Mickey Mouse Monopoly Review

AKA: Mickey Mouse Monopoly: Disney, Childhood and Corporate Power
Genre: Documentary
Year Released: 2001
Distributor: Media Education Foundation
Origin: USA
Running Time: 52 minutes
Rating/Recommended Audience: PG
Related Films/Series: N/A
For Fans Of: Consuming Kids, Culture Politics & Pedagogy, Mickey Mouse Goes to Haiti, The Corporation, The Lion’s Share, Remote Control
Notes:
-Mickey Mouse Monopoly is offered to preview at MEF’s website as well as Kanopy.

-I make a serious confession when it comes to how Disney’s racism in certain movies affected me. This will be an uncomfortable read for a good portion of my readers.
Fun Facts:
-Mickey Mouse Monopoly is directed, co-produced, and edited by Miguel Picker. He had a fifteen year tenure at WGBH which is a Boston PBS affiliate (you might have seen their logo on Zoom, Nova, and Arthur). Picker has directed Ulises’s Odyssey and The Early Music Workshop.

-One of the prominent interviewees is author/cultural critic/educator Henry Giroux. He’s originally from Rhode Island, but is currently based in Ontario, Canada. Some of his books involve Politics Beyond Hope, Against the New Authoritarianism, and The Mouse that Roared which is mentioned in Mickey Mouse Monopoly. I’ve bought and read that book and I strongly recommend both Disney fans as well as Disney haters to read it.

-In one review from Frank Batavick who is a professor at McDaniel College, he claimed that covering other topics at school would barely make the students react. When he played Mickey Mouse Monopoly, the students became incensed. One quote he said was “How dare I, or this documentary, attack the Disney legacy embedded in their psyches!” (credit to MEF for that quote).

Here I go again in critiquing Disney on this blog in another review. I used to love the works of this company during my childhood, but even in my teens, I felt like I fell away from that company. During my adulthood especially over the past few years, I’ve become jaded and even angry at what this company has done. Covering documentaries that critique the house that Walt built isn’t new to me. I’ve watched and reviewed Mickey Mouse Goes to Haiti which dared to cover their sweatshop organizations back in the 90s. The Corporation took shots at them as well as several other companies. The Lion’s Share REALLY went in on an actual music plagiarism case that involved a very certain ultra-successful movie of theirs (WARNING! Expect me to talk about said movie again in this review!). That’s not even counting the film Escape from Tomorrow which is a brutal satire of the Disney Corporation and one of the most elaborate pieces of guerilla filmmaking to date. This time, I get to review a documentary that I remember seeing years ago as it deals with Disney and how it affects everyone with their animated canon, their business practices, and even as an American cultural icon for better or worse.

For those who are newer to Iridium Eye or aren’t aware of my vocal critiques of the Disney corporation, this is going to be a very uncomfortable read for you. If you don’t feel like reading about some uncomfortable truths or some legitimate opinions against the House of Mouse, then I suggest you hit the back button right now. Still here? Don’t say I didn’t warn you. I’m sure I’ve been more critical towards Disney more than any blogger or professional film critic here or anywhere.

Mickey Mouse Monopoly is a documentary that analyzes and critiques the impact of the Disney corporation especially in regards to their famous Animated Canon, their business practices, and how people have been shaped by their products. Various psychologists, educators, and even some every day people get interviewed for this film. Disney is one of the most dominant media companies in the world which isn’t even debatable and these scholars deconstruct the messages of their animated films that millions around the world have seen. The documentary is broken down into three major segments among other interviews. The first major segment is about gender portrayals and representation as various Disney movies show how people should react (mainly their female audience) in relationships and everyday life. The second segment involves racism in Disney movies as numerous interviewees point out hurtful racial misrepresentation with human characters as well as animals who play up negative bigoted stereotypes of different ethnic groups. The last segment is about the commercialization of their films. Disney certainly has several products sporting their names, characters, and films on them and there are arguments about how the movies are commercials in their own right and how their products can stymie the imaginations of impressionable children. Was this sense of innocence nothing but a pretense and a facade to the masses? The answer is a resounding yes as these intellectuals provide several bits of evidence why it was the case.

