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 Post subject: Disney Bible References
PostPosted: Mon Apr 10, 2006 2:20 pm 
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Let me just start by saying, I do not want this to turn into a religion debate! But to me in Bambi it truely remids me of Ecclesiastics 3:1-8. For those of you who don't know what I am talking about listen to There is a Season by the Byrds :D. The film really speaks to me in that sense, about how there is a time for everything. There is also a great video of it here (http://youtube.com/watch?v=g3LE4X4GU98). The book is also religious in a way (the climax is my quote below), Bambi realizing man isn't god, there is another above all of us. Any other Disney film that have a certain biblical reference. Like I said Don't turn this into a religion argument please....

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 10, 2006 2:35 pm 
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Well, let me be the first to go ahead and pitch "The Hunchback of Notre Dame", which although was toned down significantly from the book (in which Frollo was a priest, not a judge), is still quite intense in its take on what is/is not blasphemous behavior (i.e. who is/is not really a "monster"?). The song "Heaven's Light/Hellfire" easily equals the gravitas of any of the songs in, say, The Prince of Egypt.

Other than that, I dunno off hand. I'm Jewish, so I don't really pay too much attention most of the time :D

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 10, 2006 2:41 pm 
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I've always seen the revivals of life in Snow White and Pinocchio to echo Biblical ideas. The pure and innocent Snow White biting the apple and falling from grace, only to be redeemed by the love of a prince sort of reflects Christianity and the idea that Jesus (the Prince) came and revived mankind (Snow White) from the clutches of doom (the Witch). Pinocchio is somewhat similar in that its climax reflects Christ's passion; an extraordinary person sacrifices himself to save mankind from horrible things, only to be resurrected, thus making people happier than ever. I heard that in the original tale, the Blue Fairy is supposed to be a counterpart to the Virgin Mary.

Oh, and there's also The Hunchback of Notre Dame, So Dear to My Heart, the last segments of the original Fantasia, various adaptations of Noah's Ark (two shorts and a segment in Fantasia 2000) and the Johnny Appleseed segment in Melody Time, where religion plays a big part in the story.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 10, 2006 3:04 pm 
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I suppose that in a way, fairytales complete the same kind of task that the Bible does -- Gods vs. Evil, teaching children morals, right from wrong ect.

The most obvious Christian-based "Disney" film would be The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. After all, C. S. Lewis was a vicar, and the film stays pretty faithful to the original novel.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 10, 2006 5:10 pm 
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This book may interest you: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0806649445/ref=pd_bxgy_img_b/102-9378900-1870563?%5Fencoding=UTF8

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 10, 2006 5:36 pm 
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"The Gospel in Disney: Christian Values in the Early Animated Classics"

That does look interesting. I think it important that we also remember that very few of Disney's films, especially the early ones, are original. They are adaptations of pre-existing stories.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 10, 2006 6:31 pm 
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I have read the book that Aaron is talking about and agree that anyone interested in religion in Disney should give it a look.

Also, you might want to check out The Gospel According To Disney by Mark I. Pinsky. It deals with the same thing and goes into more of the more recent movies.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 10, 2006 6:33 pm 
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One Disney film that I think is chock-full of Biblical symbolism is Beauty and the Beast. The Beast represents man in his sin, and he needs Belle (Jesus) to bring out the creature he was intended to be all along. Christ loves us despite how ugly we come across to Him (in our case the ugliness is spiritual, not physical like the Beast).

Hunchback, as already mentioned, is filled with Biblical imagery and quotes, and Narnia's too obvious for me to even get into.

Cinderella, I think, exhibits how Christians should be. God cares more about how you handle a situtation than what situtation has been brought to you. Like Cinderella, Christians should remain optimistic and know that God's there for them and will make their dreams come true. All you need is patience from Him to carry on.

Then there's the common theme of self-sacrifice in Disney films, and need I mention the who's the prime example of that theme?

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 10, 2006 6:36 pm 
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bambifan56 wrote:
Let me just start by saying, I do not want this to turn into a religion debate! But to me in Bambi it truely remids me of Ecclesiastics 3:1-8. For those of you who don't know what I am talking about listen to There is a Season by the Byrds :D.


I'm going to sound like such a nasty nitpicker, but the song is actually called "Turn, Turn, Turn!"


