Why Culture Warriors Should Understand the 10 Astounding Eras of Disney Animation's Evolution
You might recall that in January I offered up seven New Year's resolutions that others could burgle from me Bilbo-style:
Usually when I’m working I have some combination of talk radio and Songza/Pandora on in the background. Now I’m going to replace the music with Disney films, cartoons, and documentaries, immersing myself in everything until I feel like I’ve really gotten a handle of the repeating themes and style.
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New year's resolution 5: to intensity my study of #disney culture, for the next 2 weeks I will have #Disney films and documentaries and #cartoons on in background the whole time I am working. This is experiment that I will then apply to others. I need to train myself to dig deeper into the history of media and culture to find old gems and new realizations. So much that is old can be made new again.
This spring I utilized the PJ Lifestyle Cartoon at Noon feature to pursue this project, so far blogging through all 75 of the experimental Silly Symphony series, noting themes and cultural references. I'll have more lists in the future explaining the significance of the series and its artistic depth but for now thsese first two are a good place to get started:
- From June: The 7 Revolutionary Silly Symphony Cartoons That Won Oscars In the 1930s
- and in August: 10 Classic Disney Cartoons For Introducing Mythology & Morality to the Next Generation.
In March I responded to a Roger L. Simon column with an approach for "How Conservatives Can Conquer Hollywood." The Walt Disney method of becoming a billionaire? Depict the battle of Good Vs. Evil with innovative technology:
Conservatives should be looking to the future and to new mediums of entertainment. Humans are not going to amuse themselves by sitting around staring at screens forever. I still believe in the Breitbartian idea that the battle for the culture is more important than the fight over political ideology. Where I’ve changed is in realizing that there’s actually a force more important and powerful to affect and control. Culture is driven by technology. Movable type came before the Gutenberg Bible. Edison’s film camera came before Hollywood. The techniques of animation had to be discovered by Disney and his animators through years of experimenting with Silly Symphony and Mickey Mouse shorts before Snow White could be achieved.
So yeah, politics is downstream of culture. But technology has the power to carve the shape of the river itself.
Chris, as we start to think in a bigger picture direction with our continued research into Disney history and ideology, here's my attempt to sort of lay out a broad look at the territory. How does this sound as a way to think of the different periods that run across the company?