There's been a lot of talk about the racism and sexism of early Disney movies, but it turns out these films have been getting something right all along: They are amazingly geographically diverse, and this incredible map proves it.
Image Credit: theantilove
The map was created by artist Eowyn Smith to highlight the diversity of Disney and Pixar films and posted to her Deviant Art page. It catalogues the locations of 46 Disney movies and 16 Pixar films. If she couldn't obtain specific background about the characters from their story, Smith used details from the myths on which the films were based. The results were astounding.
Even when Disney comes up short with their other politics, it seems they got globalization just right. Disney characters are a great way to smuggle complex ideas about global acceptance and varied geographies into a kid's entertainment diet. And there's no doubt that having compelling characters like Princess Jasmine or Mulan onscreen helps encourage diversity and acceptance from a young age. Though they rely on major stereotypes to caricature those figures, the balance in geographic and ethnic representation is an important first step.
The map only reminds of how far Disney has come in all ways — even though there's still a long way to go. Just this year, the Disney channel aired its first portrayal of an openly gay couple on the television show Good Luck Charlie, while Disney released Frozen, the most progressive Disney film ever. Princess Tiana's introduction in 2009 similarly marked the first African-American heroine. Through all of this, it's good to see the Disney world coming closer to our own: multicultural, diverse and even more beautiful than before.