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 10, 2006 6:39 pm 
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Disneykid wrote:
Then there's the common theme of self-sacrifice in Disney films, and need I mention the who's the prime example of that theme?

Gurgi from The Black Cauldron?

Escapay

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 10, 2006 6:41 pm 
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Escapay wrote:
Disneykid wrote:
Then there's the common theme of self-sacrifice in Disney films, and need I mention the who's the prime example of that theme?

Gurgi from The Black Cauldron?

Escapay


...or maybe Jesus? :wink:

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 10, 2006 6:54 pm 
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numba1lostboy wrote:
Escapay wrote:
Disneykid wrote:
Then there's the common theme of self-sacrifice in Disney films, and need I mention the who's the prime example of that theme?

Gurgi from The Black Cauldron?

Escapay


...or maybe Jesus? :wink:

D'oh. I misread Disneykid's post. I thought he was asking for the prime example of self-sacrifice in Disney films... :P

Take away my Catholic membership card now...

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 10, 2006 7:03 pm 
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A movie no one has mentioned is Johnny Tremain. It explicitly quotes Scripture a number of times. However, most people are talking about Biblical themes in Disney films, not Biblical quotations, so I will do the same.

The films Walt Disney made almost always had Biblical themes. Walt actually had a background in Christianity. His father was a deacon (and occasional substitute preacher) and I believe he sent his daughters to Sunday School if I am not mistaken. Consequently, Walt's philosophies were heavily based in Christianity. Disney was a modernist: a philosophy that was born out of Christianity. I am not saying Walt Disney was a Christian--I am not certain of that one way or the other--but he certainly thought a lot like one.

Pollyanna was about a girl who was able to make a huge difference in her community by giving love. This follows the Biblical creed to "love your neighbor as yourself." Another example is Mary Poppins. Disney loved Mary Poppins so much because of the message it shared. He was passionate about promoting his philosophy of life. The song "Feed the Birds" is metaphorical about how easy it is to love someone. I think the main character in the story is George Banks who learns about loving and caring for his family. The principles in this story were certainly born out a Christian perspective.

Please realize I am not saying you have to be a Christian to love. I am saying, however, that of all the world's most historical religions, it is Christianity that has had the biggest emphasis on love. (Judaism does as well, but Judaism is by nature a religion focused more on a particular ethnic group and has not spread among other ethnic groups in the same way some other religions have.) Islam is a religion that has always included a great deal of hate. Most of the world that is now Muslim became such with the threat of death if conversion was refused. Hinduism is not concerned with reaching out and helping people. A person who is suffering, for the Hindu, is doing so as a result of bad karma and they can't and shouldn't be helped for fear of interfering with the gods. So you see, the principles of loving everyone are heavily based in Christianity. That is why love is so central to North and South American and European culture (among a few others).


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 10, 2006 8:10 pm 
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Of course, many if not all fairy tales of the sort that the Grimms and Hans Christian Andersen collected are at their heart morality plays...and some of them are actually quite brutal in their treatment of the "villains". For instance, one version of "Little Snow White" ends with the evil queen being forced to wear red-hot iron slippers and dance until dead. At least one of the Grimm tales deals with the immorality of incest (!). In yet another tale, the evil step-relatives are sealed into a barrel full of spikes and rolled into a river to drown.

All of these seem to me to be pretty harsh allegories of the horrors that await evil individuals...and stories that were not necessarily written specifically for children.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 10, 2006 8:26 pm 
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MichaeLeah wrote:
Islam is a religion that has always included a great deal of hate. Most of the world that is now Muslim became such with the threat of death if conversion was refused.

I'm sorry, I know that the OP wanted there to be no debate here, but I have to contest this point.

Islam in itself is NOT a religion based on hate. In fact, one tenet of Islam is to respect and live peacefully with Christians and Jews. This was actually achieved successfully in Spain in the Middle Ages, where CHRISTIANS under the guise of the Inquisition were the ones to break down the relations between the parts of Spain that were loyal to the papacy and those that were occupied largely by the Muslim Moors. The Crusades were also largely Christian holy wars whose aim was to wrench control of the holy land away from the Muslim Saracens.

