Deleting Disney

With considerable regret, I must confess to deleting Disney, their products, works and ways from my personal media consumption. I’ll not be trashing the various DVDs of classic Disney or Disney/Pixar movies that I own – but I definitely will not be purchasing any more of them, or streaming and watching any future Disney productions, buying any Disney-licensed merchandise for my grandson, or visiting any Disney theme parks. It would appear that the corporate masters of Disney are more interested in being woker-than-thou and selling their products to a Chinese audience anyway.

Ah, well – life moves on, and apparently so do those media corporations, who appear to have decided that our common or garden-variety American fanship is no longer desired, being apparently too déclassé for words. Certain classic movies now judged to contain problematic content come with a warning, and in fact, one of their classics – Song of the South has been locked away nearly forever, although for decades before the current outbreak by the Woko Haram. So much for letting viewers themselves decide what is potentially offensive and deciding not to watch. In this, Disney joins a number of other entertainment, media and professional sports institutions who have decided to dissolve the people and devote themselves to … whatever. A foreign audience, the respectful regard of their fellow upper-caste wokeists … and what comes next?

I’m inexpressibly saddened by having to make this decision as a consumer. I grew up in Southern California, where going to the original Disneyland was a magical and much-anticipated excursion. I went to Disneyland with the grandparents (they also took us to Knott’s Berry Farm, the local and relatively low-key competitor to Disneyland in Anaheim) with my Girl Scout troop, for high school Grad Night, and then with my then-toddler-aged daughter, about a decade later. I would have liked to take my prospective grandson to Disneyland – but Disney and California have become inimical to me in the last few years. I very much doubt that I will set foot in either of them, ever again.

As for Disney media; every Sunday evening, after our family acquired a television set, the Sunday evening broadcast of the Wild World of Disney was on our schedule to watch, unvaryingly. (This epochal Hayes family event occurred in 1968, for those who keep track of such things: we children were only allowed to watch on Friday and Saturday from 7:30 to 10:00, and on Sunday from 7:30 to 9:00, which meant Disney and some other half-hour-long sitcom to fill in the time. I recall that for most years it was the series The Mothers In Law – probably other half-hour sitcoms filled in the time later on. (For me, unless it was broadcast within the frame of those limited hours, I only experienced 1960s and early 1970s TV programming through summer reruns, or visits to the grandparents.)

Granny Jessie took JP and I to the movies at some of the once-grand theaters in Pasadena, maybe twice-yearly: this was our special treat in the summer and when we came to stay for a week after Christmas. Those movies were almost always a Disney production; wholesome, innocuous, sanitized of anything conventionally controversial, and if based on a classic historical or fantasy adventure, bearing only the merest coincidental resemblance to the original text. Disney movies were “safe” for kids; it is in my mind and memory that the child stars who appeared in them at that time also seem to have emerged as relatively well-adjusted adults, no matter if they continued in the acting business or went off to other fields. (James MacArthur, Hayley Mills, Annette Funicello, Kurt Russell, etc.) This is in stark contrast with a later, post-Walt starlets, of whom Miley Cyrus is the most awful example.

No, something has happened in the Kingdom of the Mouse – latterly sometimes termed as Mauswitz or Duckau. It’s something that I no longer want to expose myself to, or in turn, my prospective grandson. Disney management is exploitive, awful, and dare I say it – un-American. Which saddens me, because it was once something fun, affirming, patriotic, even. Comment as you wish, on this transient pop culture item.

31 thoughts on “Deleting Disney”

  1. But Bambi‘s mother died in a Disney movie — killed by an evil male Person of Palor with an assault weapon. And then the forest burned down.

    How could we possibly expose young children to that today? We could handle it then because we were poor & tough, or because it was ok for boys to cry in the dark at Disney movies, or something else.

    Looking back on it, there was a definite lack of Lesbian Women of Color in all those Disney movies. Which raises an interesting legal question: the movie which featured Persons of Color in a positive respectful way was the aforementioned Song of the South. Has Disney’s long-standing decision to deep-six that movie been an actionable example of racial discrimination?

  2. Disney owns ABC. They own ESPN. They own massive cultural properties like the Muppets and Star Wars. And they are completely in bed with the ChiComs. We all recoil from Al Jazeera and Russia Today but pretend that somehow Disney is an all-American company. It’s a totally insane and untenable position.

