Sunday, July 17, 2005

disneyland's fiftieth

Disneyland turns fifty today, and the hype (aka, lots of free advertising, courtesy of MSM) is on. Hell, even the Washington Post's Sunday Magazine crossword puzzle is about Disneyland.

I went to Disneyland when I was just a kid, and to Disneyworld too. They were fun, at least for us kids, although now they look insanely expensive to me. Nowadays when I see the name Disney I think of the studio's habit of distorting history in making movies, and in reinforcing sex roles -- you know, how basically every Disney heroine isn't really complete until some brave man (preferably a prince) comes along to save her from her drab life.

In Pocahontas, the Disney team turned a ten-year-old kid into a fine Native American Barbie, aged twenty. They created a romance between Pocahontas and John Smith that did not exist historically. Indeed, it could NOT have happened because Captain Smith had had his, ahem, manhood, destroyed in some sort of accident years earlier. But Disney obviously thought sexing up a story, not to mention making other changes in the circumstances of Pocahontas and her tribe, the Powhatan, would make things more interesting. Too bad it was so distorting at the same time, especially since unlike movies like The Little Mermaid, Pocahontas was supposed to be based on history.