This is not discounting the many people who have taken the Koran and, through their own misguided interpretation of it, used it to perpetrate great injustices. But a good number of Christians throughout history have done just the same thing, and have also perpetrated MANY episodes of forced conversion (look at the conquest of Latin America, the sending of American Indian children to Christian boarding schools, the aforementioned Inquisition, etc., etc.). So saying that religious fanaticism is especially a trait of Islam is quite unfair...ANY religion is capable of spawning destructive, misguided people.

By the way...I am Jewish. Your assessment of Judaism is sort of true in a certain respect, that the philosophies of Judaism are aimed at the people of the nation of "Israel", which isn't just a geographical area in this case, but a saying that encompasses all Jews around the world. Judaism differs in a very major way from Christianity in that there is no concept of an afterlife...heaven OR hell. So, Jews are encouraged to do the best they can in their earthly lives, since that is the only chance they get. Now, this difference means that there is no concept of "saving" another, i.e. making it more likely for another to go to heaven, because there is no heaven. Therefore you lose the evangelical slant that has made Christianity such a "welcoming" religion, but this doesn't mean that Judaism includes NO teachings of love. Far from it. But its messages are more about doing what is best for yourself and others around you instead of about saving someone's soul.

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 Post subject: Disney Bible references
PostPosted: Mon Apr 10, 2006 9:04 pm 
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Good inclusion of Johnny Tremain and Pollyanna among the other examples.

With Pollyanna, when she lost all hope, the townspeople were there to reciprocate the love and encouragement she had shown them earlier. (This part can make me tear-up -- and I'm a grown man!)

Cinderella is probably my favorite of all of the animated features specifically because of her personality: hopeful, gentle, kind.

In The Black Hole, Dr. Hans Reinhardt quotes part of Genesis 1 as the Palamino's crew stares at the black hole from his control room (or is it his dining room?). Of course, the end of the film is full of religious symbolism.

Don't forget The North Avenue Irregulars, which is centered around the minister, his family, and the congregation of North Avenue Presbyterian Church.

Also, did you ever notice that Donald Duck, perhaps the most flawed of the Fab Five, seems to be the only one who kneels down and prays? (We also see the guardian angels of Donald and Pluto.)

I recently watched the Treasure volume with Elfego Baca, where Catholic references are plentiful. And, another Disney hero, Dr. Syn (Alias the Scarecrow) is a vicar in the church.

Notice the cross on Prince Philip's shield?

I gravitate towards Cinderella, Johnny Appleseed, Johnny Tremain, So Dear to My Heart, Pollyanna, etc., particularly for the Christian emphasis, because I am a Christian: I identify with the themes. That doesn't mean I shun the rest -- of course, I enjoy other Disney fare: Peter Pan, Alice in Wonderland, and so forth. But don't we all, to some extent, favor genres we share values and identities with?

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Last edited by Mouseketodd on Mon Apr 10, 2006 9:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 10, 2006 9:07 pm 
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MichaeLeah wrote:
A movie no one has mentioned is Johnny Tremain. It explicitly quotes Scripture a number of times. However, most people are talking about Biblical themes in Disney films, not Biblical quotations, so I will do the same.

The films Walt Disney made almost always had Biblical themes. Walt actually had a background in Christianity. His father was a deacon (and occasional substitute preacher) and I believe he sent his daughters to Sunday School if I am not mistaken. Consequently, Walt's philosophies were heavily based in Christianity. Disney was a modernist: a philosophy that was born out of Christianity. I am not saying Walt Disney was a Christian--I am not certain of that one way or the other--but he certainly thought a lot like one.

Of course, abrahamic monotheism isn't the worst... there's always Scientology, :lol:

Pollyanna was about a girl who was able to make a huge difference in her community by giving love. This follows the Biblical creed to "love your neighbor as yourself." Another example is Mary Poppins. Disney loved Mary Poppins so much because of the message it shared. He was passionate about promoting his philosophy of life. The song "Feed the Birds" is metaphorical about how easy it is to love someone. I think the main character in the story is George Banks who learns about loving and caring for his family. The principles in this story were certainly born out a Christian perspective.

Please realize I am not saying you have to be a Christian to love. I am saying, however, that of all the world's most historical religions, it is Christianity that has had the biggest emphasis on love. (Judaism does as well, but Judaism is by nature a religion focused more on a particular ethnic group and has not spread among other ethnic groups in the same way some other religions have.) Islam is a religion that has always included a great deal of hate. Most of the world that is now Muslim became such with the threat of death if conversion was refused. Hinduism is not concerned with reaching out and helping people. A person who is suffering, for the Hindu, is doing so as a result of bad karma and they can't and shouldn't be helped for fear of interfering with the gods. So you see, the principles of loving everyone are heavily based in Christianity. That is why love is so central to North and South American and European culture (among a few others).