  3. Like the Seuss heirs, they assume that it will stop at one movie or six books. They’ll find out soon enough that there’s no end to people that will find something to object to.

  4. I haven’t been a fan of Disney since 1998 when they managed to get Sonny Bono to champion the Copyright Term Extension Act. It extended copyrights to life of the author plus 70 years and for works of corporate authorship to 120 years. The Copyright Act of 1976 extended copyrights too long as it is. Who has a career of 70 years plus life? It also enables corporate driven censorship to protect their “brand”. History be damned.

  5. Amen.

    And I speak as someone who as a kid was addicted to both the Mickey Mouse Club and the various incarnations of Walt Disney Presents. They are the enemy now.

    Subotai Bahadur

  6. Gavin — my wife had an uncle who used to swear that Bambi was “communist propaganda” which had rotted the minds of the baby-boomer children on the 1940s.

  7. For me, control c/control v, substituting DisneyWorld for Disneyland and Orlando for California.
    I lived in Fla in the late 70s and 80s and visited DisneyWorld on vacation and Orlando at other times on business. Orlando today is nothing like the Orlando of then, which was nothing like the Orlando prior to its mousification, according to my uncle.
    My disgust with Disney began when they started bringing in cheap foreign engineering talent under the H1b rules, and requiring the US engineers to train their replacements or face immediate dismissal. Shockingly awful treatment. And then as Disney went ‘woke’ my disgust turned into complete revulsion. Disney is dead to me. And I will only visit Orlando to visit family members who live there – if you want to call having Orlando as your home ‘living’.

  8. Will – your wife’s uncle wasn’t wrong. Whittaker Chambers, the former Communist, translated that Bambi story. That translation was brought out in 1928, when Chambers had broken with the Communist Party. As the translation was worked on in the early days of his break, when he admitted to still having philosophical leanings in that direction, it wouldn’t be surprising that the story leaned Left.

  9. The original book of “Bambi” was set in Europe, but the Disney version was set in North America, judging by the depicted fauna. That means that the “hunter” that shot Bambi’s mother was actually a poacher, because at the time Disney made the movie, hunters were not permitted to shoot does, especially during the time of year when they might have fauns.

  10. Disney doesn’t want you. You are not a child. They want the children in other parts of the world now. They have outgrown America. They have grown up and they are wondering when you will grow up too. You got memories of happy Disney times? Good. Tuck them away with your other happy childhood memories. Do you return to the house you grew up in sixty years ago and expect it to look exactly as you remember? Do you still ride around in a DeSoto? Do you complain that no one makes roller skates for your orthopedic shoes?

    Do you still eat Captain Crunch? Do you expect General Foods to make Tang for Seniors?

    Realize that you are not the consumer they want. Realize that they are not the company you remember. Disney doesn’t care about what senior citizens pining for their late 20th century childhood thinks about them. Sad, I know, but that is life. Kurt Russell turned 70 this month. Annette is in heaven. Time for us to realize that we are no longer Disney’s target consumers because Disney’s actuaries have us pegged as dead before they finish the new Disneyland they are planning for Vietnam.

  11. I saw “Bambi” in the theater when I was about 5, which would have been 1943. It came out in 1942, so it might have been that year. I could not stand to be in the theater and watched most of it through the doors to the lobby. It was too scarhy.

    Walt Disney was a patriot, as were most movie makers at that time. Writers were different, as with the example of Dalton Trumbo.

    The people who now run Disney are globalist types to whom Red China is a big market and cartoons are an ideal medium since dialog can be dubbed in any language. That’s why most movies today seem to be cartoons.

    I remember back a few years when Roy Disney battled the corporate bureaucracy for control of the company. I knew Roy slightly through sailing and he was a nice guy. I never have figured out if he was a good or bad influence on the brand. I doubt he had much to say in recent years.

  12. my wife had an uncle who used to swear that Bambi was “communist propaganda”

    Huh. Uncle Walt was an ardent anti-commie.

    I hate the idea that we “consume” entertainment. We’re customers and should be treated as such, but no corporate entertainment media likes that notion. Here’s the product we created and you’ll consume it and like it. The only one treating the fans as customers is Warner in regard to the Snyder Cut of Justice League. And the only reason they’re doing that is because AT&T told them to do it.

