left biblioblography: THE MOUSE IS IN THE HOUSE: DISNEYIFICATION, DILUTION, AND DILETTANTISM

Thursday, June 08, 2006

THE MOUSE IS IN THE HOUSE: DISNEYIFICATION, DILUTION, AND DILETTANTISM


Let’s get this straight:
I absolutely loathe Disney.

What’s up my nose, you ask?
This started back in my long ago days in high school. Yes, that long ago. Three decades, no less. I had, in the lost days of my youth, read The Jungle Book. Wonderful read. Absolutely excellent. Kipling was a genius.

It’s a profoundly dark novel. Filled to the brim with tooth and claw and survival of the fittest.

I saw not long after that, a preview for the Disney version. I was aghast. Dancing monkeys? A dancing bear? Even Shere Khan does a musical number?

I’m leveling a charge here: you guess the word for it.

Don’t read me wrong here – I’m all for a re-telling of a classic (hell, I wrote one myself, not long ago), if done within boundaries. But honestly, people don’t bust out in song like some Broadway musical (unless you’re a drunk at a karaoke bar).

I inveigh here against the dilution, the utter ravage of a great story badly retold and retrofitted to pander to the lowest common denominator.

Mind you, I’ve never seen this wretched feature. I refuse to watch any of the following travesties:

Pocahontas (she was FOURTEEN, fer cryin’ out loud, when she saved Wolfe), Hercules (GAH! Theseus rode Pegasus; Herk didn’t have a sidekick, a flying horse being jealous of his GF, Hades spouting off street-smart smack? C’mon!), Beauty and the Beast, Mulan, Hunchback of Notre Dame, Aladdin, oh hell, any revamped concept specially tailored to the madness of the masses.

And the absolutely worst portion of all this, is that it’s all so formulaic. There’s always a sidekick (sometimes plural, a certain percentile of which can be inanimate objects), the bad guy is always this two-dimensional cardboard cutout figure straight from the days of vaudeville, dripping evil and menace, no redeeming features whatsoever.

And yes, I know this is for the sake of the kids. A little fantasy never hurt anyone. But this delusory methodology is keeping people from reading a book. Using their imaginations.

And what is this with not being able to leave well enough alone? If a story works, if it’s a classic, why bother messing with it? Little touches, that’s fine. Modernizing it? Weeellll…as long as its not slapped on a chopping block and hacked to pieces beyond recognition, I can go along with that. Hell, I rewrote Peter Pan with Pan as the villain. Saberhagen did his own version on the Dracula and Frankenstein classics that were a little bit of all right. But taking The Arabian Nights and re-casting it in the image of the Honeymooners?

And, for the record, the reason people believe lemmings are suicidal, is that in an early feature, the film crew on a documentary (Disney, yeah, you guessed it) herded the poor things off a cliff to provide some ‘drama’. Charming.

There are limits.

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14 comments:

Bacon Eating Atheist Jew said...

I grew out of Disney when I turned 4.

Mickey Mouse, Pluto, Goofy and Donald were boring as hell and unfunny.

Tom and Jerry were a slight step up.

But nothing beat Bugs, Daffy and Porky.
You could laugh and even learn from those cartoons. Even hints of existentialism can be found in those toons.

Krystalline Apostate said...

BEAJ:
Mickey Mouse, Pluto, Goofy and Donald were boring as hell and unfunny.
Spot on.
But nothing beat Bugs, Daffy and Porky.
I dunno about that. The Tick came awfully damn close (animated AND the TV show).
Even hints of existentialism can be found in those toons.
I heard (or read) that the writers were usually blasted out of their skulls (or 3 sheets to the wind) when they put the material together.
That explains a lot, IMHO.
& they screwed up (the WB) the animated Batman series. The old 1 rocked. The new 1? Obviously, the producers attended 1 too many raves.

say not to christ said...

Ra

I agree with you completely! Disney loves to glorify their grossly incorrect versions of history. They love to romanticize history and fill little girls heads full of false hopes. Just love him and he can change or keep your head up and one day your prince will arrive. Pure shit. IMO
And dont get me started on their 101 dalmations, but after that movie came out the animal shelters were full of them. They were badly bred and most were deaf. Grrrrr!

Amy

Krystalline Apostate said...

