Disney: The Great Satan

Sort of a sidebar to the “Movies Only a Moron” post:
Anyway, just saw an ad for the Disney TARZAN and felt my stomach tighten. These creeps are like a pop culture cancer that sugar-coat and dilute everything they touch.
Oh sure, one could state that they’re only trying to make a buck and that no one is forcing me to watch their crap – but that’s besides the point. I don’t think Disney should be allowed to touch anything that isn’t directly related to them. If they were to make a “Mickey Tarzan” toon, no problem. But this plundering of various famous stories and fables in order to reduce them to quick cash, cheap rides and happy meal toys must be crushed.
Without mercy.

Just remember that the E.R. Burroughs Estate is feeding at the trough as well. Victor Hugo and Hans Christian Andersen didn’t have any say in the matter.

Hmm, feeding at the trough … I think it would be more accurate to say that they were made an offer they couldn’t refuse.
I agree wholeheartedly with the gist of this thread. Disney is truly the great Satan, a cancer on gobal culture, and should be broken up and sold for scrap. Michael Eisner should be burned at the stake.
Yet I have to be content with the little rebellions: No trips to DisneyWorld/Land, ever (Busch Gardens is better anyway). No Disney movies or products in my home (though it gets harder and harder doesn’t it … I can’t stop watching “NYPD Blue” just because the ABC network was whored out to the Mouse).
Should I ever have kids, I will teach them this: Disneycorp is an evil empire who lures children with “Lion King” et al. paraphernalia … each Disney product sends out a radio signal, and in the middle of the night Goofy and Pluto come and get you while you are sleeping … they take you to an underground laboratory where the 7 dwarves slowly cut you into pieces and feed you to the undead corpse of Walt Disney.
I figure that if this folklore trickles into America’s kindergarten classrooms, it would be a good thing.

Hmm, gotta be careful here . . . .

Disney puts out a great product, IMHO. Particularly the earlier stuff, and particularly for “family type” entertainment.

It is my opinion, however, that it is a vile, nasty company. Disney employees and ex-Disney employees tell tales that, if true, reflect a company unusually concerned with exploiting their people and then throwing them away, with little or no ethical or moral considerations. I had a casual acquaintance with a person who worked in the Legal Department who used to call it “Mousewich.” It is my opinion that the company often acts in ways that are greedy, selfish, vindictive, and even in respect to their own people. Stories are told throughout Southern California which seem to support this.

The foregoing is an expression of my opinion only.


I’m a woman phenomenally
Phenomenal woman
That’s me
(Maya Angelou)

Why would you think Disney is different from any other company? What, you think R J Reynolds Tobacco Company is out to benefit humanity?

Disney produces a product – entertainment – and produces it (and markets it) quite effectively. The movies (especially the older ones) are still enjoyable; we watched SNOW WHITE the other week with our 21 year old daughter, and enjoyed it immensely. Some of them are guff, of course, but whaddya expect? Even Steven Spielberg has his 1941’s.

The theme parks provide good value for money, in a clean and safe environment.

The company certainly makes business decisions that seem inconsistent with the rainbows-and-bunny-rabbits image that it sells… but then, Philip Morris makes business decisions that are inconsistent with the cowboy way imagery that they sell.

On the plus side, Disney has made strides towards recognizing gays as equal employees, far more so than most companies. (I guess you could be thinking this is exactly what equates Disney with Satan, depends on where you stand, I suppose.)

I don’t understand why Disney gets more heat than McDonalds or Ford or Coca Cola or…

Gee, Dext; I can’t say that Disney’s out and out rip-off they called “Lion King” really endeared them with too many artists.

Other than that, I don’t have a problem with the company and am actually glad they stood up to those bigots who railed agsint Disney’s outstanding stance concerning Gays.


