Dear No One in Particular,
I stumbled across this intriguing video on feministing.com deconstructing Disney's portrayals of masculinity.
I recently did a somewhat related project for one of my classes last Spring. Comparing and contrasting two films (Kiss of the Spider Woman and Desperado), I studied popular depictions of "machismo", and came to a similar conclusion. While my project was specifically related to Latin America and Latino men, it is quite obvious that this insistence on dominant men -- physically and mentally -- is tormenting children worldwide.
P.S. The related section is also worth a gander, especially this video on racist themes in Disney movies. I do feel that it bears pointing out that while the crows in Dumbo is widely known as a nod (of sorts) to minstrelsy and other such vile caricatures of black people, the ape scene in The Jungle Book -- in my opinion -- is not. Louis Prima (aka Cousin Louie) was an Italian-American Big Band singer and trumpeter. I feel that his ethnicity bears explanation because, while the song "I Wanna Be Like You" could be read as an African-American wanting to be more white, I feel, this is not the case. Yet perhaps the similarity between Prima's voice and that of another, more famous singer/trumpeter contemporary, Louis Armstrong, coupled with the depiction of orang-utans and other primates speaks about ongoing latant American racism? I really am not trying to shit-stir with this incredibly long-winded post-script, but it is an idea that bears full thought.