The Courier Mail (Australia), 1/30/07
It's a Mickey Mouse world

by Karen Brooks

DISNEY has done it again, reinventing the classic fairytales to capture the minds and wallets of adults and children the world over.

On January 26, the Disney Corporation launched its "Year of a Million Dreams" campaign. Under the banner, "When Dreams Come True", a series of stunning pictures by renowned photographer Annie Leibovitz was released, featuring soccer legend David Beckham as a dashing prince astride a rearing horse and about to slay a dragon, the beautiful Scarlett Johansson in a ball gown, racing down a flight of steps a la Cinderella, and gorgeous Beyonce Knowles as Alice taking a spin in a teacup, with Lyle Lovett as the March Hare and Oliver Platt as the Mad Hatter.

Jay Rasulo, chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, explains that the photographs were taken to inspire "the imaginations and dreams that are inside us all". Intending to grant more than a million wishes to guests visiting the parks and resorts throughout the 15-month campaign, Disney has made sure its altruism coincides with the launch of new rides and attractions. Nonetheless, in order to be on the receiving end of this generosity, you need to be visiting in the first place.

Linking Hollywood, films and fairytales is not new. Nor is drawing inspiration from the rich store of traditional tales and reconstructing their familiar characters. Disney, if not loved, then, is well and truly known for putting its particular twist on so many of our culture's beloved stories and animating them with flair and colour. Oh, and for its stereotyping.
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