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  1. #1

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    Jan 2005

    A Question for Foreigners

    I was just watching “Disneyland After Dark” for the first time in quiet some time. In the into, Lennard Maltin mentioned that DAD was a hit on American TV as well as in European theaters during it’s 1962 release. I’m struck by how much the flavor of Disneyland and it’s guests have changed in 40 plus years since the film was made. So many of the attractions had such patriotic and historical themes. Main Street and Frontier land revolved around our past glories and Tommorowland was looking forward to our utopian future. It was a for gone conclusion that we would defeat the commies and bring prosperity and freedom to the world. We/They as a people seemed so positive in their outlook on where our country came from and where it was headed. We truly were a shining light on a hill (at least in our own eyes which is just as important). What happened? I can’t imagine a movie about Americana doing well in Europe these days.

    When I was a kid, our view of the rest of the world was simplistic. The French were small, frail and wore speedos. The Brits stuffy and had bad teeth. And the Russians were 10 ft tall brutes but mentally weak.

    If any of you non Americans out there are old enough to remember, what was your fascination with "Cold War America", Americans and specifically it’s personification in Disneyland? Or was that just our own propaganda?

  2. #2

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    Feb 2005

    Re: A Question for Foreigners

    Well, when Disneyland was built, the "lands" captured themes popular in pop culture at the time. Of course, Fantasyland was there for the Disney characters. Frontierland mirrored the culture's fascination with western themes at the time. Remember those wagon wheel coffee tables. Adventureland mirrored the fascination with the exotic and would embrace the blossoming tiki-culture that would become fully fledged in the 60's. And Tomorrowland projected the country's fascination with technology and the emerging space race and popular science fiction themes.


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