    Being $190 billion debt sometimes focuses priorities. Even if AT&T’s own customer service is…ah…they’re a phone company.

  13. I have Disney stock that I plan to liquidate. The Disney heirs (particularly Walt’s obnoxious great-niece Abigail Disney) are a bunch of Soros-like leftists.

  14. Sgt. Mom, it was the “WONDERFUL World of Disney” and it was “must-see TV” in my house too. I never ever missed it.

    One of the movies I would kill to get a copy of is “The Scarecrow of Romney Marsh” which began my life-long hatred of taxes and deep, passionate love of Patrick McGoohan. Of course I also had a crush on Kurt Russell for a good long while too.

    So many delightful movies. Disney’s moral crash is such a disappointment.

  15. Sgt. Mom, wow, we frequented some of the same theatres in the early 70’s I am sure. I dearly remember the Summer Series my Mom & I went to (Herbie the Love Bug, Silent Running come to mind). I also remember many trips to Disneyland and Knot’s. So many fond memories of youth group days, Grad night, that are dear. I agree with you regarding the modern woke Disney. So sad that post Walt this company took a moral 180.

  16. }}} I haven’t been a fan of Disney since 1998 when they managed to get Sonny Bono to champion the Copyright Term Extension Act. It extended copyrights to life of the author plus 70 years and for works of corporate authorship to 120 years. The Copyright Act of 1976 extended copyrights too long as it is. Who has a career of 70 years plus life? It also enables corporate driven censorship to protect their “brand”. History be damned.

    Here! Here!!

    I’ve been down on Disney ever since, and considered ALL their copyrights null and void, as far as any moral implication go.

    Copyright is ridiculous, esp. in light of how many of Disney’s early products were based on old, expired copyright ideas, stories, and themes.

    Jungle Book in particular, from 1967.

  17. The Real Reason Why Aunt Jemima,
    Uncle Ben, and the Land O’Lakes Maid
    Must Vanish

    Do you know the true reason that Aunt Jemima and Uncle Ben and Mrs. Butterworth have to be purged, along with the likes of Uncle Remus and Uncle Tom?

    Because they are smiling and displaying happy faces and clearly happy.

    For the left, the only good “Negro” is the “Negro” who is enraged, who is on edge, and (last but not least) who votes for the Democratic Party. They must hate their country for all the injustices, real or alleged, that they (or that their ancestors) have suffered, and be in the legions working for the Social Justice Warriors’ “fundamental transformation of the United States of America.” Seething with rage and resentment, the only good “Negro” is the “Negro” who is part of the SJWs’ Permanent Outrage Machine.

    …/… what is wrong about Aunt Jemima and Uncle Ben and Uncle Remus and the Land O’Lakes maid isn’t that they are caricatures — or that their “history and storyline are steeped in extremely problematic and stereotypical racist tropes from” the 1940s, the 1930s, the 1900s, or earlier — but that they are blacks who aren’t in a state of grievance and outrage

    …/… What does all this really say? It says that minorities must be treated like children (presumably, because they are like children) and coddled.


  18. Completely off topic question. I am starting to reread my Luna City books and wondered if there was a Luna City 3.0 before the Luna City 3.1? If there is I’ll need to get one!

  19. One possible way to salvage the franchise (although I think it is too late) wouod be bring back the real genius behind the movies. That would be Marcia Lucas.

    When cinephiles hear the surname Lucas, the first person who invariably springs to mind is George, the man who created the “Star Wars” franchise, and in the process changed mainstream American cinema forever. But while his movie successes are undeniably impressive, there’s one achievement that was always just beyond him. Despite receiving Best Director and Best Writing nominations for both “American Graffiti” and “Star Wars,” Lucas has never won an Oscar, but another member of his family has.

    George’s first wife Marcia picked up the award for Best Editing back in 1978 for her work on “Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope,” alongside Paul Hirsch and Richard Chew.

    She was the one who formed the first series of movies.

    Considering the reaction to the “Star Wars” prequels and George’s distance from the franchise now, it’s not a stretch to say that Marcia was actually the glue that kept the galaxy far, far away together. Or, at the very least, helped repair it when it needed to be fixed.

