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December 6, 2005
Contact: Dr. Susan Linn, (617) 278-4282 susan<at>commercialfreechildhood.org


For Immediate Release

Disney Film Violates Separation of Church and Commerce
CCFC Urges Clergy and Parents to Resist Narnia Products and Promotions


Calling the film a “Trojan Horse” that markets junk food and junk products to children, the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood (CCFC) is urging clergy and parents to say no to commercial promotions linked to the upcoming Disney release, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and Wardrobe. Disney is working with Motive Entertainment to encourage clergy to promote the film because of the Narnia’s spiritual content.

“Whatever positive values children may learn from Narnia are undermined by the film’s commercial promotions and tie-ins that market junk foods, junk toys and the junky notion that brands will make us happy,” said Dr. Susan Linn, CCFC’s co-founder and author of Consuming Kids. “When clergy endorse the film without taking an active stance against its excessive commercialism, they are actually promoting materialistic values and a whole slew of products from McDonald’s Happy Meals to Quilted Northern toilet paper.”

In addition to McDonald’s and Quilted Northern, the film has promotions with Virgin Atlantic, Oral-B, and Kodak. General Mills is featuring the film on boxes of sugar cereal. More than 50 licensees will be selling a slew of Narnia-themed products including toys, action figures, porcelain dolls, board games, photo albums, trading cards, and a Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe video game. Shopping malls owned by Taubman Centers will feature Narnia displays to attract customers for holiday shopping.

“That a film promoted in churches is also luring kids to shopping malls commercializes the spiritual life of children and sets a disturbing precedent,” said Enola Aird, director of the Motherhood Project at the Institute for American Values

Urging parents to use the commercialization of Narnia as a teaching moment, Julie Taylor of the Office of Children, Youth and Family Advocacy, Women's Division, United Methodist Church, said, “The Chronicles of Narnia provide a beautiful allegory of the Gospel. Talk to your kids about the story and its spiritual lessons; but then help them understand that by commercializing the message, the marketers are destroying it.”


The Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood is a national coalition of health care professionals, educators, advocacy groups and concerned parents who counter the harmful effects of marketing to children through action, advocacy, education, research, and collaboration among organizations and individuals who care about children. CCFC supports the rights of children to grow up – and the rights of parents to raise them – without being undermined by rampant consumerism. For more information, please visit: www.commercialfreechildhood.org


 

 
 

More on Narnia

The Commercialization of Narnia by Josh Golin

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