Letter: What children can learn from Disney

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The Independent Online
Sir: While I would hardly categorise myself as a proponent of 'political correctness', I do feel compelled to object to one point in today's leading article, 'The wonderful world of Disney subversion'. You state that 'most of the film's objectionable characteristics would hardly be noticed by the average child of five'. You seem to be equating 'noticing' - that is, the conscious awareness that information of a particular type is being conveyed - with learning.

The truth, however, is likely to be the reverse. Young children do not have the sophistication to be aware that the implicit assumptions of a work of fiction are messages (intentionally sent or not) that must be critically evaluated.

Disney's animated films are particularly important in the development of children's attitudes precisely because they are so well made. They are watched and re-

watched, sung along with and memorised.

The politically-correct thought police will only be happy when our culture is reduced to a tasteless grey sludge, because anything with any content is going to offend somebody. However, our resistance to this type of censorship should not blind us to the fact that children's entertainment can be very influential stuff indeed.

Yours faithfully,

DON RADLAUER

Weybridge, Surrey

27 July

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