  20. Alan dean foster (who has been stiffed by disney as well) i read crystal of the minds eye as well, wrote the novelization.

  21. “The Force Is Female” was Disney’s plan. My guess is that the intention was for the 1st sequel was supposed to show Han as a washed up loser, the 2nd Luke as a washed up loser, and the 3rd Leia as the glorious savior of the universe and the real inheritor of the force, but then Carrie Fisher had to go and die, so they couldn’t complete the plan.
    It’s kind of amazing that they took freaking STAR WARS and made it just another movie, that so many just don’t care about. But that’s ok, we need to destroy Hollywood anyway.

  22. I can remember when Star Wars came out it took the country (and world) by storm. People waiting in line to see it maybe the 10th time. It was like that for the 1st 3. They were really a special franchise.

    Then George put in those CGI things and there was a collective “Huh?”

    As much as we were awed by the special effects on the first 3, they were very primitive and almost laughable by today’s standards.

    It was the writing, castings and acting.

    I think most people can see though the SJW messages in movies today. And Hollywood is in trouble, relying on China who is developing their own in-house movie studio system. Pretty soon they won’t need Hollywood.

    The next 5-10 years should be interesting for Hollywood.

  23. Indeed, Bill – my brother and I stood in line for hours for the first movie

    A good few years later, I wrote about the second installment:

    And then for the follow-on movies, the second trilogy – he build-up to it was so terrific, it seemed like every magazine except for a handful of foreign affairs, or animal husbandry publications were pounding away relentlessly with triple sledgehammers: “It’s Star Wars – The Beginning!” (Blam!) “See the beginning of the Empire!” (BLAM!) “Light-sabers! Jedi Knights! Special Effects Up The Whazoo!” (KAH-BLAMMO!!!) I was tired of it, even before seeing the picture – which I did eventually, after willfully and maliciously holding out for about three weekends. I stumbled away from the multiplex with a headache, and a numb behind, although it may have been the other way around. How very far George Lucas had come, how very different that move-going experience was from the very first Star Wars – as if it had really been a long time ago, and in another galaxy.

  24. I guess there’s a degree of difference, when it stops being a passion project, to a business to a racket, lucas and his screenwriters, (I read all the novelizations up to jedi, I only first saw in 1980) and the cast had something special, in this pastiche of flash gordon, kurasawa and joseph campbell, some say by the time of the jedi, the formula had lost its effect, the prequels was the combination of lucas trying too hard for the kids demographic, along with trying to realize the pungent polemics of his youth, when nixon was the villain,

  25. Bill Brandt: “And Hollywood is in trouble, relying on China who is developing their own in-house movie studio system. Pretty soon they won’t need Hollywood.”

    I think we have already passed that point. Look at the excellent movie “Midway”, about the turning point in WWII after Pearl Harbor. It is a movie one would think that Americans would be proud to make — but it was made only because Chinese producers agreed to put up part of the money. (Given China’s history, there is a big Chinese audience for movies in which the Japanese get slapped around).

    Or look at this intro sequence to a recent Chinese TV serial, “Ever Night”. Look at the amazing studios, the excellent production values, the special effects — and this just for a run-of-the mill TV show!

    The sad part about Hollywood’s pursuit of international markets is that dialog is denigrated and flashy effects become everything — which makes it tough to create compelling story lines.

  26. @Gavin – Years ago, in 1996, I was driving across Nevada and wanted to stop at the Wendover Airport, which was the site of all the heavy-duty bomber training in WW2.

    And I found, they make a lot of movies there.

    They were making one then – ConAir as it turned out, and I saw a man that had to be a studio exec. Why else where a tie in the middle of the Nevada desert?

    Just to make conversation I asked him if Hollywood relied too much on Special Effects and not good writing.

    He smiled and agreed with me.

  27. I was enjoying “The Mandalorian,” especially the first season, and I regret having to give it up now. But it was already starting down that predictable path of a once-fresh series that gets a little too popular. The pressure grows to push the characters and story-line in a particular direction, the narrative and dramatic drive get muddy, and–by the time they start purging actors for wrongthink–it turns out that dropping the show probably doesn’t involve much loss of future pleasure anyway.

    I didn’t have the least desire to sign up for Disney for any other purpose.

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