Disney: Where children live happily ever after

Melissa Chua

There is something about Disney that puts a smile on people’s faces. Disney has captured the hearts of many people of all ages and races, male and female, mainly because of its entertaining movies and extravagant theme parks and resorts.

During my childhood years, I remember watching every Disney movie that came out, and eagerly anticipating new ones. I was always drawn to them because I could relate to each movie on some level, and frankly, they were and still are enjoyable to watch. I have started a collection of my favorites, and I know I am not alone.

Disney movies have become timeless classics to a great number of people no matter their age. They introduce engaging and happy-go-lucky characters who dance and sing inspirational songs, in the midst of some kind of journey that magically ends with a happily ever after.

Disney characters are lively and play versatile roles that audience members can relate to. The characters face struggles that many people encounter in their daily lives such as poverty, relationship dilemmas, a death of a loved one and even foul treatment by an evil stepmother and stepsisters. Despite all the ill-fated events, the characters overcome their obstacles and perpetuate the idea of happy endings. It is no wonder these movies are so popular. They are a pleasant escape from the reality of an imperfect world. At least for an hour and a half, you can watch some animated characters succeed in flying colors, and either become motivated to do the same or revel in their success. Either way, Disney movies speak to us and invoke positive emotions because of the happy endings. They give hope to many that we can also get our happily ever afters.

In addition, Disney makes an obvious effort to represent different races and cultures, which include Native Americans in “Pocahontas,” Arabians in “Aladdin,” and Hawaiians in “Lilo and Stitch.” Being part Chinese, I was excited when “Mulan” was released because it not only starred a Chinese girl, but gave me some insight and understanding of the Chinese culture, which I had little knowledge of.

Even though it was not Walt Disney’s initial intention to teach, there are valuable lessons to be learned in every movie. For example, “Hercules” is about a boy who struggles to believe in himself in order to fulfill his destiny as a hero. The movie is also based on Greek and Roman mythology, which gives viewers a dose of the mythical world according to the Ancient Greeks and Romans. In “The Lion King,” the main character Simba realizes he must stop running away from his problems and attend to his duties and responsibilities. Since Disney movies target a general audience, they influence and instill life lessons and thus create a foundation of moral behavior in households.

The movies and characters generate the themes, which create the ambiance of Disney theme parks and resorts. Whenever I go to Disneyland, there is a general feeling of happiness and cheer. The buildings are colorful and lavished with fairytale designs, characters and props, which create a dream-like world of perfection. The employees typically exude positive energy and show delight in being in a location called “the happiest place on earth.”

Like Disney movies, the theme parks carry on the idea of escaping from reality because they contain different lands, each with a corresponding theme throughout the land. The lands, which are outrageously adorned by theme, allow park visitors to step into and experience a new Disney world created with imagination and magic. Visitors engage themselves in different realms of imagination. Time spent at Disneyland or one of the Disney resorts does ignite the feeling of it being “the happiest place on earth” because their surroundings were and are created to spread happiness and cheer to visitors.

Disney allows us to tune out of our sometimes miserable lives and tune into a world of indulgence and utopia. Disney movies, theme parks and resorts give us the opportunity to rekindle our carefree and happy days as a child. Disney has brought inspiration, laughter and, most importantly, happiness to people everywhere.

Not only has Disney brightened up our social world, it has helped shape our economic one as well. Disney is credited immensely for being a role model to businesses because of their successful marketing tactics and excellent customer service. Everyone knows who Mickey Mouse is and that is because Disney has aggressively plastered its logo and characters on an array of products ranging from daily home or work appliances to gadgets and toys. The company makes everyday items a Disney item. These products can be found at grocery stores, various stores in the mall, or even at a gas station. The Disney name is definitely visible to consumers.

Customer service is another factor that makes Disney the quintessential business. All Disney park and resort employees are trained extensively to exhibit exceptional customer service always with a pleasant disposition. They are taught to treat every customer’s needs responsibly and seriously.

Disney’s customer service expectations and business moves and ideas have influenced businesses, which soon coined the term “disneyization” of society.

Disney brings happiness and teaches life lessons to many through their captivating films and utopian-like resorts on top of setting a business foundation for many entrepreneurs.