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5 Examples of the Value of Faith in Disney’s Classic Films

Even when they don't mention God, there is an undercurrent of faith in the iconic Disney films.

by
Chris Queen

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May 10, 2013 - 2:00 pm
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We don’t see a whole lot of genuine faith in the movies or on TV these days. Instead, characters who exhibit religious faith on fictional films and programs are more likely to show up as fodder for mocking or as social deviants in disguise. Obviously, we can easily forget that the concept of faith played a much greater role in Hollywood’s earlier days, even in the films made by the Disney Studios.

Walt Disney held a deep, private faith in Jesus Christ, though he was not an outwardly religious man. His parents raised him in the theology of the Congregational Church, and he firmly believed in the power of prayer and Bible study. Rarely, if ever, did Disney attend church, but he made sure his daughters were involved in Sunday school programs, even allowing them to choose the denomination that suited them best in their teen years. Walt also said:

I ask of myself, “Live a good Christian life.” Towards this objective I bend every effort in shaping my personal, domestic, and professional activities and growth.

And:

I believe firmly in the efficacy of religion, in its powerful influence on a person’s whole life. It helps immeasurably to meet the storm and stress of life and keep you attuned to the Divine inspiration. Without inspiration, we would perish.

Clearly, Disney understood the importance of faith as part of the American cultural fabric. Another quote of his underscores this fact:

I have watched constantly that in our movie work the highest moral and spiritual standards are upheld, whether it deals with fable or with stories of living action.

We can see these moral and spiritual standards at work in Disney’s classic films. In fact, the concept of faith plays a role in many of the great films of the Disney canon. Today, I’m going to look at five examples of the value of faith in Disney’s classic films: I’m taking a look at two of the big themes that emerge, and then we’ll delve into three characters who exhibit faith in different ways. These movies are not necessarily religious in nature, nor do I claim that they are theologically accurate in any sort of way. With that said, let’s dive in…

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Top Rated Comments   
Good points, which is why his movies continue to out perform what passes for entertainment these days.
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
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All Comments   (5)
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It wasn't Pinocchio who was turned into a donkey, it was Lampwick!
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
Pinnocchio DID get donkey ears and a tail.
46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
Are not the aspects of faith discernible in these Disney films already present in the tales or books from which they were derived? Snow White, Peter Pan, The 101 Dalmatians, Pinocchio - none of those is actually a Disney creation.
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
Good points, which is why his movies continue to out perform what passes for entertainment these days.
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
Agreed. Most movies today rely on CGI, mindless violence and sex. Character development, plot and such are far away in the back of the bus.
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
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