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Understanding Disney’s Universal Appeal

March 29, 2018

Understanding Disney’s Universal Appeal

The creative empire that Walt Disney built now spans the world but Disney’s popularity began long before the theme parks spread. Disney movies are translated into the world’s languages and you are likely to see Disney characters wherever you travel. What has led to this widespread popularity and why does Disney transcend languages and borders?



One of the biggest reasons why Disney has been so popular over the years is the company’s creativity. Often Disney has taken familiar stories and added completely different dimensions. The tale of the little mermaid was brought to life with warm, well-developed characters and beautiful musical score. Colour, dancing, and humour made the film dynamic to watch and captivating for both children and adults.


There are also many ways to participate in the fun of Disney. Movies can be enjoyed at the theatre and at home. Disney theme parks can become the ultimate holiday destination. Disney figurines, t-shirts, watches, décor, and other collectibles allow people to bring the joy of Disney into their daily lives. It can also be a way for people to display their own creativity and personality through their favourite scenes and characters from Disney.


Something for Everyone

Cartoons that could have been targeted simply toward young children, were made appealing to all ages. Disney helped to elevate an art form from comic short films to full-length features with compelling plots and characters that both adults and children could enjoy. Rather than slapstick humour, the films relied on broader, more complex themes and clever writing that worked for people of all ages. This enabled so many of these films to become classics that people would continue to seek out for generations.



Disney was able to find themes everyone could relate to and give them new life. Issues like dealing with loneliness, the death of a parent, friendships, the desire to fit in, and the search for love resonated far beyond what used to be expected from a cartoon. The variety of personalities gave someone a few characters they could personally relate to and even rediscover as their lives changed. Awkward growing pains could be overcome by Bambi and his friends. Teamwork and bonding was brought to a new level by the diverse personalities of the seven dwarfs who all worked well together.  


Happily Ever After

With so many difficult times faced by people in their real lives, it’s really no wonder they enjoy the magic of Disney. It can distract, cheer, and entertain while perhaps imparting a more optimistic view of their own futures. It is probably no surprise that Disney’s popularity has grown and expanded even through difficult economic times, wars and turmoil. In the uncertainty of everyday life, it can be refreshing to be immersed in the world of Disney where there will always be a happy ending. Children may seek comfort in the safety of movies that end well but so do adults. Even at the theme parks the joyful atmosphere continues to draw adults back year after year as a welcome break from everyday life.



For adults, Disney can be a journey back to a simpler time and allow them to reconnect with favourite childhood memories. They may want to share these memories with their children or grandchildren but the appeal doesn’t end there. Adults also continue to enjoy the chance to enjoy the joy, fun, and innocence in Disney movies and theme parks.


With so many things to love and admire about Disney, it would appear that our fascination with all those characters, from Dory to Tinker Bell, is set to continue for many generations to come.