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  1. #1

    • Darkbeer
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    Walt Disney: man or mouse? - Los Angeles Times, 12/17/06

    http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/...,1066182.story

    This is an opinion piece written by the Author of the new Walt Disney Biography, Neal Gabler.


    What seemed most to repulse many intellectuals was the sense that Disney infantilized America by refusing to confront reality, and it was reality in all its complexity, agony and sordidness that the intellectuals seemed to revere as the very foundation of art and intelligence. The theme park was especially castigated for its neglect of American tensions. Disney encouraged Americans to inhabit an imaginative universe not unlike that of a child, where reality had been transformed into fantasy and its harm expunged. For this act of anti-art, he was to be eternally condemned.

    There is, to be fair, some truth to the charge that Disney's career was devoted to perfecting reality rather than grappling with it, though there is another substantial body of evidence to the contrary. In the late 1930s and early 1940s, for instance, Disney was inundated with letters from outraged parents who felt that Snow White's flight through the woods or Pinocchio's excursion on Pleasure Island or the devil in "Fantasia" or Bambi's mother's death were all too real and terrifying and hardly a gloss. Disney would typically respond that he didn't make films for children and that, in any case, children had to learn to deal with the terrors of the world.

    Despite this, "Disneyfication" became and remains a dirty word the primacy of false experiences over so-called real ones.
    Much more at the link...
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  2. #2

    • My laughing place
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    Re: Walt Disney: man or mouse? - Los Angeles Times, 12/17/06

    What a great tribute to a great man.
    Mark

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  3. #3

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    • Chicago Gal
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    Re: Walt Disney: man or mouse? - Los Angeles Times, 12/17/06

    Very interesting.

  4. #4

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    Re: Walt Disney: man or mouse? - Los Angeles Times, 12/17/06

    Neil "gets it". Superm use of 50 Disney Dollar words.
    "As usual he's taken over the coolest spot in the house"- Father re: Orville 1963

    [FONT=Arial Narrow]

  5. #5

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    Re: Walt Disney: man or mouse? - Los Angeles Times, 12/17/06

    During most of his career before World War II, Walt Disney was the darling of the intelligentsia. So, the ending of that love affair was related to the things he did that were intended principally to maintain the financial health of the organization during that trying time when his European markets were not available to him.

    Walt Disney was always straddling the line between art and commerce. He enjoyed the artistic advantages of distributing his own films, but he was also faced with the artistic disadvantages that come from maintaining a studio when the marketing environment changes drastically.

  6. #6

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    Re: Walt Disney: man or mouse? - Los Angeles Times, 12/17/06

    After having now read the op. ed., I find the fact that the piece coincides with the thread about "culture shock" in the Disneyland forum interesting.

    Here, we are, forty years after the death of this man who didn't live during my lifetime nor that of many other people in these forums, discussing the works he, and his associates, gave the world.

    Moreover, his philosophy of art has endured to inform newer generations that have proceeded to, themselves, create works of influence and lasting significance.

    If there is to be criticism of Disney, said criticism must be legitimate. It must be of the acts and works of the man, himself, and not of what they might or might not represent. There is a tremendous breadth of knowledge about Walt Disney in the world but, in truth, very little depth. And, his reduction to a symbol by many people is unfair, not just to the man but also to themselves.

    They deprive themselves of understanding a great wisdom.

    Creativity and imagination; innocence and ideals; joy and inspiration... These are the truths of the human condition, Walt Disney argued. They are the things to which humanity must find within itself in order to change the world.

    "The worst among us is not without innocence, although buried deeply it might be. In my work, I try to reach, and speak to, that innocence... showing it the fun and joy of living... showing it that laughter is healthy... and that the human species, although happily ridiculous at times, is still reaching for the stars."

    -Walt Disney

  7. #7

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    Re: Walt Disney: man or mouse? - Los Angeles Times, 12/17/06

    I enjoy what Walt did and left behind. The details of what various types of people think and thought of him have little impact upon my views. Walt made a lot of great products and I remain entertained by his creations, as did my parents and grandparents, as do my children, and as will my grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

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