SNTC:
They love to romanticize history and fill little girls heads full of false hopes.
Yeah, most little girls don't realize how truly awful, complex, & treacherous court life was/is.
Pure shit. IMO
LMAO!
My ex GF tried to tell me all men were dogs. I told her: "Yeah, but there are good dogs, & bad dogs. I don't go around urinating in the house, kicking over garbage cans & chasing cats."

udonman said...

RA youre lucky youve never seen that whole list of disney thrash. I have an 8 year old nepthew youse mom is a good cathloic women and bought him all of those and who has to watch them with him is uncle Tony. every time I want to rip my eyballs out. But its not all bad for an 8 year old he already calls himself a democrat and his moms a republican. and he watches anything trains and I think he knows more about trains then I do. Please if you can never watch those movies never never ever My kids if I have any will never watch them.

say no to christ said...

Lol you guys are too funny!

Ra

Its a good thing your house broken. lol

What I meant by little girls waiting for their prince charming is that he just doest exist and never will. Women have to put more effort in finding mister right if that is what they want and they have to find one that is willing to work with them to grow as a couple not put up with some mens crazy BS that it is all about him and she just has to deal with or wait for him to come around on his terms.

And no man comes out of a box purfect it is us women who make them as perfect as possible. ;) just kidding,(sorta) lol

Amy

say no to christ said...

Ra said"My ex GF tried to tell me all men were dogs. I told her: "Yeah, but there are good dogs, & bad dogs. I don't go around urinating in the house, kicking over garbage cans & chasing cats." "


Well said my friend. :)

Krystalline Apostate said...

SNTC:
Well said my friend. :)
Oh, I left out the part about humping people's legs, didn't I?
I don't do that either.
Women have to put more effort in finding mister right if that is what they want
Well, here I am.
Still no takers.
How's that song go? "Lookin' for love in all the wrong places..."
I also loathe country western music but for the occasional song.

udonman:
RA youre lucky youve never seen that whole list of disney thrash.
Well, I vaguely recall watching the original 'Herbie', & maybe a few of their flicks when I was a wee git. I hear that my family did go to disneyland, but I cannot for the life of me recall it.

udonman said...

I hear that my family did go to disneyland, but I cannot for the life of me recall it.

repressed memory its probably a good thing

Im into anime really bad total addict and one of the companies here in the us that redubs into english is A.D. films there intials stand for anti disney.

say no to christ said...

Ra said:"Well, here I am.
Still no takers.
How's that song go? "Lookin' for love in all the wrong places..."
I also loathe country western music but for the occasional song."

Men have to make an effort too, not that I think you are not trying, but as you said looking for love in all the wrong places. Keep trying till you get it right and join an atheist organization to meet smarter women. I personally think you are too smart and natually fuctioning to be able to have a meaningful relationship with someone that could be so easily fooled into belief. And I agree country music is just plain yucky and stupid, but for the occasional song. Lol

Amy

Krystalline Apostate said...

SNTC:
Men have to make an effort too, not that I think you are not trying, but as you said looking for love in all the wrong places.
Truthfully, I ain't been trying all that hard.
I personally think you are too smart and natually fuctioning to be able to have a meaningful relationship with someone that could be so easily fooled into belief.
And I agree country music is just plain yucky and stupid, but for the occasional song. Lol
Hey, you know what happens when you play a country western album backwards?
Your car starts working, your dog comes back from the dead, & your spouse comes back to you.
Hehehehe.
Aw, shucks (he said, drawing a 1/2 circle in the dirt).

Krystalline Apostate said...

Post got goofed up. Must be some technical problems w/blogspot (again!).

karen said...

Still no takers.
I'd take you in a heart-beat hon!
But I carry enough baggage to fill a display case of country-music albums. Opera too. Country-opera! (shudder) Wouldn't do that to ya.
Besides, as far as I know, I haven't got a drop of Asian blood in me. ;)

Krystalline Apostate said...

karen:
I'd take you in a heart-beat hon!
Oooh, baby!
But I carry enough baggage to fill a display case of country-music albums.
To quote Harlan Ellison: "None of us walk thru the fire unscathed."
Besides, as far as I know, I haven't got a drop of Asian blood in me. ;)
Brains & heart are way up there in my book. You got plenty of both.