This is one documentary I wanted to review for years now, and I finally got the chance to do so. Besides my prior experience in reading Dr. Henry Giroux’s book as well as seeing him on some news interviews here and there, so many of these interviewees offered brilliant insight into the situations with Disney. This could’ve been an academic-only affair, but they also managed to get college students, children, and regular parents to be interviewed. There were some concerned parents who had legitimate insight and they don’t even come off as Mrs. Lovejoy types, if you will. The children being interviewed was intriguing as one could see their psychology, saying their honest feelings about liking certain movies or characters, while also showing their naivete to real life issues most of the time. Even some of the college students said positive things about Disney and one of them randomly sings “Les Poissons” from The Little Mermaid of all things (Yeah, it is a weird song choice). There is some balance with these interviews, but I was certainly most impressed with the scholars, psychologists, and professors having lots of wisdom with these subjects. The video production was a healthy mix of interview footage, archived film (commercials, news reports, etc.), and clips from the Disney movies themselves to accentuate certain points being presented. The content within this documentary is quite powerful and some cases are even stronger in hindsight. The commercialization aspect is certainly more prominent with all the companies they’ve bought out years after this was filmed such as Marvel, Lucasfilm, 20th Century Fox, Maker Studio, and they even have a minority stake in Vice Media (Even the hipsters aren’t safe from Mickey Mouse!). There’s even more products out there now and a lot of it is marketed towards adults like various T-shirts, accessories, and some nerd memorabilia like Funko Pop Vinyls. Any Disney fan who bashes anime for being too commercial should really shut the Tartaros up. The aspect of silencing or forcing people to ask permission to use or reference characters is just a mess. They’re worried about someone infringing on them? Come on, it’s not like Disney has ever infringed upon other works. I’m being sarcastic. Just look at Kimba the White Lion, Nadia: Secret of Blue Water, and The Snowman short. I rest my case.

The three major segments offered a ton of sagacity with many experts showing their knowledge on these subjects. The concept of gender representation and presentation was a big one especially with the female characters. One aspect that did get my attention was the fact that so many female characters at some point act seductive to a man. They used examples of Jasmine pretending to seduce Jafar in Aladdin or how Ariel literally has to use her body to get Eric to notice her since she doesn’t have a voice. Even animal characters aren’t immune to this. They showed the female rabbit from Bambi totally hitting on Thumper which is very weird in hindsight. Don’t even get me started about those burlesque mice in The Great Mouse Detective. Also, has any adult watched the “Love” musical segment from Robin Hood or “Can You Feel the Love Tonight?” from The Lion King and didn’t think Maid Marian and Nala respectively were giving bedroom eyes to their boyfriends? The furry jokes write themselves (there, I said it). I was also glad that Dr. Carolyn Newberger called out the domestic abuse and Stockholm Syndrome implications of Beauty and the Beast while even showing multiple scenes to prove her point. I was legitimately disturbed because I didn’t think those scenes were that bad as a kid, but as an adult, the Beast totally sounds like a wife beater or at the very least an emotional abuser even in the context of the story. So many of those movies don’t look the same as they did back then.

