There is a magic to Disney – that goes without saying. It is in the hearts and minds of children and adults alike that have seen and created powerful memories of these wonderful films. It is to no surprise that a new study has come out that shows that watching Disney movies during chemotherapy shows ‘associated with improvements in quality of life in patients’.
In a JAMA Study, Eight movies were chosen to be watched. ‘Cinderella (1950), Lady and the Tramp (1955), The Sword in the Stone (1963), Mary Poppins (1964), The Jungle Book (1967), Aristocats (1970), Robin Hood (1973), and The Little Mermaid (1989)’. If you noticed, the movies tended to be older. In the study, they noted that -“All the selected movies were produced between 1950 and 1989. We deliberately chose older movies because they were more likely to evoke memories of the past…” It is quite beautiful to see that memory and the power of nostalgia is something utilized in treatment.
Additionally, the study chose to leave out films with particularly sad scenes – such as movies like Bambi and Dumbo. Have you noticed a key figure in the listed movies? All of these movies have a happy ending. They all live happily ever after – as it should be!
There are many fascinating points within the study, but it is noted that in many Disney movies, there is a lack of a mother when tends to have the main character rely on friends and family. “However, known positive coping strategies, such as accepting support from friends and loved ones or active problem-solving, are frequently found in his movies.“, researchers noted. These are methods seemed to helped “social functioning” for participants in the study.
These movies, as well as introducing positive themes off triumph and fantasy also provided a distraction for the participants in the study that were undergoing chemotherapy. The musical element of these movies was a key factor in this study as well. Researchers in the study wrote, “In movies, music not only enhances the emotion of what is shown on the screen, but also can create impressions and emotions that take the audience back in time to when they heard this music for the first time and so can help recall childhood memories.” – which brings in the true power of nostalgia.
This will not be the last study to show the lasting effects that Disney movies bring into our lives. Nostalgia, magic, and distraction – they all keep us going. This study is informative and brings light to what is a very dark situation. Let us know what you think about the study and take some time to watch one of the movies listed in the study. We all need a little light every now and then.
If you’re interested in reading the study for yourself, please check out: “Effect of Viewing Disney Movies During Chemotherapy on Self-Reported Quality of Life Among Patients With Gynecologic Cancer: A Randomized Clinical Trial“.