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  • Mean Mommies of Disneyland

    Traditional Disney entertainment was the realm of animators and artists with a sometimes “naughty” childlike perspective. Their work came from the healthy inner child, aimed at bringing out the child in everyone else. Caricature, satire, adventure, danger, fantasy, mythology, their work - through optimistic - also had an edge, that of the cartoonist, humorist, tall-tale teller.

    This edge gave Disney entertainment its resonance for fun, wonder, and adventure and over-the-top release inside the worlds of the films and gates of the Magic Kingdom.

    Increasingly, the product is now guided - parks and animation - by well-intentioned “mommies” bent on taming the inner child rather than setting it free. This “safe” perspective is that of the inner parent; protecting, teaching, guarding from anything with a sharp edge - be it a simple caricature, the bizarre, a scary moment, or a belly laugh.

    But when all the edges are smoothed out, its a rather boring, adult world, isn’t it?

  • #2
    Originally posted by merlinjones View Post
    Traditional Disney entertainment was the realm of animators and artists with a sometimes “naughty” childlike perspective. Their work came from the healthy inner child, aimed at bringing out the child in everyone else. Caricature, satire, adventure, danger, fantasy, mythology, their work - through optimistic - also had an edge, that of the cartoonist, humorist, tall-tale teller.

    This edge gave Disney entertainment its resonance for fun, wonder, and adventure and over-the-top release inside the worlds of the films and gates of the Magic Kingdom.

    Increasingly, the product is now guided - parks and animation - by well-intentioned “mommies” bent on taming the inner child rather than setting it free. This “safe” perspective is that of the inner parent; protecting, teaching, guarding from anything with a sharp edge - be it a simple caricature, the bizarre, a scary moment, or a belly laugh.

    But when all the edges are smoothed out, its a rather boring, adult world, isn’t it?
    Indeed. Specifically, it's the sanitized world of young children's television programming. Eisner knew that world well -- and the merchandising money it could generate -- when he headed ABC Children's TV, years before he became a movie mogul.

    Decades of toonification and kiddie-fication of Disneyland's attractions and overlays has made it clear that Disney management has followed Eisner's philosophy of dumbing down their product to pander to the kid demographic.

    Instead of updating the submarines to be a cutting-edge-tech adventure under the sea, we got the Finding Nemo Underwater Kiddie Kartoon, with a script that talks down to anyone above the age of five.

    Instead of replacing the Country Bear Jamboree with something truly innovative and aimed at all age groups, we got a dumbed-down version of Winnie the Pooh aimed at preschoolers. (No surprise there; Eisner's Disney TV Animation and Consumer Products took the Walt-era Pooh franchise, which was aimed at family audiences, and dumbed it down for the preschool demographic.)

    It's not that Disneyland shouldn't play to kids; it should play to kids of all ages.


    You're dead if you aim only for kids. Adults are only kids grown up, anyway.
    - Walt Disney






    Last edited by Mr Wiggins; 07-10-2021, 07:08 AM.
    "Disneyland is often called a magic kingdom because
    it combines fantasy and history, adventure and learning,
    together with every variety of recreation and fun,
    designed to appeal to everyone."

    - Walt Disney

    "Disneyland is all about turning movies into rides."
    - Michael Eisner

    "It's very symbiotic."
    - Bob Chapek

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    • #3
      LOL. Boy did I think this thread was going in a waaayyy different direction!!!
      "Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass, it's about learning to dance in the rain.​"

      Comment


      • #4
        I thought it was going to be about strollers and .

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        • #5
          I was thinking the same thing I was expecting another stroller post! Ha!

          So... to address your post though, I wonder if I would be classified a “mean mommy” of Disneyland who would seek to indoctrinate my child to the World of Disney and it current sanitized state. I’ve quite enjoyed taking her and sharing my favorite parts. FWIW, she hated Snow White, Pinnochio and even Haunted Mansion. She also has no love for Pooh. Some of it has to do with the quality, some it has to do with just not liking certain scary things or sharp edges at a certain point of development. If that makes me a mean Mom because we tried but I understood it didn’t fit her context for “scary fun” at the time, so be it. There are thousands of posts of would be parents asking “should I take my kid on this ride” and everyone’s opinions. The truth is you’ll never know till they try it, but once you know, you know.