The racism segment was the most powerful part of the documentary in my opinion. This shouldn’t surprise some of my loyal readers since I’ve been vocal about this subject even in the things I’ve reviewed in the past regardless if it was on principle in my case or not. I have to give the creators major props for letting several non-white interviewees talk about their own experiences and/or give their insight as to why these movies are problematic. The first example was the anti-Latinx stereotypes which are represented by two separate Chihuahua characters from Lady and the Tramp and Oliver & Company respectively. Teacher Marisa Madeira gives such scathing insight on the matter (definitely on principle in her case) by criticizing the buffoonish and sleazy presentations and even comparing those depictions to the problematic Taco Bell mascot in the 90s. She points out that Tito is an offensive character since he knows how to hot wire cars as well as being emotionally masochistic to Georgette’s caustic remarks about him being low class trash by insinuating that the more someone (implying a white person) insults someone in the Latinx community, they more they “like them” which is very disheartening. Dr. Jack Shaheen rips apart Aladdin for the original version of “Arabian Nights”. The original line in the intro actually went “They’ll cut off your ear, if they don’t like your face. It’s barbaric, but hey, it’s home!”. This caused the Arab-American community to be outraged (rightfully so) and got Disney to change the lyric in the VHS release even though they left the “barbaric” line. Disney was ticked off and blamed the Arab-American protestors for giving them “negative publicity”. Please, it’s the same logic as a racist calling a nonwhite person racist for calling them out on their bigotry. Children’s author Chyng Feng Sun talked about the issues of Asian representation. While she admitted that things did improve when Mulan came out, there was still the history of Asian stereotypes being perpetrated in Siamese cats, specifically singling out Si and Am from Lady and the Tramp for playing up crafty Asian villain yellow peril tropes. I’ll even add to her point that it wasn’t limited to just that movie. Just look at The Aristocats or Chip ‘N Dale: Rescue Rangers for featuring Siamese cat villains in one episode that run an illegal Siamese fighting fish ring underneath a dry cleaner business and having their top fighting fish named Juice Lee (I’m not making any of this up). Native Americans Dr. Deirdre Ameida and Nancy Eldredge completely bash Peter Pan and Pocahontas for being very disrespectful to the Indigenous community. They talk about how children thought all Native Americans acted like they did in those movies as well as how incredibly inaccurate the Pocahontas movie was even by Disney standards. Dr. Ameida went further about how dangerous historical whitewashing was with how the song “Savages” was a racist false equivalency strawman and how the Native Americans were subjected to an “American Holocaust” since so many tribes were wiped out over the past few centuries. Last but definitely not least came the anti-Black racism in multiple movies. This went so hard with the interviewees making so many legitimate points. The most obvious example were the crows from Dumbo. I dare anyone to say the portrayal wasn’t bigoted. Some of them were voiced by white men doing “Black-cents” so cringe-worthy that they make Skidz and Mudflap from Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen look politically correct by comparison. Let’s not forget that the lead crow’s name is JIM! Do I even have to explain how or why that pun is super offensive? King Louie and by extension the rest of the monkeys from The Jungle Book were offensive and the song “I Wanna Be Like You” has bigoted connotations as these jive-talking primates want to be seen and treated as real people which perpetuates the stereotype that Black people are subhuman. Tarzan take places in Africa, but there are no Black characters. One of the professors argued that it forces Black audiences to vicariously relate to the gorillas and how that’s a slap in the face to African children who watch this movie in the continent (people do know that Africans have movie theaters, too, right?). They even argue that the imagery is a form of white supremacy which is inarguable. The final example is one that made me want to give an extra point to the score. They had the balls to call out Shenzi, Banzai, and Ed from The Lion King for their racist undertones. Oh my God…THANK YOU! They talk about obvious things with how they talk in Ebonics/“hood” voices, the Elephant Graveyard is basically a ghetto (although I’ve argued it being a concentration camp in Namibian Genocide & The 2nd Reich as well as Vigour of Film Lines, but you should know the reasons why), and how they’re evil since they help out Scar and all. Jacqueline Maloney brings up a powerful story where her white female friend told her that her three-year-old child thought a group of Black children were like the hyenas because of how they talked and associated them as being evil. That broke my heart hearing this story. It is also frustrating when I see people in real life saying the hyenas aren’t racist and how people just overreact to those depictions. Even Disney denied these implications which I find to be insulting. If they talked in Yiddish accents instead of so-called “ghetto” Black and/or Latinx voices (Hey! Cheech Marin played both Tito and Banzai!), then people would riot. Nobody should be dehumanized at all!

