Seeing Mufasa encourage Simba in The Lion King, watching Pascal comfort Rapunzel in Tangled, or being gripped by the animated story of Robin Hood as he bravely risks his own safety to help others, all have positive impacts on our behaviour, according to a new study published by researchers in America.
Disneyland has long been known as the ‘happiest place on earth’, a destination for positive experiences that reflect the mood and morals of Disney’s many popular films. Now, researchers have proved that as well as promoting kindness through their storylines, Disney films actually do have a positive impact on those who watch them.
Researchers at the School of Family Life at Brigham Young University in America have published a study that finds that watching Disney films ‘strongly promotes pro-social behaviour’ for kids of all ages.
The study of 61 films – including most of Disney’s well-known and well loved movies – ‘examined various dimensions of pro-social behaviour’.
All of the films used were animations released by Disney and produced up until 2011, so this includes everything from classics such as Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and Bambi, right up to modern classics such as Tangled and Ratatouille.
The team from Brigham Young University reviewed over 5,000 minutes of film (that’s a lot of movie nights!) and analysed was analysed 5,530 pro-social acts shown in them. The researchers discovered that there was one positive social interaction shown for every minute of Disney film, leading the team to conclude that watching Disney movies promotes ‘voluntary behaviour intended to benefit another.’
They also found that watching some of your favourite Disney films with your children will also encourage ‘humanity and warmth’ in the way they interact with others.
Do you watch Disney films with your children? Do they have a favourite? Let us know in the comments below!