Disney: Are they Really Helping the environment?

Nearly every year Disney releases a documentary on or around Earth Day that highlight an endangered species, like the polar bears, the black bears, or the gorillas. Disney states that they will donate some portion of the movie’s profits to an organization that has the goal of helping the species focused on in the film. This seems like promise made by Disney but normally the donation is limited to sales on Earth Day, and if the holiday lands a week day ticket sales will be relatively low com, pared to if the promise was extended to the weekend (fact that may go unnoticed by those who plan on seeing the film on the weekend). In this instance Disney is committing the sin of vagueness; people know that their donation is helping an animal but the do not know exactly how. Also resources were used to make the movie, and the film crew possibly made small disturbances within the specie’s natural environment, but they donate money to the cause so “it’s okay”. This also displays that they are committing the sin of the lesser of two evils; other films cause environmental disturbances but they are donating money so Disney is the better company. I would also like to point out that though Disney donates a lot of money, it is a negligible quantity in compared to their profits. For example in the year 2013 Disney donated 370 million dollars and their profits were around 45 BILLION dollars; so the donated about 0.8% of their money. If Disney donated the same proportion of  their profits that relatively smaller companies do, they could make huge differences in the worlds.

Louise Hyneman




5 thoughts on “Disney: Are they Really Helping the environment?

  1. I’m glad you brought up the point that although they DO donate money to the causes they say they will help they only donate a minuscule amount compared to there gross profit. I also like how you brought up the idea of vagueness because its definitely an overarching theme I think its crazy that most of us don’t question how the money we donate will eventually reach the cause we hope it will. I mean do they give the money directly to the polar bears and tell them to go get some organic salmon from whole foods or is it less direct than that .


  2. I like the brought up the issue of the donation amount based on sales. Is Disney giving an effort of advertise these films. I have yet to see any form of advertisement. Disney as a company has the ability to rise awareness and get this film to all areas of the world, yet doesn’t.

    Anastaza Hicks


  3. I agree. It’s sad that such a profitable business donates so little. It’s pretty ironic too because you think Disney would be the company to want to help the world, but that’s just not how it works.

    Megan DeBanto


  4. I have only seen these advertisements by watching disney channel so if you do not watch disney channel you would not be aware of this. If they did more advertising to raise awareness about the movie they could make more profit which they could then have more money to donate to the cause.
    I think these films are a really good way to bring awareness to the environment but they do need to do a better job of their vagueness of where the profits are actually going.

    Gabby Hirlinger


  5. It’s unfortunate that Disney does so little to help the environment when they have so much sway on children who could truly benefit from learning about environmental issues at a young age. Even without donating money, Disney could make great strides just by including environmental themes in their movies, like what Dr. Seuss did with the Lorax. I hope they’ll make further environmental progress in the near future.

    Jessica Daniels


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