I do have a confession to make when it comes to the whole hyena issue. When I first heard about the Namibian and Congolese Genocides (this is even before finding out I was part Congolese, by the way) and seeing the parallels to these characters in the Elephant Graveyard made me depressed and disturbed. That and seeing the backlash (including that from a friend of mine) against me criticizing the depictions of the hyenas in The Lion King made me have this horrifying thought. I actually thought this: “Do most white people see me as those hyenas? Do they expect me to act or talk like them? Do they want me to be removed from the circle of life?”. While I know my dad, paternal relatives, or my true friends of that complexion wouldn’t think that of me, I felt furious that Disney and their fans could see me as some thug or worthless person just because of my melanin. For those who defend the depiction of the hyenas by saying “They [Disney] didn’t mean it!”, then what did they actually mean by having them act and talk the way they did? It was one reason why I hated The Lion King even more in my adult life and this was before I found out other reasons with the “Hakuna Matata” trademark issue, watching The Lion’s Share, or even finding out that Beyonce ripped off Petite Noir’s La Maison Noir long-form video. I felt stupid for not seeing those bigoted implications when I was a kid or for even liking that movie during my childhood. My anger towards Disney fans grew when I had that thought and I’m glad I didn’t interact with certain bloggers back then or else I would’ve made some very hurtful accusations towards the ones who don’t think those bigoted thoughts. Don’t misconstrue me. I’m not asking for sympathy and I’m still not forgiving them for all the malicious stuff they’ve done with The Lion King franchise at large. What I am saying is that I shouldn’t have to have my self-esteem crushed by some problematic depictions in so-called innocent movies and that’s not even getting into the other racist crap in other Disney movies. Okay, I need to get to the next part of the review.

Mickey Mouse Monopoly doesn’t always have the right to collect $200 after passing go if one pardons my board game pun. I need to use some humor after the last paragraph. The footage and presentation is quite dated. This was made in 2001 and it clearly uses archived footage from the very early 00s as well as the 90s. It shows with the hair and fashions over there. The interview shots were far too reliant on talking head segments except for a couple of subjects like Dr. Giroux or Marisa Almeida. Another dated aspect would be the female representation segment. There are parts that still hold up, but if there’s anything that Disney has improved in, it would be female presentation with their lead characters. Despite my issues with the Frozen franchise or Moana, I can at least say that the lead heroines are improvements over previous generations of the Disney Princess Breakfast Club. There was also a missed opportunity when it comes to female imagery when you consider how the princesses are more or less the same from a physique standpoint while the female villains have a very stark set of body types. In the words of my sister from a conversation we had years ago, the female antagonists are either “Yzma or Ursula” when it comes to physiques if you know what I mean. Part of the segment on racism was a bit dated. The children don’t remember seeing any Black characters, but eventually more would show up after this documentary would be released such as Kida from Atlantis: The Lost Empire or multiple characters from Princess and the Frog for example. The conversations about how positive of representation they are is debatable though. I’ll even add that Disney actually put a ton more effort in positive Pacific Islander representation with Lilo & Stitch and Moana, so I will give credit where credit is due, but they still need to work on presenting other ethnic groups much better. The presentation could come off as a bit more like a school-ready documentary which isn’t always a bad thing, but I think they could’ve used some different approaches in these critiques like interviewing people off the street or talking to former Disney employees. These arguments are still powerful, but I think some tweaks could’ve made this better.

This documentary is certainly an eye-opener for the average viewer. It packs a mighty punch in just under an hour with loads of sound arguments as well as legitimate amounts of evidence to back up these claims. Having a diverse an intelligent set of interviewees was certainly impressive. Unfortunately, one could tell this is an older work when the newest Disney movie that’s mentioned or referenced is Tarzan when Mickey Mouse Monopoly came out a year after Dinosaur and The Emperor’s New Groove. Mickey Mouse Monopoly is still a powerful watch as the information is still timely and in some cases more powerful with time. It’s one of the better critiques of the Disney corporation that I’ve seen in documentary form. Recommended.

Adjustable Point System:
Add 1-2 points if you like healthy critiques of companies.
Subtract 1-2 points if you want more recent documentaries.
Subtract 2-5 points if you’re a hardcore Disney fan.

Pros:
-Amazing set of interviews covering racism, sexism, and rampant commercialism
-Powerful amounts of evidence
-Some arguments are stronger in hindsight

Cons:
-Dated camera work and footage
-Disney has admittedly gotten better in female presentation in recent years
-Some missed opportunities in the critiques

Final Score: 8/10 Points

Content Warning: Mickey Mouse Monopoly is fine for most audiences except for the youngest of demographics. Dr. Giroux does say “What the hell?” when it comes to people critiquing him for critiquing Disney. There are hard topics presented with sexism, sexuality, racism, genocide, cultural appropriation, censorship, police states, and white supremacy being explicitly brought up. Even though it uses clips from Disney movies, let’s be honest that not everything was childish. Cases in point: Jasmine faking seducing Jafar, the “body language” scene in The Little Mermaid (#FanDisservice), and Scar killing Mufasa.