          Let’s put it this way... There always has been and always will be seismic shifts between generations that inform how each takes on the task of entertaining each.

          I’m in my early 40’s. I was raised on the same classic books, Rogers and Hammerstein and all the old Disney movies I share with my kid. I was also raised in a time where hypersexualization and gratuitous violence was at a peak in the media. If attractions of late are overly compartmentalized into “kiddie” and “adult” offerings, you can’t really blame Disney for this trend. They are, of course, part of a much bigger media long game, that continually ups the ante on mature content, while simultaneously dialing down any kind of real life consequences in children’s programming. I mean you can blame Disney since they are a behemoth media company but it’s bigger than that and I think we all know it.
          You know, I have the strangest feeling that I've seen that ship before. A long time ago, when I was very young. ―George Darling
          It seems to me that we have a lot of story yet to tell. ― Walt Disney

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          • #6
            There seems to be an increasing conviction among both decision-makers and mainstream guests that Disneyland is "for kids." It's easy to understand why Management would latch onto this idea--young kids are easy to market to because they haven't lived long enough to develop any power of discernment and are thus quite uncritical--but when and why did the guests decide to go along with it?
            Like this post? Read more like it at The Disneyland Dilettante!

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Karalora View Post
              There seems to be an increasing conviction among both decision-makers and mainstream guests that Disneyland is "for kids." It's easy to understand why Management would latch onto this idea--young kids are easy to market to because they haven't lived long enough to develop any power of discernment and are thus quite uncritical--but when and why did the guests decide to go along with it?
              I’m not sure there was ever time when Disneyland wasn’t for kids as well as adults It certainly isn’t not for kids. Walt based a majority of his stories on Children’s literature and presented Disneyland as place adults and children could enjoy together, so maybe I’m misunderstanding. Do you mean the conviction is that Disneyland is for kids exclusively? Because I don’t see that personally. If anything, the opposite.
              You know, I have the strangest feeling that I've seen that ship before. A long time ago, when I was very young. ―George Darling
              It seems to me that we have a lot of story yet to tell. ― Walt Disney

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Mom kissed Walt View Post

                I’m not sure there was ever time when Disneyland wasn’t for kids as well as adults It certainly isn’t not for kids. Walt based a majority of his stories on Children’s literature and presented Disneyland as place adults and children could enjoy together, so maybe I’m misunderstanding. Do you mean the conviction is that Disneyland is for kids exclusively? Because I don’t see that personally. If anything, the opposite.
                Yes, this. Sorry if that wasn't clear. And you're right that the opposite is also happening--e.g. rides focusing on thrills (and therefore height requirements) at the expense of simpler A through C-ticket level concepts that anyone could ride. But it seems like "It's for kids" gets trotted out whenever we lament things like Cartoon Creep or the demise of more artistic, impressionistic executions.
                Like this post? Read more like it at The Disneyland Dilettante!

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Bob Weaver View Post
                  I thought it was going to be about strollers and .
                  Same. My ankles will never be the same again.
                  "Have I gone mad?"
                  "I'm afraid so. You're entirely bonkers. But I'll tell you a secret. All the best people are. "

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Karalora View Post

                    Yes, this. Sorry if that wasn't clear. And you're right that the opposite is also happening--e.g. rides focusing on thrills (and therefore height requirements) at the expense of simpler A through C-ticket level concepts that anyone could ride. But it seems like "It's for kids" gets trotted out whenever we lament things like Cartoon Creep or the demise of more artistic, impressionistic executions.
                    I totally get what your saying then. Agreed!
                    You know, I have the strangest feeling that I've seen that ship before. A long time ago, when I was very young. ―George Darling
                    It seems to me that we have a lot of story yet to tell. ― Walt Disney

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Bob Weaver View Post
                      I thought it was going to be about strollers and .
                      We should start a thread about that, there's a lot of those at the parks HAHA
                      My fondest recent memory was when I was at Disney World and this mom felt compelled to keep ramming her stroller into my legs on purpose in line at the front gates at Magic Kingdom and when confronted, gave me serious attitude. Sorry she was having a lousy day, but I was having a great time!


