Who hasn’t heard of Disney’s “Frozen”? It swept the nation this last fall, raking in close to $1.5 billion worldwide in a number of months. Kids (particularly girls) fell in love with the beautiful pictures, the princess/prince/king/queen imagery, and of course the music. Disney really knows how to wrap up a good story for kids. It’s almost formulaic- the heroine, the prince who saves her, the doddering sidekick, the magical spells….
I grew up with Disney movies- Lady & the Tramp, Robin Hood, Bambi… so there is a certain pleasure in giving your child the same great experiences you had. And yet, watching Disney do its magic, and then seeing its effect on your 3 year old is really enough to make you wonder if something more insidious is going on.
Abbey watched Frozen for the first time almost 2 months ago, when her cousins came over to visit. Granted, they watched it more than once, so the song and story had a chance to seep in, BUT… I swear, it’s like a someone cast a spell over her. 8 weeks later, and she sings a song from Frozen every hour… that’s not an exaggeration! In addition, she will come up to me and tell me that I’m a king or a prince or some other character and that I have to help her save ______ (I don’t know the plot of the movie, myself). It makes me worried. And I wouldn’t put it past a big corporation like Disney to have something close to a magic formula that manipulates the minds of young children.
And, even if my conspiracy theory has no legs whatsoever, it’s still worth considering what screen time does to young minds, and how parents need to be vigilant against it. I never see Abbey as transfixed as when she’s watching a screen. And I never- ever- see her as angry as when I try and interrupt her time watching. I can only imagine what it’s doing to her developing mind, and spirit.
Whatever it is, it’s not good. We try to use screens sparingly with the kids, but, like most others, fall prey to its hypnotic powers way more than we should.