-Curtis Monroe

All photos are property of their respective owners and used under US “Fair Use” laws. Mickey Mouse Monopoly is property of Media Education Foundation. The DVD cover is from IMDb and is property of Media Education Foundation.

14 comments

  1. This sounds like a great documentary – would love to see it updated one day, I used to use a diff MEF text in my classes (and while it was pretty great from top to bottom, it was produced nearly twenty years ago now and things change so fast).

    And I’ve never seen ‘Tarzan’ but that seems insane that it’s in Africa yet no Black characters?

    Liked by 1 person

    • It was a good watch that surprisingly held up well. I agree that an updated version would be very good for these current times. You’ve seen some other MEF works and got to use them in your classes? Awesome! Mickey Mouse Monopoly would be a great conversation-starter. Which other texts and docs have you seen?

      I see. I remember watching Tarzan in theaters when it came out when I was a kid. It was something that didn’t cross my mind then because I usually took movies at face value then, but as I got older I realized how insane and beyond questionable that Disney has made two animated film franchises in Africa which no Black characters. They don’t even mention what countries they’re in either. Don’t even get me started about that Princess of North Sudan fiasco that happened a few years ago.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I used to use one of the editions of ‘Killing Us Softly’ but mostly it was Sut Jhally’s ‘Advertising at the Edge of the Apocalypse’ which was usually good at generating good discussions around advertising’s power to shape values.

        Just googled the Princess of North Sudan and what the hell?

        Liked by 1 person

      • Nice. I’ve heard of Killing Us Softly, but never saw it. I’ll look at Advertising at the Edge of the Apocalypse. Sounds like a fascinating title.

        My thoughts exactly when I first heard about the concept years ago. That was all kinds of wrong. I was nowhere near as cognizant as I was now about those issues, but even I knew that was a big sack of no.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. A great, thorough review and how interesting! I want to watch it asap and I will, many thanks!

    Even if Disney could claim that such animations as Lady and the Tramp were a “product of its time”, surely that term does not apply to The Lion King dating to 1994 and it was produced after such race relations films as Do the Right Thing (1989) and others.

    I agree that Disney made improvements with the representation of females over the years – a long way from Cinderella who awaits her Prince to rescue her, but I don’t think that Frozen’s representation was a way forward exactly. Anna in Frozen is presented as so evidently “likeable” and “laidback” and “goofy” and “millennial”, it is way too much the opposite direction. I mean Belle and Mulan were females who after all took their destinies in their own hands and there were fully-fledged characters with some great decision-making. Anna is just one nervous, incoherent and confused mess in comparison to them, even if she were prepared to sacrifice her life to save her sister. My unpopular opinion is that she is just so nauseatingly annoying and hardly any role model for a small girl.

    I know it may be slightly irrelevant to your article and does not cover such a broad scope, but in my book Disney is also guilty of another “crime”: as I also wrote in my article it was Disney who so callously threw out one of their most beloved stars, Bobby Driscoll, who was the voice of their animated Peter Pan, among so many other films (he later died young in poverty and on drugs). According to them, this child was their number one star and then they just turned away from him so suddenly and so indifferently – it is beyond human understanding, saying he is only suited for a bully roles and he is too ugly now (after mere months). I mean, if they made such an absolute and beloved star out of this child once I cannot believe there was no option for him at all anymore – nothing, absolutely zero – nowhere to go at all. A child who relied so much on the company and considered them almost his family. After Peter Pan, Driscoll was practically “garbage” for no reason. His crime? The appearance of a couple of pimples. Unbelievable. Sorry for this rant, but we are speaking of Disney, right? 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you so much! Yeah, I would give this a watch whenever you can. Let me know when you watch Mickey Mouse Monopoly.