CkDext Well…RJ Reynolds, IBM, Microsoft and McFood would the subject of a different rant; I’m talking about Disney’s wholesale assault upon the myths of the planet and reduction of powerful pieces of art into lukewarm slop.
Since you’re the one who brought up the “gay day” at Disney World and Disney Land, don’t think for a split second they’re doing this out of the goodness of their hearts. Everything is carefully thought out. Disney desires that their possible gay customers only arrive during a time they have set up. They don’t want gays and straights actually meeting each other since some redneck might get upset and cause a scene. Disney knew full well the boycott by the Southern Baptist would have no effect. And it also makes Disney look like such a bunch of swell guys.
Disney knows full well that by marketing to children, you have life long customers. And that is the really the message in all of thier “family” movies:

Just because someone dresses up in a cute li’l fuzzy bunny suit to market a business, doesn’t mean he IS a cute li’l fuzzy bunny. Heck, around December, lots of guys dress up as some ol’ drunk with red nose, red suit, white fur, and ho-ho-ho a bunch, and they do it to drum up more money and toy sales for the department store they work for. And talk about rip-off, they all rippin’ off ol’ Clement Moore. They aint viewed as satanic, why is Disney so evil?

Also, of course, ex-employees are ex-employees for a reason. I wouldn’t hold the comments of ex-employees as necessarily unbiased evidence.

Dex, I’ve litigated around Disney enough to have some nasty war stories about them. Some of them are public record. Even so, I will not post them here because I don’t want a (frivolous) defamation suit. I’ll be happy to share some of them with you by EM or IM if you are interested.

And just because another company is evil doesn’t make it right, y’know?


I’m a woman phenomenally
Phenomenal woman
That’s me
(Maya Angelou)

I remember watching the previews to Hercules and feeling sick to my stomach.

Homer’s Illiad and Odyssey are considered the pillars of Western myths. They are the cornerstones of our civilisation.

And along comes Disney, 2000 years later, and everyone starts to believe Hercules had a talking Pegasus and a witty Satyr sidekick.

Disney is out to destroy Civilisation!

A nit to pick, Elijah. Where do you find Hercules in either of Homer’s epics?

Tsk. I’m just speaking of Greek myths in general, of which Homer’s epics are the greatest manifestation.

I’ll second PapaBear’s nit. Hercules and Homer had nothing to do with each other. If you want to tie Homer into Greek mythology, at least be a little accurate and refer to his works as prototypical, rather than a manifestation. Homer came before a lot of other recorded Greek mythology.

However, I must concede that IF Disney did an “Adventures of Odysseus” or something like that, Odysseus would probably have an annoying sidekick, and the scene in which his men get turned into pigs would be an amusing musical number. At this point I will start actively seeking out alien visitors in the hope that I can be taken far, far away from this planet and never return.

You don’t have to go back to Greek mythology for examples of Disney’s bastardization of its sources. The animated versions of “101 Dalmations”, “Pinocchio”, and “Bambi” are drastically different from their printed versions. “Bambi”, especially, is almost unrecognizable when compared to the novel.

What’s even worse is Disney’s constantly branding products with its name, regardless of the source. If you ask the average person, they’ll tell you the 3 titles mentioned in my 1st paragraph were created by Walt Disney himself (the original authors were Dodie Smith, Carlo Collodi, and Felix Sauter, respetively).

I suppose you could half-ass justify it by pointing out how much Disney studios changed the stories, but that’s a weak excuse. By that reasoning, a car thief could be set free if s/he changed enough parts on the stolen auto.

Let me say at this point that I’m a big, big fan of animation, but I generally avoid Disney, for two reasons. The first is what I stated above; the second is the goddam cheap musical numbers that are inserted in every goddam Disney cartoon. They’re trite, they’re intrusive, and they only exist to sell more merchandizing.

Hey, don’t forget the many changes in the “Beauty and the Beast” story, too.

Let’s face it, Disney’s hardly the only or worst offender in this regard, whether with books or history. For example, how close do you think “Bugsy” was to the real life of the mobster? At least with adapting fictional works of literature, there is no “factual” aspect of making changes.

Indeed, as a general matter it is of little concern that film-makers don’t follow the stories to a tee – they’re making a movie, their movie, not simply engaging in a mechanical visual reproduction of the book (i.e., the movie is a work of art, of a sort at least, in its own right).

