Saturday, November 26, 2011

Disney Irony

Oh yeah.  The villain in this new Muppet movie is a Texas oilman who has a big corporate headquarters and is clearly interested only in money.  Disney, one of the largest corporations on earth, has been using these stock businessmen-as-heartless-villains since at least Mary Poppins.*  Does it go back further, does anyone know?  Any of those villains in earlier Disney?  And how much has this influenced the consciousness of an ordinarily nice and very earnest young OWS idealist, that the popular culture he grew up with, and "gets" far better than those around him, has taught him who the bad guys are?  It's like the execrable A Dog Called Kitty, so bad it is a family joke, or Avatar, or

Never mind.  The list is endless.

* There would be a lot of jobs for regular Englishmen - not to mention the world - in

Railways through Africa
Dams across the Nile
Fleets of ocean greyhounds
Majestic, self-amortizing canals
Plantations of ripening tea

wouldn't you think? Not so many in feeding pigeons, however heartwarming it is.


Kitten said...

We just got back from Disney World and, having never been there before, I was shocked at how much of their focus was on environmentalism.

If I never see another paper straw, and at a fancy restaraunt at that, it'll be too soon.

james said...

Their target audience is children (idealized somewhat). Play is central, and work is an adult intrusion. So whatever symbolizes that intrusion is an obvious candidate for a villain.

Never mind that even rather young children can appreciate a job well done. That's not part of entertainment, which is Disney's business, so Disney focuses on play.

Texan99 said...

A culture's choice of villains always is interesting.

I got a shock when I was in college, back when the first Indiana Jones movie came out. I mentioned to someone I was working with that Nazis were handy cinematic devices -- all the director had to do was show us a swastika, and the audience instantly knew who the bad guy was. His reaction: "Well, you know, the Jews really were a problem. Hitler had to do something." That was the first time I'd ever met anyone who didn't understand that Nazis were evil. I honestly didn't know anyone left alive disagreed, callow youth that I was.