Mickey Mouse Monopoly
The Mickey Mouse Monopoly documentary is based on excellent minds that have enabled Disney movies to be known in all parts of the world. Mickey Mouse Monopoly movies narrate stories of class, race and gender disguised in the innocence of children and magic. The stories seem to be masked in some of the alarming themes when analyzed in a sociological point of view. Disney starts as a genuine source of entertainment for families to a commercial phenomenon with capitalistic features. Disney can be blamed for sexism, racism, and consumerism in cinema, as well as for defining gender roles to children. The documentary destroys the fabric that society holds so dearly. This paper analyses the content of the “Mickey Mouse Monopoly” documentary using sociological imagination.
The Media Education Foundation had good intentions in 2001 when it made the documentary. It aimed at correcting what had been going wrong in society. Also, the documentary was aimed at influencing the youth positively. However, the documentary did so in a one-sided, thus flawed way. Disney is only allowed to give a refutation through the voices of nostalgic students and the tainted minds of the young people. Unfortunately, the rest rebuttal is offered through the experts who think beyond the usual impression of the young people in society. The experts use animated features in Disney to push unforgivable sins to kids (Johnson, 2004).
Disney has many media stations. However, instead of prioritizing what the audience wants, it prioritizes its interest over the news that the audience want to have first. Even if there are other stations that do the same, still the audience’s interest should be given first place (Lainsbury, 2007). In addition, consumerism is evident in “Mickey Mouse Monopoly”. Disney has a lot of enthusiasm concerning market trends. The company is interested in selling the animated features it had used most of the time. The toys, however, made Disney not to consider other people’s interests. The company desires to usurp all the generated profit. As a result, capitalism penetrated the company, which was not what the audience expected to find out from the beginning of the film. The marketing and advertisement in the documentary are aimed at increasing the sales for the company while the interests of other people are not considered. In this case, a lot of effort are put in the animation, market, prevalence and accessibility of Disney’s image (Johnson, 2006).
Disney exposes horror images to the minds of innocent children. Despite the fact that the documentary is aimed at correcting the wrongs in society, it is not possible to achieve that goal by exposing the horrific image to the untainted minds of the children. Disney explains the crimes in society suing the wrong approach. The experts claim to be shaping human society by exposing crimes. They discuss Disney through feminine stereotypes and hyper-sexualized women’s images (Janeway, 2005). The experts have a valid topic. However, the young girls used to communicate the message are more impressionable as compared to the boys in the movie. They consistently represent womanhood using an impeccable hourglass. This presentation, from a sociological point of view, is not exactly healthy (Johnson, 2004).
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Anorexia and bulimia are rampant, especially for most young ladies. However, both boys and girls desire to look handsome and beautiful. Every young person admires looking as smart as possible to attract the other gender. This does not mean that people’s other deeds should come to a halt, as they concentrate on the beauty of the attraction. The youth should not be allowed to concentrate on looks and characters so that they can look good to their peers. Belle is the intellectual start from “Beauty and the Beast”. Belle represents feminism in Disney. They refer to her as “Pseudo-feminist” since she is seen as clever because she can read. The experts do not accept her desire to learn other subjects outside herself. Belle, unlike other ladies in the documentary, is less concerned with romance.
The argument that Belle might be a Stockholm syndrome victim leaves the audience with more questions than answers. Firstly, the Beast did not abuse her. He did not belittle or strike her. When Belle managed to stand on her own, the Beast backed down. Even if this could emotionally traumatize her, Belle had a character that could hardly be scared by such behavior. Secondly, Belle did not agree the beast could use his tantrums to order her around. In fact, Belle always told the Beast when he was wrong. She even told him to control his anger. Thirdly, Belle has to cope with the Beast’s behavior because she is determined to free her father from the Beast. The audience is a last exposed to the Beast in the last scenes. Thus, audience understands the motive the Beast had when holding Belle captive (Janeway, 2005).
There is a lot of racism in Disney. The culture of the people there makes them dislike everyone who does not use their Caucasian language. People from other races are perceived as comedic, irresponsible and evil. The middle-class white man was discriminated because of his colour. In addition, there are a lot of stereotypes in the documentary. It is based on endless race perceptions and stereotypes. Thus, people are mistreated because they come from different ethnic groups. In the “Song of the South”, African-American culture is evident. The music, the animation and the setting reveal the origin of the African-Americans (Johnson, 2004). The African-American children are mistreated and insulted because of their origin. For instance, they are referred as “the hyenas” who originated from “The Lion King”. The mother of the children is annoyed and irritated. She is horrified, as she does not know what would happen to her children in the future. There are a lot of murderous schemes in this movie, which are unhealthy for the young people intended to be watching and learning from it (Lainsbury, 2007).
Patriarchy as a system is that is evident in the documentary. Men are portrayed as superior and women as subordinates. In fact, Disney believes that the space of the women is private, while the space of men is public. Women are treated as subordinates to them men. In fact, even the small boys and girls are treated according to their gender. Women are exposed as sex objects. They should do everything possible to look attractive to men. They are supposed to please men and obey them in all situations. Men are perceived as heroes and women are portrayed as weak, not strong, emotional. The space of women is in the kitchen, they should be mothers and caregivers (Johnson, 2004).
Society is socially constructed to make what is good for the people. In most cases, children are taught using fairy tales about hard topics such as genocide, pedophilia, diseases and rape. In this case, “Mickey Mouse Monopoly” might have had the right approach to teach children about the evils and crimes in society. However, the documentary failed to give the children a solution to those evils. In fairy tales, children are made to see what would be good if evil was not committed. However, this documentary fails to do that. Instead, it gives the children the truth but taints their minds so much that no moral lessons are retrieved from the documentary (Johnson, 2006).
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In conclusion, the Mickey Mouse Monopoly documentary ends with a statement revealing that its obligation is both to make profits and educate society on social evils. The documentary exposes a lot of evil to kids in the wrong way. The motive might be valid, but the approach is wrong. In addition, the concluding statement is not welcomed by many. The audience feels that there was more of money-making than education part in the work.