Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The Anti-Disney Song

Collage of black and white photo of Disneyland castle with Walt Disney in foreground surrounded by color Mickey, Donald, Daisy, Sima and Goofy with huge Mulan looking over the roof and a yellow Copyright sun shining down
I've been polishing my anti-Disney credentials for at least 20 years.

I'm not completely sure how it started. Perhaps with Ariel Dorfman's How to Read Donald Duck, which I happened across in graduate school.

I've never been to Disney World or Disney Land, at first because it was too far away and too expensive, and later because I didn't want to. I did my best to keep all things Disney away from my child, at least while she was too young to defend herself.

(In fact, there's an amusing family story about that. When our daughter was born in 1993, some friends gave us a wind-up music box that could be attached to the crib slats. It played a song from some Disney movie, and had little plastic figurines of Mickey, Goofy, Donald Duck and Minnie in it, which would rotate as the song played. We didn't put it in her crib, and we jokingly started referring to the figures as "The Demons" whenever it would turn up around the house. (It was a gift, after all; so we couldn't throw it away!) A while later, when our daughter was starting to talk, we walked past the Disney Store at the mall and she babbled out, "Look, mommy, the Demons!")

All this is to introduce a bit of doggerel for which I am largely responsible.

Yes, it was a group effort during a cross-country car trip, but in reality, it was my idea, and the rest of the family was mostly helping out with brainstorming on the rhymes. So I take full responsibility.

The Anti-Disney Song

Sung to the tune of "This Land Is Your Land" by Woody Guthrie

Can’t get away from the Disney style,
It’s in the movies and on the dial.
Shaping the young minds of every child --
Disney is branding you and me.

Walt got some artists to paint his vision --
Starting with movies, then television.
His “world of wonder” left out reality.
Disney is fooling you and me.

Cute fuzzy mammals and many others.
Too bad the children are lacking mothers!
And all the creatures are male, unless --
They wear high heels and a dress.

Their films remind me of greedy vultures,
Making big bucks off of other cultures.
Mulan and Simba, Aladdin, Ariel--
Disney is selling you and me.

Disney has lawyers stretching for miles,
Claiming a trademark on children’s smiles.
Suppressing critics and honest parody.
Disney is suing you and me.

Way down in Flor’da, they built a village,
Better than your town -- it’s a constant party.
And all around you, the tourists pay to see
Walt’s dream of the way that things should be.

Final chorus:
Disney’s not your land -- it’s a simulacrum.
It kills your brain cells, but you don’t miss them.
Taking your money, inspiring apathy,
Disney’s not made for you and me.


Well, now. I finally got that off my chest.


elena said...

OMG, DN3, have got to send my dear dad over here first thing today! He is rabidly anti-Disney, something we found a little intense as kids, but my sibs and I are very proud today of having been brought up in an anti-demons household! It totally helped shape our critical sensibilities (of which we now have many). Love the song, and the story! When I taught in Ireland one of my students wrote a really good long paper against Disney, too...which I still have in my filing cabinet. Priceless.

Ms Sparrow said...

It has never occurred to me that someone could be anti-Disney! In fact, the characters never impacted my consciousness one way or the other. Now, the McDonald's advertising characters are a different story! I find them ugly, ill-conceived and nightmarish.

I love the story about your daughter calling them demons!

Unknown said...

I honestly can't believe people can hate Disney so much. You idiots are just paranoid. There is absolutely nothing wrong with Disney. All of their stories are sweet and teach good lessons. Dumbo teaches you to believe in yourself, Pocahontas teaches you to accept people no matter what they believe or the colour of their skin, and Finding Nemo teaches you to never give up.
I've read many Anti-Disney sites and no one ever gave a valid point as to why Disney is so bad. You're probably the same type of people that think Barney was a brainwashing show and that The Lion King tried to make children believe in evolution over creationism through it's theme song. (Like a kid could figure that out, right?)
You people need to get a life and I feel so bad for your daughter. She will grow up never knowing the magic of Disney and never having the few years where she believe that she's a princess that will find her Prince-Charming. You're the one brainwashing her. You utterly disgust me.

With love,
Disney's Eternal Nazi Sweetheart
Miss Mad Hatter

Chris, who else? said...

Maybe you can get Pete Seeger or Chumbawumba to record it!