Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Online Assignment_Wedge

             The Mickey Mouse Monopoly documentary I found to be very interesting and relevant to the class right now. When I think of Disney, I think about the countless times I flew to Florida to go to the theme parks. It is amazing to look back on that now and realize that Disney is much more than just a few theme parks and movies strung together for entertainment. Upon further research I was able to find out that Disney is a large corporation that regulates and controls much of what is associated or produced in media. In my lifetime, I have just recently heard about the allegations against Disney, mainly over the past four years and through twitter and other social networks. The allegations involve Disney as a corporation presenting cultures incorrectly. These allegations directly relate to the class and what we are currently discussing. Through cultural studies and the magic bullet, Disney influences directly what may already be in place or installing new ideas to media minds.
Magic bullet as described in lecture is that direct contact with media has the ability to influence the audience's thoughts, beliefs, and actions. From my experience as an audience member, I used to pretend that or act like some of the things I saw on TV because they were fun and after all it was just play. Now that I know about the different influences, I see the effect that Disney's shows and movies had on me at such a young age. One of the observations mentioned during discussion is the connection children make towards certain groups of people through Disney movies. Jacqueline Maloney's observation about the child connecting the group of hyenas to a group of African Americans was very compelling. I wrote a research paper similar to this assignment in high school and I used the same observation, but from a different source in my paper. Children are not mature enough usually to distinguish between right and wrong, but as I got older I was able to see the evidence against the allegations against Disney. Disney wrongfully, whether an accident or intentional, displayed this one culture unfairly.
The next aspect almost goes hand in hand with the magic bullet observation. In some Disney movies (such as the Lion King), stereotypes are either established or reinforced through the movie or program. This is the cultural studies aspect of the allegations against Disney. Doctor Alvin Pouissant stated that the movie Tarzan, portrayed the gorillas in the movie as African Americans. I had never even thought about this before, nor the statement Doctor Pouissant made about white supremacy by portraying the people taking over. Connections can be made by both white and African American people, but mostly African Americans. The African Americans may believe that they are viewed as animals in society and lash out. Clearly this is not a fair portrayal if the animals are truly supposed to depict the African American people. Another allegation, one that is very recent, is against Disney's Pocahontas. Some American Indians get offended by the portrayal of Indians and the distortion of real life events. In the movie, the Indians are portrayed as savages that equally lash out against the colonists, when in reality most of violence was from the colonists. This is just another one of the many allegations against Disney's unfair or unequal portrayal of stereotypes of gender or ethnicity. The class is currently discussing the many ways some media companies or corporations mislead audience's and the effects they have on society. 


  1. I strongly agree with you Brandon! These are the main two perspectives I talked about in my piece two because I found they were the most relevant to this documentary. Unlike you, I had never thought about Disney movies in this way before and it is very concerning how they seem to make connotations between certain characters and different ethnicities. Equally disturbing is their portrayal of women throughout all Disney movies. It seems that although our culture is trying to move past these stereotypes they are being subconsciously put in to our minds from a very young age.

  2. The magic bullet and cultural perspectives were the two perspectives that I found most noticeable and represented in Mickey Mouse Monopoly. I used the same two perspectives in my post as well. I enjoyed the fact that you incorporated your own life experiences with Disney and your perceptions of it as a child. I thought that brought a feeling of importance and relevance to the assignment that most other people did not touch on. Even during the film I was not thinking about my own experiences and beliefs about Disney from when I was young, but after reading your post I began to. The fact that I never realized the affect Disney has had on me only deepens the evidence provided by all of the perspectives we have learned about in class. Your use of the specific examples from several Disney movies provided excellent evidence to back up your ideas and I think you used them well. Overall I really enjoyed your post and would agree with you on the statements you made within it.