I smell a a polka dot dress.

Marketers, producers, authors beware: this is the generation that learnt to say “resistant reading” before we learnt “mama”. Our highly sophisticated crap-filters, honed by a steady diet of search engines and wiki pages that may well have been written by that paranoid aunt convinced the Boxing Day tsunami was born of a U.S. bomber, will see right through your attempts to exploit our minds as your own consumer playthings. So unashamedly devoted to critical pedagogy are we, that the universal third person will always be referred to as “she” over “he”, no matter how wanky it inevitably appears to our reader. But there is one chink in this otherwise impenetrable armor of cynicism and distrust: put a doe-eyed little mouse in a polka dot dress and we’ll be eating out of its hand like it was James Franco at a cougar convention.

Evidenced by the hundreds of thousands making the yearly pilgrimage to Disneyland; the soaring price of real estate in the Disney town of Celebration; the thirty thousand weddings hosted in Sleeping Beauty’s castle; and the steady number of Arts enrollees who evidently gobbled-up the Disney message that dreams - even those as far-fetched as a career in the arts - do come true, Disney is the Achilles heel of our generation of pop culture insurgents, even into our adult lives. And who could blame us? Simba exerts more sex appeal than any Hollywood superstar as he makes the transformation from pre-pubescent cub to strapping young lion in that log-crossing scene (is it weird that I’ve long nursed a crush on a cartoon animal?) At any rate, in an era that’s all about equal rights and the emancipation of the marginalised, it’s difficult to do anything but adore a rather camply-attired duck with a speech impediment. And in a society more afraid of aging than Peter Pan himself, Disney provides a pain-free alternative to Botox. As Henry Giroux writes in The Mouse that Roared: Disney and the End of Innocence, the adult viewer “often discovers some nostalgic connection to their childhood when they enter the Disney cultural apparatus.” Just one session with the mouse in the white gloves will wind back years on the psychological clock.

This association with childhood, however, is the exact ingredient undermining our offensive as pop culture insurgents. It works to bolster Disney’s image as a paragon of innocence, whose fairy tales operate in an infantile zone beyond the insidious reach of social convention. Thus we turn to Disney for an escape from our adult world, leaving our Gen Y crap-filters at the door; but with a controlling interest in twenty television stations, ownership of the largest radio network in the US, three music studios, the American ABC television network, and five motion picture studios, the Disney empire is more realistically associated with the word “monopoly” than with “freedom” - and I’m not talking about the game. Funny, then, that old Walt described his company as “emphasising the story of what made America great and what will keep it great,” given the threat to modern democracy posed by such expansive corporations. As former Disney executive Michael Ovitz reflects “Disney isn’t a company as much as it is a nation-state with its own ideas and attitudes, and you have to adjust to them.”

Cue the slapping of “Biggest Killjoy Since the Hunter that Killed Bambi’s Mum” label across my forehead. But trust me, I’m not advocating a Disney bonfire - this would leave me with very limited entertainment options, since I never really liked vampires. I’m simply reminding you that a rodent in an adorable little polka dot dress is still a rodent. Simba, on the other hand, is a completely different story. I’ll always be a sucker for guys with shaggy manes.


  1. “Biggest Killjoy Since the Hunter that Killed Bambi’s Mum”- very nice.

    I do think it's weird how they can make animals look attractive. I think it's encouraging bestiality in kids. I always liked Sulley from Monsters Inc though. Who did everyone else have a crush on?

  2. hey hun thanks for follow. I follow you too. Great blog btw =)