The cheap and safe education: Disney Movies

I admit, I’m not sure whether or not this is merely a Calvin thing, a sheltered Christian college student thing, or if it be found in the real world (although I have heard reports of a related activity, coloring books, being found among the repressed Dutch at GVSU).

I mentioned her briefly in my previous entry on Babel Boy, but she is too good of a character to pass up, Disney Girl, especially as she represents a behavior found among many at Calvin.I assume she was from one of the big Christian high schools in Chicago (since 2/3 of my history class was). She was unremarkable in everyway but one: she wanted to watch a corresponding Disney Movie for each region of the world we covered (this was an intro class, so every continent was represented in some way). She didn’t just suggest this, she though it was an infinitely good idea which would help us get a deep and nuanced look at each culture (she didn’t use the word ‘nuanced’, but she implied a similar idea).

She even went so far as to suggest watching The Lion King during the chapters on Sub-Saharan Africa. Another time we saw the light of reason dawn on her face as she asked, “Wait! The Huns were the bad guys in Mulan, right? Oh, that makes sense now!” The only things she knew about history she had gleaned from Disney movies (which, 3 out of 3 scholars agree, is a worse source than Wikipedia).

Ask most girls (and not ones that look like outsiders either, but the typical Calvin girl) to list their favorite movies and at least one Disney Movie will pop up. They will assure you that John Smith and Pocahantas fell in love, that hunchbacks really did live in Notre Dame and they pronounce the name Herakles incorrectly, among other things. Dudes will often fall into this as well. Most, in a discussion touching upon history will cite a Disney movie once or twice too.Mulan


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