Next Article in Journal
The Relationship between Soccer Club Coaches’ Decision-Making Style, Basic Psychological Needs, and Intention to Continue to Exercise: Based on Amateur Male Soccer Club Members in Korea
Next Article in Special Issue
Queen Phiona and Princess Shuri—Alternative Africana “Royalty” in Disney’s Royal Realm: An Intersectional Analysis
Previous Article in Journal
Business Lobbying: Mapping Policy Networks in Brazil in Mercosur
Previous Article in Special Issue
From the Sleeping Princess to the World-Saving Daughter of the Chief: Examining Young Children’s Perceptions of ‘Old’ versus ‘New’ Disney Princess Characters
Article Menu

Export Article

Open AccessArticle
Soc. Sci. 2018, 7(10), 199;

Death and Coping Mechanisms in Animated Disney Movies: A Content Analysis of Disney Films (1937–2003) and Disney/Pixar Films (2003–2016)

Department of Psychology, The College of New Jersey, Ewing Township, NJ 08628, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 11 September 2018 / Revised: 11 October 2018 / Accepted: 12 October 2018 / Published: 16 October 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Psychosocial Implications of Disney Movies)
Full-Text   |   PDF [277 KB, uploaded 18 October 2018]


The purpose of this content analysis was to examine how death depictions in animated Disney films has changed in the past 14 years and the coping mechanisms used to process death within these films. A content analysis from 2005 was used to investigate the influence of Disney films on children’s concepts of death based on 23 death scenes from 10 full-length Disney Classic animated films from 1937 to 2003 and 10 death scenes from 8 selected full-length Disney and Pixar animated films from 2003 to 2016. Our goal was to compare the findings across the two studies. Similar to the original study, the portrayal of death focused on five categories: character status; depiction of death; death status; emotional reaction; and causality. We expanded on the original study and more research by examining coping mechanisms used to process death within a selection of these films. Our findings indicated that some scenes from animated Disney and Pixar films obscure the permanence and irreversibility of death and often fail to acknowledge deaths emotionally. Our conclusions showed that Disney’s and Pixar’s portrayal of death in newer films might have more positive implications for children’s understanding of death than Disney Classic animated films. View Full-Text
Keywords: death; children; Disney; coping mechanisms death; children; Disney; coping mechanisms
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Graham, J.A.; Yuhas, H.; Roman, J.L. Death and Coping Mechanisms in Animated Disney Movies: A Content Analysis of Disney Films (1937–2003) and Disney/Pixar Films (2003–2016). Soc. Sci. 2018, 7, 199.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
Soc. Sci. EISSN 2076-0760 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top