For several decades, parents have been allowing their children to watch Disney movies based on the misconception that they are appropriate for children of any age. Whether it be princesses like Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty, or other movies such as Bambi and The Lion King, parents have always found these films to be suitable for children. However, many of these movies contain a much deeper issue then meets the eye. One movie where this occurs is Alice in Wonderland. In the movie, Alice in Wonderland, a poor message for children is displayed through the extensive use of various drugs and the lack of consequences that are shown as a result at the end.
Alice in Wonderland opens with Alice being read to by her mother. From there, she seemingly gets distracted, runs off after the White Rabbit, and falls down the rabbit hole. This is where her adventure really begins. Alice’s first encounter with substances that affect the mind come when she finds herself at the bottom of the rabbit hole. To fit through the first door, she must drink something to shrink her, but because she forgot the key, she eats something to help her grow. Upon consuming both substances, she is able to enter through a small door and into Wonderland. These substances that Alice consumed can be paralleled with alcohol and a type of edible drug when one considers the events that she begins to experience after. Here, in Wonderland, she experiences many things that would be considered out of the ordinary, as well as many different scenarios that align with both the use of various substances and hallucinations as a result. Hallucinations can be as drastic as “distortion or disorganization of a person’s capacity to recognize...
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... death” (NIDA), but Disney does not portray it that way. From there, she simply wakes up.
It was all a dream. Disney concludes the movie by making all of Alice’s experiences in Wonderland simply a dream. This is how they cover up the heavy use of drugs and other various substances in the movie and make it appear to be appropriate for children. However, that also shows children that there are no consequences associated with the use of such items. This message is not one that children should be receiving. For decades, parents have been allowing their children to watch Disney movies based on the notion that they are child-friendly, and on the surface, most of them are. However, through movies like Alice in Wonderland, if one looks below the surface there is a lack of consequences portrayed, which over time could affect an individuals interpretation of right and wrong.
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