Is the magic portrayed in Disney movies bad for children to watch over and over? - Catholic News Service

Is the magic portrayed in Disney movies bad for children to watch over and over?

Full Question

Is the magic portrayed in Disney movies bad for children to watch over and over?

Answer

One might argue that any fantasy indulged in “over and over” might be inappropriate for anyone, including children. But let’s set aside the issue of how often a child watches a movie and focus on the magic itself.

What we might call “fantasy magic”—magic that exists only in a world in which it is imagined that there is such a thing as magic—is harmless. An example of this kind of magic in a Disney movie would be Cinderella’s fairy godmother changing mice into horses and a pumpkin into a carriage.

But if the magic is occult magic—spelled magick by practitioners to distinguish it from fantasy magic and stage magic—that could be practiced in the real world, it might be problematic for young children to watch. (Older children might be mature enough to discuss the issues involved with their parents.) An example of occult magick in a Disney movie would be the voodoo witch doctor in The Princess and the Frog who has “friends on the other side.” Also of concern in that movie is a hoodoo priestess, Mama Odie, who sees visions in her gumbo pot. The movie shows clearly that the witch doctor is evil, but Mama Odie is presented as a sympathetic character.

Nonetheless, this does not mean that children should not watch movies such as The Princess and the Frog. Parents should simply be aware of these issues and use their best judgment to determine if the movie is appropriate for their children.


By Michelle Arnold













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2 comments

  1. Patrick Gannon Reply

    Get real! The Church LOVES magic. It cannot survive without a belief in magic. That’s what souls and gods are.

  2. Peter Aiello Reply

    When Cinderella rides off with her prince charming and lives happily ever after; it tells children that happiness comes from having loving spouse. It is a false message. It totally ignores the place that God has in our well-being.

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