The Walt Disney Corporation has some sort of fetish over Karma and Yin Yang. Off the top of my head I can name you half a dozen TV shows that have Karma references (Suite Life of Zack and Cody, Suite Life on Deck, Hannah Montana, Jessie, or the horrible Wizard one…). There are plenty that involve switching souls or reincarnation, with many in the same shows just mentioned. The same goes for Yin Yang, the Daoist concept frequently abused by corporate television warlords. Hell, Disney once had a Canadian show called Yin Yang Yo!, and in Lilo & Stitch they downgraded the concept of Yin Yang to alien pets(there is also Yang). Nickelodeon abused the same concept and diminished core Daoist beliefs to to spiritual fish (scroll to bottom) in Avatar: The Last Airbender.
So what’s the problem with this? Aside from the fact that Disney degrades some of the most widely held religious concepts in the world as ancient mythic folklore (the belief in divine justice, or “karma”, is in many faiths worldwide, including Christianity, in different ways), when’s the last time Jesus was mentioned in a Disney show? Another example of Disney’s orientalist religious fetish: the horrible indoctrinating trash-of-a-movie we call Aladdin that I wrote a disparaging review on has a scene where Jasmine’s dad shouts “Praise Allah!” after the Princess chose a suitor, and there’s a few other times when we hear the phrase “Allah forbid!” Now, the latter phrase isn’t even used by anyone (they took the phrase God forbid and translated it to what, make it funny?), but the first one is only used by people who want to “make fun of Muslims” or accuse “Muslims of being terrorists.” That is according to urban dictionary. There is no equivalent of that phrase in Arabic or in Islam, and I myself have only heard the phrase used by people ridiculing the Muslim faith. Now you can say what you want about your views on religion, but what the hell is it doing in a children’s movie? Do we really need to just pick out religions from a box and ridicule them since they’re from some “inferior” place of the world? We have a real problem of generalizing other cultures as the “other”. And to think they didn’t bother trying to pronounce Allah right – they might as well have used the English equivalent God – but then again that’s not as funny, is it?
I suppose it’s also not politically correct. You can mention and misinterpret Karma or Ying Yang or some indigenous folklore or the other all you want, but when it comes to Christianity it’s a big no-no. Why not bother anyone? They do enough damage when they call karma “mumbo jumbo” in front of hundreds of thousands of children…including Hindu ones. Because somehow making fun of any culture or faith other than the majority Western ones is OK. Remember the time Disney told kids that white skin color is the original skin color? See #3 in the link.
I’d like to see Disney grow up. Now the big movement of removing religious references from all children’s television is a load of hypocritical arrogant trash I’ll bash on any day, but going out of the way to insult and misinterpret religions and cultures is far worse. I’m tired of Disney and their television warlord equivalents (like Nickelodeon or Cartoon Network) poking fun at inferior cultures with sharp stereotypes and shoddy research. The public has literally no idea that this happens (I’ve done plenty of research looking for people with my view – and I found nothing), and that’s because Disney stops short of poking fun at Western culture and religions for that very reason. This sort of inferio-fying Hinduism, Islam, and Chinese traditions is absolutely disgusting, and I am astonished that people tolerate it. I grew up on Disney and know people that do, and I fear for their future.