Creative Backlash to Disney

The muses were far from me this morning, so I went looking for inspiration and I found it in a quirky little post by Michelle Zacharias on her blog Viewed from the Outside. Not only is she an amazing artist, but she features amazing artists. In her post Flipside of Morning TV. Zacharias asks, “Why are people sacrificing their childhood icons instead of creating their own characters or images?” I think I know the answer.

We are inundated with cute. It is everywhere. We are force-fed cute at every opportunity, and at some point even the most mild person gets fed up. We owe genius Walt Disney a great debt for his contribution to family entertainment, but enough is enough! Some marketing genius decided we need toys, lunch boxes, glasses, cups, pillow cases, wallpaper, dolls, stuffed animals, hats and clothing that our children can not live without.

We are getting ready for Halloween and mothers and grandmothers are sewing costumes across the land, and Disney characters rank very high in the most sewn costumes. Fortunately, Frozen seems to have had this firmly in mind when they designed the characters. I have several little cousins dressing as Elsa this year as a result. I have heard more than one sweet looking little gray-haired grandmother wish she could get her hands on the entire bunch of Disney princesses and hack them apart with their sewing scissors. All day, every day little girls dress, sing, and act out the Disney princesses. The adults who love them fear the little might like to learn or experience something else, and are frustrated to the point of fantasizing violence, yet still reluctant to deny their little ones anything that brings them joy.

I don’t know if a certain purple dinosaur is still around, but his little song (“I love you. You love me. We’re a perfect family.”) had grown men and women wanting to tear his stuffing out. He was cute, he was purple, their kids were obsessed with him, and they had to listen to that song every waking moment. Any repetition will make you absolutely crazy! no matter how cute.

Marketing with cute cuddly critters, sparkles, stars, superheroes and logos are covering everything we might want to buy for our children. I wanted to buy a plain sweatshirt for a creative project, and had a hard time finding one. Sometimes we just want to put our own creative touch to things. We just need a break. I enjoyed the Flipside of Morning TV. I hope you do too.

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9 thoughts on “Creative Backlash to Disney

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  1. Total surprise! I think this is the first time somebody I did not know and who was not interested in promoting their own show has linked to an article of mine. Completely honoured!

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  2. What drove my daughters crazy about the Disney-manufactured Princess costumes was that the costumes usually (maybe always) had a little medallion with a picture of the princess herself on the costume; here’s a link to an official Elsa costume: http://www.disneystore.com/elsa-costume-for-girls-frozen/mp/1356042/1000395/ Because who would wear a picture of herself on her dress? We still bought a couple of these official costumes–Snow White and Aurora–but sometimes my amazing mother would make a costume. Probably she grumbled as she did it, but the results were amazing–and no irritating costume.

    I absolutely agree about the surfeit of character merchandise. Sometimes you need a plain shirt! Re Barney: I despised him so much that I didn’t let my kids watch the show. And then, my 2-year-old niece was diagnosed with neuroblastoma, and she LOVED Barney. Barney videos brought her joy on so many days when she was in the hospital. (She passed away 8 months after the diagnosis.) I’m tearing up as I type this. Anyway, Barney become our hero, on Caroline’s behalf.

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  3. I so agree about the over commercialization of movie tie-ins. When my children were growing up I know they would have liked owning anything like that. It wasn’t in our budget unfortunately, or maybe fortunately. They learned they couldn’t have everything they wanted.

    As for putting your own touch on something, or finding a plain sweatshirt, there are ways. I’m not sure where you are but if you don’t have a Hobby Lobby, Michael’s or Joann’s near you, there’s always Cafe Press online. You can design shirts, mugs, baby clothes, etc and they’ll even deliver them wherever you want. The price last time I did it was comparable to buying it ready made.

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    1. I certainly know about the craft stores, but they are a drive, for me, and I wanted to do it now, not wait for on line delivery. The close store was the attempt. That’s how it is sometimes. Planning ahead always works better. I’m just lucky the mood didn’t strike in the middle of the night.

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