I don't even know how to respond to that. You do realize this wasn't supposed to be a religious "debate", right? Besides, since when was love so integral to our society? When I look around I see greed, excess wealth and materialism (particularly among the supposedly "religious", like Pat Robertson, Bush, etc.).

Besides, don't you think you're giving into anti-Islam propaganda a bit on proclaiming it's a religion focusing on hate? It's no more inherently violent than Judaism or Christianity (though IMO, this isn't saying all that much). All the modern religions based on abrahamic monotheism have their down sides. Christianity is, in many parts of the world (particularly in certain regions of the U.S.) shrouded in clouds of hypocritical garbage, obsessed with power and wealth and bent on spreading their own message and converting others. Judaism has spawned, for whatever reason, alot of ethnocentrism for which I see little purpose; and Islam is contantly being corrupted and misinterpreted to extreme degrees in order to lend credibility to insane theocracies and amoral tyrants.

Personally I'm an Atheist, and don't consider myself part of any specific geographically or ethnically-based culture; unless humanity as a whole counts, anyway. I take part in a many different elements of various culture that have appealed to me over the years, except Religion, of course, as I'm incapable of believing in any kind of God.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 10, 2006 9:16 pm 
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I was only trying to emphasize that the philosophies expressed in the Disney films were based in Christianity.

I was not at all trying to suggest Judaism doesn't promote love. I said the Bible says "Love your neighbor as yourself." This statement was originally found in the Torah.

I do not, by any means, endorse all the activities in history that were done in the name of the Roman Catholic Church. Just because a group of people do a certain action that doesn't mean they are being consistent with their religion. There are few Christians today who would endorse that kind of behavior.

You are evidently not familiar with some of the anti-Christian and anti-Jewish propaganda that is being expressed to children in some of these Muslim countries. If you went into Iran and started telling people you were Jewish, you wouldn't stay alive very long. To a Muslim you are an "infidel."

If the purpose of this thread is to compare Disney films to the Bible/Christianity, is it not inside the scope of this conversation to conversely describe how Disney films are unlike some other religions?


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 10, 2006 9:22 pm 
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MichaeLeah wrote:
You are evidently not familiar with some of the anti-Christian and anti-Jewish propaganda that is being expressed to children in some of these Muslim countries. If you went into Iran and started telling people you were Jewish, you wouldn't stay alive very long. To a Muslim you are an "infidel."


I'm aware of it, but I doubt very much Isreal does a whole lot to promote positive images of Muslims, either. And we know for a fact the U.S. does even less than anyone in this regard. You're simply more biased by your very nature into supporting Christianity and Judaism over Islam. As for myself, I don't really like any of them, but maybe you should read more about them. All three are incredibly similar... the Bible, Torah (these two are rather obvious, and I'll assume you know the latter is mostly the old testament) and Qur'an share alot of individuals, messages and themes.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 10, 2006 9:24 pm 
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MichaeLeah wrote:
You are evidently not familiar with some of the anti-Christian and anti-Jewish propaganda that is being expressed to children in some of these Muslim countries. If you went into Iran and started telling people you were Jewish, you wouldn't stay alive very long. To a Muslim you are an "infidel."

I am most certainly aware of it, but this does not discount the anti-Islamic propaganda spread every time someone in America uses a slur like "raghead" or curses at someone wearing a turban, or the anti-Islamic propaganda likely being spread in Israel by Jews (I'm Jewish but I don't tow the party line with the hard-right Zionists in the Middle East), or the anti-Jewish propaganda STILL spread by so-called Christians even today.

What myself and Megatron are saying is that ANYONE (Jews, Muslims, Christians, Hindus, Scientologists, etc.) is capable of heinous acts in the name of religion, and singling out any particular religion for criticism is not fair. Yes, people do bad things in the name of religion around the world, but the Muslims are certainly not the only ones who do this...religious hatred is spawned by pride, fear, and an unhealthy sense of superiority, not by the teachings of love endemic to nearly all world religions.

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