message that is portrayed. We can get along perfectly with individuals that are racially different from ourselves, but only if we stay in our own boundaries and do not attempt to protrude. While also going deeper into looking at how this message affects society culturally.
When you’re the best of friends, having so much fun together, you’re not even aware, you’re such a funny pair, you’re the best of friends, Life’s a happy game, you could clown around forever, neither one of you sees, your natural boundaries, life’s one happy game, If only the world, wouldn’t get in the way, if only people, just let you play, they say you’re both, being fools, you’re breaking all the rules, they can’t understand the magic of your wonderland”(The Fox and the Hound, 1981). This is the song sung by Big Mama, while watching Tod and Copper play and become friends in The Fox and the Hound.
This portrays how society does not allow two different types of people from different societies come together. Even though this may be an issue in America, it certainly should not be advocated by Disney. Disney comes in at an early age to subconsciously tell children about these society lines that should never be crossed. Voicing a message that an individual cannot be friends with someone else because of their race is not only continuing the cycle that so many minorities try to break, but it is suggesting them to be close minded.
Throughout the film, it seems like Tod and Copper are going to beat the odds, and that Disney was actually going to be sending a good message out to young children. Even though society does tell you to stick to people of your own race, they could be friends and enjoy the same society together. This potential message was destroyed when the end of the film arose. Tod and Copper agreed to be friends, but ultimately went their separate ways, encouraging the fact that we know other people in society are out there, but it’s not the best idea to cross that line and become friends.
Disney did not stop there with portraying these messages in their films. Years later, once Disney came together with Pixar, their message was still very evident. “It could let in a child! There is nothing more toxic or deadly than a human child. A single touch could kill you! ” (Monsters Inc. 2001). This quote is from the boss of the factory Monsters Inc. He is telling new employees at Monsters Inc. about the dangers of having a child come up to them and touching them.
These stereotypes are passed down rumors from what they hear children can do to a monster. Even with these rumors, the monsters town, Monstropolis gets its light and car energy from children’s screams. To get this energy, monsters who work at Monster Inc. scare these children at night to capture their screams. This suggests that even though we have stereotypes about certain people that are different from us, we are told that if we need something from them then it is okay to use them for our own benefit.
We only associate ourselves with different types of people because it benefits ourselves, without this motive, it is looked down on and against our society rules. Later in the film a child gets caught up in Monstropolis and Sully and Mike are frantically trying to get Boo, the child, back to where she comes from. Everyone in the film goes ballistic once they hear a child is in their town. No one gives her a chance to see if she really is harmful, they just go off of what they have always been told.
In the end of the film, Sully and Mike understand after spending time with Boo that she is harmless and Sully really starts to love his friendship with her. Just like in The Fox and the Hound how Tod and Copper vow to always be friends even though eventually separating to their sides of reality, Sully and Boo do the exact same thing. Neither one wants to leave the other one, but Sully decides it is better to not complicate things and to just leave them how they once were before they met. Even after a twenty year difference in these two films, Disney’s message still remains the same.
It gives the impression that people from different backgrounds, like Sully, Boo, Tod and Copper should be left separated, because it makes things easier and it’s better to not cause difficulties to things. Disney is very much overlooked when it comes to their films and what message is being sent to young children. Adults grew up learning these messages from Disney and do not see the repercussions. For people to start realizing these messages, it takes someone to speak out on Disney’s voiced and unvoiced messages. This has been done, and opens up a start of questioning against Disney’s reputation.
Disney is known for this great reputation towards the public. Sociologists like to argue this good reputation. Sociologists say that this good reputation has its advantages because people are less likely to question their motives. Sociologists say that Disney is a huge link to many different social problems in America, but because Disney is Disney this makes their claims not as significant. Sociologists say that these social problems come from Disney’s ability to show negative stereotypes directed towards ethnic and racial groups.
Sociologists argue that these messages shown in Disney films make children more vulnerable to a more close minded social environment and that their future actions are framed in terms of a reputation that was conveyed through Disney’s messages (Best & Lowney, 2009). Many adults and parents do not even question the films of Disney because they have been around so long and promote innocence. Knowing more to Disney would open up adults’ worlds and just maybe second guess whether or not to put on that Disney film.
Before adults can let their children watch Disney’s films, they must first realize that they need to be open with their children and teach the right morals and values. “We must talk to children and youth about these films and other aspects of popular culture so that we can better understand how young people identify with these cultural forms and what issues raised by them must be addressed” (Giroux & Pollock, 2010). Henry Giroux raises a great issue. Whether we do notice the things Disney portrays, or if Disney slips under adults radar these messages need to be expressed to children.
Disney may get under adults radar by not showing blood and gruesome scenes, but it does not mean its better. Children can understand these messages from Disney movies and have these unconscious messages with them when acting out on their outside world. If no one is there to correct them and inform them of how society should become these stereotypes will last for generations. These Disney films relate to society more than we like to think. Resembling the movie Monsters Inc, Americans rely on what others can do for them. In Monstropolis, the monsters only use children because they need them for their benefit.
In America this is sadly resembled. People will do anything; for example, hire illegal immigrants to work for them. This is because we need them, not because we want them. If we had a job where it was a manager or supervisor position, one of the first places we would look is in our own society, a family member or close friend, or even someone that is just of the same race as us. A prime example of this is a study that was done in Oklahoma. This study was conducted to show how many immigrants, legal and illegal, are important in the labor force in America. One of the main employers to immigrants is the restaurant business.
Stating that in all of America there is 9 million employees, 1. 1 million of which are unauthorized. These people work behind the scenes, cooking, dishwashing and food preparation (Youn, Woods, Zhou, & Hardigree, 2010). These people are taught that if you do not want to do a certain job for yourself, hire someone who would. This creates a double standard. These people are against letting immigrants come to our country, but yet will give them a job to do the so-called dirty work. Without needing these perks, they would never associate themselves with these immigrants in the first place.
Imagine a world depicted by Disney. Races would remain separate, knowing other races and cultures are out there, but never associating with them. The only need of a different race would be if one was in need of the other. Disney’s messages would obviously not work in today’s society. We all need to co-exist, and open our minds to differences of others. Disney not doing this in their films is training our youth to be racist and closed minded. If we want our future generations to be successful we need to break down these barriers that Disney had created all of these years.