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  1. #1

    • Darkbeer
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    Jan 2005
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    When You Wish Upon a Buck - TCS Daily, 3/14/07

    Next year marks the 80th anniversary of the debut of Walt Disney's Steamboat Willie - thought to be the first cartoon featuring Mickey Mouse, who is arguably the best-known brand in the world.

    Steamboat Willie - along with Disneyland, the forward-looking theme park inaugurated in 1955 - are emblematic of the trajectory and future of the empire that Disney built. As I returned to Disneyland earlier this year for the first time in 17 years to celebrate my son's fourth birthday, I had occasion to reflect on both the park and the cartoon, which screens on a constant loop in the Main Street Cinema.

    First, both symbolize Disney's future-oriented approach - and its challenges. Steamboat Willie, one of the earliest animations to feature sound, ushered in the era of popular cartoons and branded characters. It foreshadowed decades of marketing and strategy carefully calibrated to consumer tastes.

    Steamboat Willie itself is a decidedly politically incorrect film, depicting frightening violence (Mickey brandishes a sharp knife and is forcefully tossed around by his nemesis, Captain Pete), cruelty to animals (Mickey force-feeds a cow, hits a parrot with a potato, and yanks the tails of numerous beasts), and sexual harassment (Mickey deploys a hook to peek under Minnie's skirt). Today's MPAA would probably award it a PG-13 rating.

    But such were the demands of the market at the time when the animation genre was still experimental and not explicitly directed at children. Once Disney figured out that the road to parents' wallets ran through their children's hearts and minds, he softened and shaped his characters appropriately.
    Much more at the link...
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  2. #2

    • Old Timer
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    Mar 2005
    San Pedro, CA

    Re: When You Wish Upon a Buck - TCS Daily, 3/14/07

    I must admit that I hate the retro 'pcing' of our cultural history. Let's face it; there is nothing that will not offend someone; and most kids see worse (happening to real people) on TV. I sometimes fear that we are going to 'protect' ourselves into bland oblivion.
    I know - rather off topic, but it's my first reaction.

  3. #3

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    Feb 2007

    Re: When You Wish Upon a Buck - TCS Daily, 3/14/07

    I completely agree with you, Lynn. It's ridiculous that those occurances were even brought up in the article. The cartoon wasn't made to be hateful or demeaning, etc.... it's just a good cartoon. (Just like Song Of the South, but that's a whole other story)

  4. #4

    • Pull your "Magic" finger?
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    Feb 2006
    Lake Cowichan, BC, Canada

    Re: When You Wish Upon a Buck - TCS Daily, 3/14/07

    Pretty lame article. Let's see...if you visit in the off season, there are probably going to be a few rides closed. And if MM wasn't PC back in '28, there are a ton of films and annimated shorts for the next 20 years that were equally or worse. I never noticed a lack of timepieces in DL. Not that I looked. Seems to me that there is an entire store on Main Street dedicated to (admittedly selling) time: clocks and watches?
    Nope, can't say I'm going to be a regular reader of this website, and its "craftmanship journalism".

  5. #5

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    Re: When You Wish Upon a Buck - TCS Daily, 3/14/07

    This guy should stick to lawyering and leave the writing about Disney to people who know what they are talking about.

    That article is exceedingly superficial and misguided.

  6. #6

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    Jan 2005
    Las Vegas, NV

    Re: When You Wish Upon a Buck - TCS Daily, 3/14/07

    I think there's a lot of needless sense of self-defense going on here, don't you?

    The author seemed to have identified his target, swung, and missed. Disney has been painfully transitioning into the digital age with a heritage steeped in the old-fashioned way of doing things. His examples, however, hit a little too close to the type of anti-capitalist screed that usually appear in many Disney criticisms.

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