A Grandfather’s Open Letter About the Rebellious Children in Disney Movies
By David Outten
MOANA is an outstanding animated movie by Disney Animation Studio. It’s entertaining, emotional, sometimes quite funny, and is brilliantly animated. Unfortunately, it once again features a father who is disobeyed. As is often the case in Disney movies, the father is well meaning and attempts to protect, but he is in the wrong. He restricts his daughter who then feels compelled to rebel.
This plot device was evident in THE LITTLE MERMAID, LION KING, RATATOUILLE, and BRAVE. Outside of Disney, it was also apparent in movies like HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON. Movies require conflict to keep audiences from napping. When a child is the hero, the father figure is a natural source of conflict. In MOANA, the case for rebellion is beautifully constructed. Dear ol’ Dad seeks to keep his daughter safe from the dangers of the open seas, when she is called to the open seas to save her people. The audience is led by the nose to root in favor of her rebellion. Without it, the movie would be an overwhelming bore.
As a father, who wound up spending $80 to take grandchildren to see MOANA, it was disappointing to again see Dad be wrong.
I can’t think of any restriction or advice I gave my children that kept them from pursuing their great calling in life. In fact, I tried to help them pursue any worthwhile thing their hearts desired. Yes, I made judgments on what’s worthwhile. I would not have knowingly condoned or funded promiscuity, pornography, drugs, or alcohol. I would not condone or fund laziness, vulgarity, or crime. My children were raised with biblical moral standards.
The problem with presenting rebellion as noble is that there are people presenting evil as noble. There are people who label biblical morality “bigotry.” They encourage children to break from their parents’ values and join in a “noble” sexual revolution. This is not the direct message of MOANA, but MOANA would resonate with any child who chooses to rebel against a parent’s Christian values.
Millions of Christian parents (and grandparents) have taken children to see MOANA. They need to have a heart-to-heart talk with their children. MOANA’s world was threatened by a spreading darkness. So is our world, but the darkness is not the Christian values of the parents, it’s the immoral values pleading for an even greater rebellion.
If you wish to see America experience greater prosperity and civility, it will not come from rebellion against God, it will come from rejection of evil. The most noble quest any child could embark on today is to restore decency, faithfulness, honesty, courtesy, integrity, and civilly.
To rebel against God is to invite the spread of darkness. It makes little girls sex objects and little boys violent. There is no magical stone to be returned to a volcanic monster. There is simply the love of God to be appreciated and shared.
As a grandfather I’d pay $800 to take my grandchildren to a movie that made this message clear. There is no demigod or superhero who can help my grandchildren become all they’re called to become. There is only God, the Creator of the universe, the father of Jesus Christ, and the one who loves all of us. This is whom we should go on a quest to know better. He has all the answers we will ever need.