'Ahead of the Lawmen': Law and Morality in Disney Animated Films 1960-1998

Law, Culture and the Humanities, April 2013

31 Pages Posted: 8 Feb 2020

See all articles by Nehal Patel

Nehal Patel

University of Michigan-Dearborn

Date Written: April 12, 2013

Abstract

This article examines the relationship between law and morality in a selection of animated Disney movies released between 1960 and 1998. The authors analyze all of the fully-animated, G-rated movies that grossed $100 million or more (adjusted for inflation) which shaped the childhood of lawyers practicing today. We find that the predominant representation of the relationship between law and morality is that they are at odds. Law most often is portrayed as having no relationship to morality or, even worse, as an obstacle to justice. These findings have implications for theories of law and morality, justice, and ethics. These findings also raise provocative questions concerning the role of mass media and popular culture on children’s moral development and understanding of the role of law.

Keywords: Popular culture, media, law, social theory, film

JEL Classification: K10, K12, K13, K14, K19, Z00

Suggested Citation

Patel, Nehal, 'Ahead of the Lawmen': Law and Morality in Disney Animated Films 1960-1998 (April 12, 2013). Law, Culture and the Humanities, April 2013, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2458637

Nehal Patel (Contact Author)

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