                      Facebook me!
                      Join in the Disney fun at MyVMK!

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                      • #12
                        ""Ramming"" strollers, happens to me , more at Disneyland , than any other place.........(((Och
                        *I end up , with the serious attitude
                        Soaring like an EAGLE !

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Bob Weaver View Post
                          I thought it was going to be about strollers and .
                          On my most recent trip we boarded a boat on Pirates of the Caribbean in front of a small boy who proceeded to scream questions every second upon disembarking the dock.

                          ”IS THAT A SKULL?!”
                          ”ARE WE GOING DOWN A WATERFALL?!”
                          ”WHERE ARE WE GOING?!”
                          ”WHERE IS JACK?!”
                          ”WHY IS THE FAT MAN SPITTING WATER?!”

                          The mom proceeded to ignore her child and allowed the whole boat to suffer. When I walked off of the attraction, my ears were ringing. I appreciate these moments because they make me less fearful of death.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Captain Andy View Post

                            On my most recent trip we boarded a boat on Pirates of the Caribbean in front of a small boy who proceeded to scream questions every second upon disembarking the dock.
                            .
                            You're story made me cringe but I can understand an excited child. My similar story involved two adults. One of the men got a DROP of water on him on the second drop. He then jokingly lamented, through the entire grotto area, that he hated this ride. He got wet, skeletons are scary, skeletons don't sit upright, skeletons don't drink, etc, etc. As we went through the dark area before the ship battle, a woman in front turned around and told them to "shut you're yap, you're ruining the ride for everyone." When they started to talk back, a mysterious voice came from the PA system telling them to keep quiet or they'll walk the plank. I love a CM with a sense of humor.
                            Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups.

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                            • #15
                              Love it!

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                              • #16
                                I think adult verse child is a difficult balancing act because the levels of mature content leap frogs as we age. Children want simple narratives positive outcomes and visual stimulation. Where as teens want mature content, complexed narratives and think all visuals are “meh”. Young adults want what teens want until they become parents then they want what their kids want. As adults hit mid life many have teens as children so they go back to mature content and complexed narratives to bond with the shared enjoyment. Then we hit middle age kids move out and we miss a simpler time and find ourselves mature enough to enjoy the same things that made us smile as children and open our minds back up to enjoying all levels of content and bits of whimsy that the more childlike content provides. As we become senior citizens we gravitate to the more simple narratives and visual stimulation because we find ourselves in a more complexed world then we grew up in and we often long for the era of our youth and nostalgia which always seems almost childish to the young adults of the present time.
                                Last edited by Starcade; 07-12-2021, 02:14 PM.
                                Disneyland Fan since the 70's

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                                • #17
                                  Mean mommies went on safari and tamed Adventureland. Having ensured a safe and sane journey, they built a chic '"she shack" in the queue.

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                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by Bob Weaver View Post
                                    I thought it was going to be about strollers and .
                                    Are we allowed to speak of , or will the post be banned for politics? It is taking every ounce of energy I have not to write a post entitled Strollers and .
                                    Now don't close your eyes, and don't try to hide...

                                    Next trip to Disneyland: December 3-6, 2011. I can't wait!!!

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                                    • #19
                                      Please don't use derogatory terms to describe groups of people. I get a lot of complaints from people with that name who don't appreciate how it's being used.

                                      Thank you.

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                                      • #20
                                        I definitely feel this on a certain level because I want attractions to have a sense of mystery, danger, and exploration.

                                        Yet depending on who you ask, Star Wars and Marvel attractions that can give those elements are too edgy, violent, and lack Disney whimsy.

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