Hold the Fart Jokes: Why the Disney Brand Matters to Parents

Disney FrozenI have nothing against a good fart joke.

I don’t mind if my sons giggle when they let off a little … steam. There’s something intrinsically male about fart jokes, and even at 45 I still find something funny about them.

I’d rather not hear them while watching movies with my sons.

Today’s animated fare is rife with flatulence humor and other easy laugh getters. It’s understandable given the amount of content generated for our kid’s amusement.

That’s why the Disney brand stands out.

Spoke with a long-time Disney animator recently for my day job who discussed the Disney brand in a way that only made sense if you were weaned on films like “The Little Mermaid,” “Bambi” and “Dumbo.”

That pretty much means everyone, no?

So much of the stories told to today’s children don’t have tomorrow in mind. Will “SpongeBob SquarePants” be relevant in 20 years? How about meta-movie franchises like “Shrek,” films which play on modern movie conventions?

Disney films strive for something more. They don’t wallow in cheap humor, fleeting pop culture references or other comedic short cuts. Take “Frozen,” the studio’s latest delight. The tale of two princesses battling a chilly curse is like a Broadway musical scaled down for young viewers. It’s sweet and full of unassailable values – tenacity, loyalty and sacrifice. Fathers won’t wince at uncomfortable jokes or overt pandering. They can sit back and watch their children soak in the entertainment, period.

My wife and I recently hosted a six-year-old while his parents enjoyed a well earned date night, and we had no hesitation putting a Disney cartoon into the Blu-ray player. What parent would object?

We live in an age when adult themes are encroaching on childhood, from sexualized Bratz toys to board games redesigned with more mature impulses in mind. Disney fare played like gangbusters to my parents’ generation. They came of age at a time when the notion of a pop star crudely rubbing a foam finger against herself would be impossible to imagine.

That Disney touch mattered then, and for all the obvious reasons matters much more today.

Comments

  1. Maureen Toto says

    I AGREE WHOLEHEARTEDLY. THERE’S A TIME AND PLACE FOR EVERYTHING AND THAT’S NEITHER THE TIME NOR PLACE. A CHILD WILL EMULATE THE USE OF LANGUAGE AT A MOST INOPPORTUNE TIME.

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