Book investigates Disney’s global influence

If you read Reel Girl, you know I’ve got a lot of issues with Disney’s hegemony over our kids imaginations. I’ve written about how exposure to the same old narratives, repeatedly, influences how kids brains grow.

Today WWW. TRUTH-OUT.ORG reviewed The Mouse that Roared by Henry A. Giroux and Grace Pollack (though it looks like the book came out in 2010?) I am excited to read the book though the review seems pretty academic, I am hoping the text is less wonky.

Here are some nuggets from the review:

Cuddly cartoon animals and whimsical fairy-tale stories are merely Disney’s public face. The expansive conglomerate is not limited to Disney film and theme parks. It also owns six motion picture studios, ABC television network and its 226 affiliated stations, multiple cable television networks, 227 radio stations, four music companies, three cruise lines, theatrical production companies, publishing houses, 15 magazine titles and five video game development studios. This media and culture monopoly goes unnoticed by most Americans, who just want to indulge their childhood fantasies as Disney so deftly enables with its movies, theme parks and merchandise….

The authors quote Walt Disney: “I think of a child’s mind as a blank book. During the first years of his life, much will be written on the pages. The quality of that writing will affect his life profoundly.” They demonstrate how Disney’s movies, TV shows and toys are doing a majority of that writing in this generation’s children.”

“The Mouse that Roared” also draws attention to the gender stereotypes in Disney princess movies, from older cartoons such as “The Little Mermaid” to their newest, “Enchanted.”

“Disney has become a major player in global culture, and the first casualties of its dominance in popular culture are, of course, those who are most defenseless – children,” the book warns.

Buy the book here.