disney’s

Colin Wells Sherry Minkowski Government 12 26 March 2000 Disneys Influence on American Culture How does one begin to describe a king? As generations change, society calls for new leaders and kings, that will continue to push the boundaries. Steven Watts describes it as: Hollywoods leading fantasy factory (187) Disney is much more prominent in society, its impact now lives in every household, as well as a place in everyones soul. Behind it all is a thriving business that will out live most humans now and in the future. Steven Watts breaks it down quite simply: Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck embodied a collective desire to escape the pressures of modern life and return to childhood. (127) The escape from reality, which Disney has provided over the years, comforts people of all ages. Disney has revolutionized family entertainment, and Walt himself would want people to remember one thing: That it was all started by a mouse. Walt Disney began his legacy with Steamboat Willy on November 18, 1928, at the Colony Theater in New York. Dave Smith wrote: Wells 2 This was the first synchronized sound cartoon, and it was a huge success. Reviewers commented on the cleverness of the cartoon, the advantage that sound brought to the medium, and the fun personality of Walt Disneys new character, Mickey Mouse. (25) The success of Mickey Mouse was the start of an unbreakable alliance that has and will always remain synonymous. A brilliant creator and a lovable creation joined forces to become the most powerful influence on American culture. It is inevitable, that every child will be brought up with Disney. What began inside one mans head has now made a huge contribution to the way life is lived. It seems as though Disney is embedded in every childs mind, the second they are conceived. Carl Hiaasen writes: The secret weapon is trust. Disney is the most trusted brand name in the history of marketing. It hooks when were little and never lets go, this unshakable faith that Disney is the best at knowing whats best. (13) As long as Disney doesnt lose their hard earned trust, there is no stopping its dominance in entertainment, advertising, marketing, and the economy in general. Again, Carl Hiaasen writes: At the core of Disneys platinum mine is entertainment. No other corporation has the capacity to crank out enough product to gorge the public maw. (11) Throughout history there has always been opposition to every giant, and Disney is no exception. Its ability to reach nearly every human on earth frightens some people. Carl Hiaasen expresses the other side as well: Disney touches virtually every human being in America for a profit. That is rapidly becoming true as well in France, Spain, Germany, Japan, Great Britain, Australia, China, Mexico, Brazil, and Canada. Disney will devour the world the same way it devoured this country, starting first with the youth. Disney theme Wells 3 parks have drawn more than one billion visitors, mostly kids. Snag the children and everyone else follows—parents, politicians, even the press. Especially the press. Were all suckers for a good cartoon. (10-11) Not everyone on the planet wants G-rated fare. When Disney targets adult tastes, its careful to leave Walts name off the credits. The same folks who brought you 101 Dalmatians, a movie about adorable puppies, also brought you Pulp Fiction, a movie featuring junkies, hit men, and bondage freaks. The same folks who produce Home Improvement, a program about a wisecracking TV handyman, are also responsible for Ellen, a program about a wisecracking lesbian. (11-12) If anything is more irresistible than Jesus, its Mickey. (12) Corporations have always had a dark side, just as Disney does. Balance is needed in life; there is a downside to everything. Nothing, not even Disney can be perfect. Disney benefits society far more than it harms it. The joy a child gets from seeing Peter Pan flying over Neverland cant be bought, it is already inside, waiting to be let out. Disney provides a way for those emotions to be set free. Necessary steps needed to take place in order for Disneys magic to flourish. Disneys influence technologically cannot go unnoticed. Leonard Maltin writes: It is impossible to overstate the impact that Walt Disney had on the development of animated cartoons. He did not invent the medium, but one could say that he defined it. Disney innovated and perfected ideas and techniques that dramatically changed the course of cartoon production. Some were utterly simple while others were awesomely complex. (29) Dick Huemer, a former rival and employee of Walt Disney states: Wells 4 I had never seen a storyboard until I came to Disneys in 1933. We outside of Disneys had always thought that he had some great secret that made his cartoons so perfect. When I saw the storyboards, I thought Aha! This is it! Well that was only part of it—the rest was his genius and perfectionism. Today, the storyboard is used in nearly every production. This is a clear example of Disneys impact on society. His genius turned an entertainment company into an entertainment kingdom. Leonard Maltin writes: One of Walts most important pursuits was the development of personality in cartoons. He wanted audiences to respond with a variety of emotions, and he knew that character credibility was a major ingredient for this kind of success. (40) Walts care for what he produced was a major factor in his success. He sacrificed quantity for quality. These ideals are still shown today in the growth of independent films and other low budget projects. Walts creations came to life in 1955 with the opening of Disneyland. A tangible escape from reality that touches the lives of millions. Upon entering the Magic Kingdom, a plaque describes Disneyland perfectly: Here you leave today and enter the world of yesterday, tomorrow, and fantasy. A place where there are no worries and people of all ages can act like children. What more could one ask for? How about a safe environment and a place in which happiness is guaranteed? Its not the cheapest place in the world, but to some its worth every penny. Walt Disney and his Imagineers created an awesome spectacle of illusions and magic. Together they turned orange orchards in Anaheim into a completely different world. Disneyland Wells 5 brings out the youthful spirit in everyone. In todays judgmental world, it is not always acceptable to act on youthful urges. Disneyland provides people with an atmosphere that is comfortable enough to act how one wants. It has become one of the most beloved destinations on earth, and it always will be as long as the spirit of youth remains intact. These words are original, your mind gives in to the subliminal, like a hidden mouse, thats part of you and everyone in your house. It grabs you when youre young, in TV or a song you once sung. Takes your money by the ton, until your funds are done. The mouse will continue to thrive, and soon he will arrive. Not stopping till he wins, everyday committing sins, of all different kinds, your wrist he binds. And will remain inside of you, becomes shown in all that you do. The man drew the mouse, now the mouse draws the man. Does the best he possibly can. Appearing everyday, in the bed you lay. Remember or not, the mouse watched as you and your mother fought. You buy without knowing, he knows where you are going, and the places youve been before, the hidden mouse is right outside your door. Waiting to invade your dream, where things are not what they seem. Good use of him will benefit, bad use will cause a deficit. The mouse wanted to be anonymous, until him and Walt became synonymous. The unphasable alliance, is always in compliance. The image and the name, both products of the same. Been the best since conceived, bigger than perceived. The child found its father, the father exploited its child, then things started to get wild. A never-ending legacy begins to unfold, since the first glance they had you sold. Now it stays close to your heart, not a cartoon, its a form of art. Derived from a master, if you slow down, the mouse will go faster. He lives without fear, the creator holds him dear. While the creation continues to devour, your Wells 6 neighborhood to the Eiffel Tower. Gaining power and information, hoping to one day rule the nation -Colin S. Wells