Portrayal of Family in Because of Winn-Dixie: No Nuclear Family Here

Throughout the entertainment world, particularly the film industry, the variation of the family does not often differ from the common “nuclear family” also referred to as a traditional family. A nuclear family consists of a mother, a father and their children or child. The parents are always married. However, Hollywood did not always portray only traditional families. In the 1950’s and 1960’s popular television shows like I Love Lucy and The Goldberg’s did not portray the typical family, one being an interracial couple and the other being a Jewish family. For a while, movies reverted back to the stereotypical family structure. Some popular movies and televisions shows that portrayed the typical family includes: The Wonder Years (1988-1993), The Cosby Show (1984-1992), Roseanne (1988-1997), The Waltons (1972-1981), Eight is Enough (1977-1981) and even The Simpsons (1989-present). Despite this, the entertainment world has begun to explore family diversity, especially Disney movies for children, which often use some disaster within the family to thicken the plot of their movies. 

Photo Courtesy of: Qfamily

The children’s movie, Because of Winn-Dixie, an adaptation off of the popular book written by Kate DiCamillo, portrays the family as being non-traditional. The main character Opal, a ten-year-old girl, comes from a radically non-traditional family. Her father referred to as “The Preacher”, is a single parent to his only child Opal. Opal’s mother and “The Preacher’s” wife, left the two of them when Opal was a baby for unknown reasons. Rather than living in one place like most traditional families, the pair often moves from town to town, leaving Opal with few friends and no company since her father works almost all time, often writing his sermons.  

Living in a non-traditional family affected both Opal and “The Preacher” in several different ways, including increasing the rate at which Opal matured and her relationship with others.

Because of Winn-Dixie and other movies like it are reinventing the “new normal” of what is considered family.

Source of video: Movieclips Trailer Vault

The popular movie, Because of Winn-Dixie starring AnnaSophia Robb and Jeff Daniels, was released on February 18th, 2005.