Racism In Aladdin

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onally, but even globally. What unites children from all over the world, despite all their differences, is that they most likely know about stories like Cinderella, Simba, or Tarzan. Even now, years after we last listened to the well-known songs, they still bring back old childhood memories. But what do we actually remember?
“Oh, I come from a land, from a faraway place, where the caravan camels roam. Where they cut off your ear if they don’t like your face; it’s barbaric, but hey, it’s home” (Appendix 4). This is the first paragraph of the opening song in the movie Aladdin (1992), produced by Walt Disney Pictures. Admittedly, after complaints by the American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (Breaux, 2010: 400), the company changed the lyrics for the home release. Nevertheless, by then, millions of people had already seen the movie in the theatres with the original lyrics.
The lyrics of the song Arabian Nights are just one of the many examples in which Disney movies stereotype minority groups, even up to the level that can be identified as racism. Yet, thinking about Disney certainly does not often lead to discussions about racism. However, watching these movies now as an adult and with the ability to critically question the depiction of marginalised groups, these illustrations raise the question as to if and how beloved classic Disney features help fostering stereotypes and racism. Therefore, the following academic work aims at debating this issue.

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