Academic journal article Western Folklore

The Emperor's Old Groove: Decolonizing Disney's Magic Kingdom

Academic journal article Western Folklore

The Emperor's Old Groove: Decolonizing Disney's Magic Kingdom

Article excerpt

The Emperor's Old Groove: Decolonizing Disney's Magic Kingdom. Edited by Brenda Ayres. (New York: Peter Lang, 2003. Pp. xi + 203, acknowledgments, introduction, notes, index, $24.95 paper)

When it comes to Disney, we are like the rope in a giant tug-of-war. At the one end of this rope, our inner child is delighted by Disney's colors, music and animation, the thrill of Space Mountain, the heady nausea of the Teacups. At the other end, the scholar in us is repelled by the blatant Disney disregard of history and literature, the rampant Disney colonialism and gender bias. So it is with The Emperor's Old Groove. Right up front, editor Brenda Ayres confesses her ambivalence-she is as attracted to Disney as she is repelled. Oddly, her duality makes her perhaps the perfect editor for the volume, personifying as she does our own teeter-totter relationship with Disney; we vilify the film company even as we long for the childhood innocence with which we loved Snow White or the genie from Aladdin. The authors of the chapters in this book range along the spectrum.

Each chapter deals with a Disney film or with a theme running through a number of Disney films, such as the absence of nurturing women in The Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast, deconstructing the film company's attempts at multiculturalism, feminism and understanding. The book is well done; each author provides a reasoned and well-documented argument which in one way or another shows Disney maintaining the status quo even while attempting to appear as the arbiter of diversity and cultural understanding for the young. The only drawback to the book is one that plagues many themed books of this kind-after a while the chapters become repetitive, their arguments all too familiar from two chapters ago. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.