      Oh my goodness, thank you for your insight on the race relations matter and using Do the Right Thing as a huge contrast with The Lion King. It gets even rougher in hindsight when you realize that hyena fur isn’t that dark in real life or (if I were to get sociopolitical for a moment while trying not to be conspiratorial) how this Disney movie came out the same year as the 1994 crime bill that locked up Black people wholesale whether they did the crime (most of them were non-violent offenses) or being falsely accused. It annoys me how Disney has never owned up to the portrayal of the hyenas or how some Disney fans deny how their presentation could be seen as racist to the Black and Latinx community or even those with mental health issues when you throw Ed in there.

      Sure thing. Thank you for your insight on this matter. Since I’m a man, I wouldn’t have all of that insight in that manner and I certainly don’t want to come off as mansplaining. You make very apt points with those characters and I didn’t even think about all of those things with Anna. I know Elsa got the spotlight, obviously, but it’s good to know that Anna isn’t all that she’s cracked up to be and not just because of the “don’t marry someone you just met” storyline/self-congratulating overt deconstruction on Disney’s part.

      Don’t worry about that since that’s still something worth mentioning. You reminded me of that article you posted about child stars. That’s just so tragic with Bobby Driscoll from being the top Disney star in his day to being just cast aside. Sadly, he wasn’t the last example as it’s still a thing in the Hollywood system. His crime of having a couple of pimples is beyond petty on so many levels and he didn’t deserve having his life snuffed out even with my issues with the Peter Pan movie.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I will actually see Mickey Mouse Monopoly next week, so I will report petty fast, many thanks again! (can’t wait long because this is some fascinating stuff and damning evidence!) I don’t claim to represent the voice of all females and what I said about Anna is my own personal opinion, of course, but in Frozen I find Disney again rolling with the trends as they appear to it at that moment, while providing virtually nothing of essence (virtually no plot and erasing their own previous trademark that “Prince is everything” to come up with now “Prince is evil”, slightly too convenient maybe, too. And they are very late too, DreamWorks did it with Shrek way in 2001. And yes, I will never understand this all-consuming worshipping of big companies such as Disney and mentality that they “can-do-no-wrong” even when presented with evidence to the contrary.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Awesome! It’s exciting seeing others watch the movies I’ve reviewed on here or at the very least having interest in seeing them. Yeah, the evidence and observations are spot-on even despite being a bit dated.

        No problem and I never insinuated that you were trying to represent all females. Sorry for the misunderstanding. Even the other recent movies have come across as too obvious in trying to making fun of the tropes of their older movies like the joke Maui makes about calling Moana a princess because she had an animal companion for example. I’m not even a Shrek fan and even that movie series deconstructed fairy tale tropes as well as low-key parodying Disney since the first movie like how the villain was a short spoof of one of the higher ups of that company at the time from what I heard. It’s great knowing I’m not the only one who feels that way about Disney and how people give that company that “do no wrong” status that you mentioned despite the questionable and downright malicious things.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I have just seen the documentary, it is very eye-opening and I am glad I watched it, thanks again for this review. Siamese cats in Lady & The Tramp and hyenas in the Lion King are these shocking, negative, offensive stereotypes of other cultures, races and nations that shouldn’t be. I think Hollywood in general is no better than Disney in this respect, and these actually made me think about the representation of Russians in particular in films and animations. For example, if there is a Russian in any American movie it would be some criminal thug and evil person and if there is Russia in a film people would try to escape it and never return. Russians in films Limitless and Rocky IV are just some of the examples.

        Advertisement for children is also morally reprehensible, and many corporations from Coca-Cola to MacDonald’s engage in this “covert” advertising too which on the face does not appear like advertising for children but in the end the result is clear – children are the primary targets and they grow up to love and be loyal to these companies. One statement from one woman in this documentary really stayed with me: she said something along the lines of “with every boundless power must also come responsibility” and it is high time that Disney assumes some since children deserve to see the world as it truly is. As for Pocahontas, thank goodness I did not watch it as a child and looking at it from the adult perspective, it really appears to sugar-coat genocide.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Awesome! Thank you so much for checking out that documentary. To be honest, I’m really happy when people watch things I’ve reviewed especially after reading my posts.

