Saturday, January 21, 2012
The Disney Media Superstore
A few months ago, I was gently chastised in a Disney website forum because I admitted that I knew nothing about Phineous and Ferb or Prep and Landing, two of Disney's more popular character creations over the last few years. Actually, someone called me ignorant. Guilty as charged was my response.
You see, there are a lot of Disney fans out there who believe that unless you soak in and support everything the company throws at you, then you can't call yourself a true Disney fan. What's the old catchphrase? "Tow the company line." Not so fast.
Admittedly, a trip to Disneyland is on the top of my list of favorite things to do and it was all created by an iconic mouse named Mickey and his visionary creator named Walt. Cartoon characters abound in Disneyland adding to the joy and atmosphere but I have to tell you that my favorite cartoons came from Warner Bros - the Looney Tunes of Chuck Jones and Fritz Freiling. A Mickey Mouse or Donald Duck cartoon? Give me a rabbit named Bugs, and duck named Daffy, and a roadrunner and a coyote any day.
What about the Disney classic movies? Most of them I have to admit, I don't care for. I find the Bambi's and Dumbo's somehow cruelly manipulative. Instead of story telling, they give intentional grabs at your emotions (OK boys... it's time to put in the scene that makes everyone cry). I liked Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast, and Princess and the Frog but many of the Disney movies I'm supposed to like because I say I'm a Disney fan I really didn't, including the biggest one of all The Lion King. Disney live action movies? Saw Mary Poppins in a theater as a kid - hated it. My favorite - probably 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea because Kirk Douglas gets to fight a sea monster and James Mason was a pretty creepy Nemo.
I don't watch anything on the Disney channel so thankfully I was saved from High School Musical and Hannah Montana. I think Disney buying Marvel was one of the smartest moves they could have made as a company. I've spent thousands of dollars and countless days on trips to Disneyland over the years but the part of the Disney empire that soaks up most of my time? ESPN. And Disney says 'thank you' to all the non sports fans out there who contribute their wealth because as long as you have a cable or satellite subscription that has ESPN networks available, you are giving Disney about $3.00 a month from your monthly bill whether you watch the channels or not.
Disney is a mega-media empire that has its fingers in just about everything but just because its Disney, no one says you buy everything they are selling. You can shop. You can pick and choose. You can say other companies do certain things better. It's called discernment not ignorance. And what would Walt say about all the aspects of his company the 21st Disney is involved in. I think he would be right on board.