Friday's lecture was on the Disneyfication of our culture. We were warned that after the lecture we wouldn’t look at Disney in the same way. Maybe I’ve been brainwashed by Disney because I still love it. I guess to me Disney is like an old friend, I know at times they do wrong but at the end of the day I forgive and forget. There were three points mentioned that I want to discuss; the quote from Umberto Eco, ‘Celebration’ and the Disney movies themselves.
A lot of people are appalled by Disney when they realise they are all about making millions I think many people feel cheated. But Disney is no Saint, at the end of the day they are a huge organisation like any other whose main aim is to keep shareholders happy and make a large profit. It would be foolish to think other wise.
"The Main Street facades are presented to us as toy houses and invite us to enter them, but their interior is always a disguised supermarket, where you buy obsessively, believing that you are still playing," Umberto Eco, Travels in Hyper-reality.
This quote makes it seem like Disney is being sneaky about what they’re doing, trying to get people to spend with out knowing. I’ve been to
Disneyworld and walked up Main Street U.S.A and have been enticed into these shops. I spent money and it did feel like I was playing but not to the extent I thought I was using monopoly money. Also is that not the point of Disney’s design to make everything more fun than it would be in the real world.
|Inside a candy store.|
I just wanted to mention ‘Celebration’ the town created by Disney. We had a brief discussion about it in our seminar on Friday. Who would be happy to live there and who thought it was weird. I think the majority of the class said they wouldn’t live there as they didn’t like the restrictions it posed. People that stay there have to cut the grass to a certain length, keep the neighbourhood clean and tidy, they can’t put campaign posters at their windows or hang anything other than regulation blinds. I guess I wouldn’t mind living there as I think it would be nice to stay in a community where everyone takes pride in keeping the place clean and be part of a friendly environment. However the fact that it is compulsory to abide by the rules would be a little off putting. It would feel a little claustrophobic and odd to be living somewhere that’s taken away a part of you’re freedom.
Disney gets a hard time from a lot of people about its movies not being ethical. A video clip we watched in class was about gender representation from a programme called ‘The Mickey Mouse Monopoly’. I will post a link below so you can watch it for yourself and make your own mind up about it.
The women speaking in this clip were basically saying that the Disney cartoons watched by little girls will encourage them to grow up using their body to get what they want, be weak and accept abuse from their husbands. I watched these films when I was younger and I certainly don’t do any of these things. I think when adults watch films made for children they can read too much into it as they’re not watching it with the innocence of a child’s eyes.
Disney can not be held fully responsible for the content of films such as ‘Beauty and the Beast’ as these films are adaptations of classic tales. When Walt Disney created his first film the world was viewed a lot differently than it is today, things that are totally unacceptable now were the norm back then. I do agree somewhat with what was said, Disney does need to change with the times and I think with films such as ‘The Princess and the Frog’ you can see it is doing so.
If you really are worried about your child watching Disney movies change the channel to something else, but beware there’s a lot worse out there.