        I’m really glad you agree when it comes to the issues with the Siamese cats and hyenas for example. The racial coding isn’t just limited to Disney and all of Hollywood is guilty, so I hear you right there. That’s a very interesting point about Russians and it’s really obvious with movies that came out when the Soviet Union was still a thing and Drago was the first character I thought of when you mentioned Rocky IV. Even if Russians are good guys, they are usually shown as always stern and perfectionistic to insane levels. I’m curious what you would think of the anime Yugo the Negotiator since half that series takes place in the Siberia region. There are both Russian protagonists and antagonists and takes place in the early 90s not long after the fall of the Soviet.

        Definitely and the covert advertising is quite obnoxious. It’s also annoying when movies or TV shows are glorified toy commercials. There needs to be more media that sells stories and not merchandise. It’s no wonder why I prefer Hikaru no Go over Yu-Gi-Oh! any day of the week when it comes to Shonen Jump works, but I digress. That brand loyalty is right there with the toys and they grow up to get merch aimed at the adults. Just go to any department store or geeky shop and you’ll find shirts, accessories, and Pop Vinyls to name a few. One could argue the remakes pander to the grownups who grew up watching the movies when they were kids (millennials being the most obvious periphery demographic from what I’ve seen). Great quote! You can have fantasy, but you can’t ignore reality or realism. Good on you for not watching that movie when you were a child. I did see it when I was very young and seeing it as an adult was nowhere near the same. It’s no wonder why the Native American community HATES that movie with it sugercoating and severely downplaying colonialism and genocide. That’s a subject you really don’t want to sugarcoat at all whether it was the haphazard historical revisionism of Pocahontas (especially since she was a real-life person unlike other Disney princesses) or even low-key supporting it like how I’ve brought up parallels with the Namibian or Congolese Genocides with the Elephant Graveyard for example even though I’m guilty bringing up those comparisons with my independent research on historical events. Disney should really know better and needs to do better.

        This has been such a powerful and intellectual conversation as to be expected from you! I like it when reviews can do that.

        Like

      • I have never seen Yugo the Negotiator, but I am so curious, I will probably check it out! “Russians being stern” – I can see where this may come from (though Russian hospitality is famous the world over), but “insane perfectionism”? hehe If only. That’s generally never a “Russian trait” inside of Russia, but maybe the exact opposite lol Of course, I was aware of Pocahontas as a child though I never watched it. I guess when you are a child you know of all Disney animations through Disney figurines, colouring books, sticker books, etc, etc., but as I recall, even as a child, there was something about Pocahontas and her situation that did make me feel a little strange and puzzled. Maybe I am re-imagining it now in retrospect, I don’t know. And, I am always enjoying our conversations, too!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Yugo the Negotiator is a great and low-key creative anime. The main character is forced to use his wits and not his fists to solve problems as well as saving hostages in Pakistan and Siberia in the two animated arcs. The dub is in my top 5 for having good voice acting and correcting a MAJOR mistake in the Japanese version (They speak Urdu in Pakistan! Not Arabic!).

        I’ve met Russians in real life and I certainly know they didn’t act like the characters in those aforementioned movies or shows. Russian hospitality sounds very fascinating and it’s great how that’s a big thing in that culture. Regardless of one’s race, ethnicity, or nationality, no one should be judged or stereotyped. Out of curiosity, did you have some of those issues coming from Russia to the UK for example? If you don’t feel comfortable talking about it, then I understand.

        Gotcha. It certainly was a big movie at the time although this was the 90s which was a VERY profitable and memorable decade for Disney. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have any coloring stuff, figures, or even the occasional Happy Meal toy during my childhood, but it’s very ubiquitous for so many children in the world. That’s interesting that you felt that way with Pocahontas’s situation and even questioning it then. Try being an American in school where they REALLY downplay the atrocities of the Native American community for centuries. I grew up learning that Christopher Columbus discovered America even though he never made it to mainland America and thought he was going to India (hence why sadly people call Native Americans “Indians”), and they never talk about how much of a genocidal maniac he was even at the high school or college level. You’re lucky if a textbook mentioned the Trail of Tears. I would recommend the books of Winona LaDuke who is a historian of Anishinaabe descent for more information in that part of history.

        No problem! I really appreciate it.

        Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s