Most children in Britain have grown up watching Disney classics: The Lion King, Cinderella and Peter Pan, amongst many others. As we grow up, we tend to distance ourselves from what we perceive to be childish films - but we never forget that they were an important part of our childhood. The cycle will begin again when we have children and share the magic of Disney with the next generation. Since the release of Tangled in 2010, Disney has enjoyed a resurgence in popularity. Now, it is no longer a brand associated only with children; teenagers and adults alike are appreciating Disney in a new light.
The storylines have been updated and modernised to appeal to a wider audience; the entire personality of Rapunzel in Tangled was altered so that she was no longer a passive character. Disney's adaptation of Into the Woods was arguably a darker fairy-tale; personally, I felt it didn't quite hit the mark. It was a little too creepy for children: some characters, such as the Big Bad Wolf (played by Johnny Depp) and Prince Charming (played by Chris Pine) had rather disturbing personalities. Into the Woods was initially a stage musical; for the adult audience, too much content was cut from the original content in order to make it a viable production for a younger audience. Frozen was a breakthrough for Disney: ultimately, no male hero was involved and it focused on the importance of family relationships.
In recent releases, the songs have even made the charts! The hit song 'Let It Go' from Frozen enjoyed worldwide popularity. The songs featured in Tangled were all very catchy! Whilst in France I saw the new release of Cinderella. I was slightly confused as contrary to the typical Disney movie, there were hardly any songs!
Children are always aware of the fact that the good characters (often referred to as 'the goodies') always win, and the bad characters (often referred to as 'the baddies') will be punished. As an adult viewer, I think you can also pick up on lessons of morality which you may not have noticed as a child.
Disney films and songs are available in many languages. As a language-learning tool, I think Disney songs are actually incredibly useful. This is because the translations of the songs are not literal; they are adapted in order to get across the true meaning of the song. As such, you can learn more idiomatic constructions.
Do you have a favourite Disney film? Do you think Disney songs are useful to help you learn English?