There have long been debates regarding Disney’s lack of diversity and further, the lack of diversity in dolls for children of color. While reading an article on this subject matter, I came across a comment that made me raise a brow. A reader commented: “The color of these characters is not a big deal. Kids watching won’t see any difference if no difference is highlighted. They will grow up thinking anyone can fit into these roles.”
I’ve seen the sentiment expressed in this comment numerous times in an effort to brush off a call for diversity as “overreacting.” There’s this prevalent myth that kids do not see color. That they grow up colorblind not understanding race relations, but personal experience and social research has proven otherwise.
Let me start with experience:
During thanksgiving break, my 6 year old sister convinced me to play dolls with her. While brushing her doll’s hair, my sister said “Her hair is not like mine. She has white people’s hair.” Caught off guard by her statement, I asked “What do you mean white people hair Kelly?” At first she hesitated to respond but after a few minutes, she replied “Her hair is straight, not like mine.” My 4 year old brother quickly followed “Yeah, and she’s not brown like you either.”
My sister’s comment proved that even at this young age, she noticed the differences in her doll baby and in herself. She noticed that her doll’s hair is straighter, that it has a small sharp nose, a skinny body. She noticed that her doll is white and that she is brown. Most importantly, she noticed that those characteristics listed all belonged to white women.
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And Littlefoot knew for certain that he was alone.
#second saddest scene in the movie #honestly i found this movie to be way sadder than say the lion king or bambi #because of this scene and the ones around it #while the other two movies just kind of glanced over the child’s reaction to their parent’s death #the land before time spends quite a lot of time focusing on littlefoot right after his mother died #and how much he struggled with the loss #and it’s extremely painful to watch as this small child #goes through the different phases of grief #blaming his mother #not eating #being in down right denial #and then this scene #this freaking scene #when he finally realizes and accepts that she is gone for good #it is much more powerful than any scene in the lion king or bambi #littlefoot’s mother is THE saddest death in animated movies for me#and i will fight you over this #because while the death itself is quite sad #it’s the aftermath that makes it memorable (via benvoliotheorphan)
Bambi and Lion King immediately tried to distract children from the deaths of the parents. Bambi had the sweet little birds come flying in, and singers coming in to sing about them. Lion King, while they showed Simba running away, Scar ascending the throne, we can’t focus on that TOO much so let’s throw in a wacky, zany song by two new characters who sing about forgetting your worries! No, quick, jingle the shiny keys in the sad child’s face before they get too sad about the dead characters!
But Don Bluth and his team brought a movie that showed actual stages of grief with this little dinosaur and it is powerful to this day.
oh this movie broke my heart