Deconstruction And Rehabilitation Of Disney
Nobody ever thought a nondescript mouse cartoon character with some humorous adventures would ever catch the imagination of the children way back then (and now). It had swept the Walt Disney Company along and transformed it into an entertainment empire that it is today.
For the last 87 years, the company founded by Walt and Roy Disney had defined the children’s first cultural tastes of likes and dislikes. Through the years, Mickey Mouse and his company of friends would delineate the kind of children’s entertainment for that generation.
Through the years, each of the characters, new and old, had grown into the consciousness of the children’s sense of fun and adventure.
In the meantime, the Walt Disney Company grew along with the success brought about by Mickey and friends. The years boomed with more and more success in all the other areas – financial, creative and managerial.
The company’s growth was sideways, too. It did not waste time and started producing more and more children-oriented movies and shows. It also started acquiring production studios and TV properties as well as establishing theme parks for kids and the kids-at-heart.
However, children do grow up. With it, they learn to dismiss the artificiality and childish, saccharine quality of Walt Disney and his creations – including those characters they so loved as children.
With post-adolescent cynicism brought about by hard-edged realities of life, these new grown-ups begin to deconstruct Disney and his creations, including anything associated with the company.
Stories would be revived on Walt Disney’s virtual totalitarian corporate managerial style, his so-called exploitation of the “underside of American proletarian values of anti-intellectualism, consumerism” and others.
Most of the scorn is usually widespread among academics and intellectuals. They would reshape conversations to take a dismissive look into the man, bring about a condemnatory approach to his media empire and wry amusement to the cultural force left behind.
Thankfully, the cynicism does not stay for long, but only for a period of time. Later, these cynics would get married and have children. Soon, they would marvel how their children would embrace the very same characters they had dismissed long ago.
Later, they would do their own examination of Disney’s contribution to America’s culture (nowadays, including the world’s), the man’s life and philosophy and his overall importance.
New myths, new stories, new characters
Scholars and historians have long accepted the Disney phenomenon as part of a child’s search for heroes and mythical friends to assess and compare their acts with. There are other wonderful mythmakers as well whose work will be here for a very long time: Dr. Seuss, Rowling, and many others.
Today’s children have a wider choice of many lovable mythical characters created by new storytellers and mythmakers. They also come in from old and new media – books, films, television, newspapers, magazines, and even from the Internet.
Many of them have wonderful stories to associate with one’s dreams and aspirations. Some, like the wonderful and ever-growing platoon of Disney characters, have the knack of staying in one’s consciousness longer. Sometimes, for some, it could be forever.
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