One significant difference (to me) is that movies made from adult literature come with the understanding that the movie will either be “different” (because the medium is different) or, often, “not as good.” There are large numbers of people who will have read the original or who will be prompted to go read the original because the movie seemed interesting. There will always be people who get all their “literature” solely from the movies, but that is their choice.

Disney has created a situation where far too many people don’t even know that there was an original. Disney also universally dumbs down the stories or makes them cute, obliterating the original so that there is no thought that the kids can take away from movie.

By saturating all the media (ever notice how many Disney tie-in books there are?), Disney ensures that few children will know that: Mary Poppins was an irascible, plain-spoken cockney with airs; that Pinnochio was a bright, self-involved delinquent rather than a bubble-headed dummy with a good heart; that Sleeping Beauty slept for a hundred years (see Bettelheim for the value of that knowledge); that the lessons of Beauty and the Beast are the values of keeping a promise and looking beyond appearances to find beauty. (In Disney’s world, Beauty has no need to look beyond Beast’s appearance, he went out and fought wolves to save her. What is so special about looking at a hero in a new light? And, of course, since the story starts with the spell, there is no bright surprise for the audience that the horrible beast is the same person as the handsome prince Beauty meets in her dreams.)

Your point that all motion pictures take liberties with the literature on which they are based is valid. The pernicious aspect of Disney is that he (Walt’s evil spirit lives on) has so overwhelmed the industry with corrupted versions that there is no room for truer attempts to get through to kids. Disney has been foisting his version on the public for 60 years. How many parents, today, even know that there are better versions available?


Tom, if you’re ranting about how successful movies tend to replace books, I don’t disagree with you, but… Why single out Disney? Lament as well that the movie versions of WIZARD OF OZ and GONE WITH THE WIND have displaced the books, too.

Let’s face it, there is a dumbing-down of society, and some parents are happy putting their kids in front of the television (cheaper than a babysitter and doesn’t need to be driven home). Fortunately, some parents still read to their kids anyway. My kids know the Grimm Bros’ version of Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella, and they’ve read Barrie’s Peter and Wendy, and Dahl’s Willie Wonka. They know the difference between the movie versions and the books.

Don’t blame the consumer companies (of which Disney is one) for sloppy parenting.

And please note, I’m not saying Disney is a saintly company or nothin’… I’m just wondering why Disney is singled out for opprobrium so much more so than any of the other offenders.

Disney is not the only destroyer of culture, of course. I guess my problem with Disney is that they have the power to do it right and they choose not to. In addition, Disney has pushed out all the competition (sort of like loosestrife or Australian rabbits). Your point is similar to Bob’s and I basically agree with it at the adult level. Those are choices that people make.

With kids’ Lit, Disney has basically wiped out an entire genre for most people. Sure, your kids and mine are going to see the originals, but how many more will? I don’t even shield my kids from Disney. The production values are decent, several of the movies are valid as “a” version of the story, and I have copies of all the originals for them to read.

I do not look to destroy the evil empire; I just am saddened that with the power Disney has, it continues to produce pablum when art would be just as easy. I suspect that they have set a standard that all future competition will try to live down to. Would Anastasia have been made as a travesty of history had Disney stayed true to the originals for the thiry years or so when they had no competiton? Maybe. However, if Disney had insisted on quality in their stories instead of only in their production, perhaps the competition would aim higher, rather than lower.


I read Burroughs’ “Tarzan, King of the Apes” when I was 13. My most vivid memory is of the mutiny scene in the first chapter where someone’s head is cleved from forehead to chin with a cutlass. I bet that won’t be in the Disney version!


Oh, my, Anastasia was such crap. Don’t even get me started on how bad this thing was. I will just mention:

  • By American standards, the Bolchevik have to be evil, and so must Rasputin… How to conciliate this? Well! Let’s make Rasputin behind the Revolution!

  • All characters speak with a caricatural Russian accent except for the clean American accent of the two main characters.

  • Two words: Singing Rasputin.