Disney’s Capitalization on American Roots

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The Disney Corporation has in many ways infiltrated American culture. What was once a small business has grown into the world’s largest media and entertainment syndicate in relation to their revenue, which in 2010 was $38,063 million (Disney 2010 fourth quarter). Not only do they produce movies but they also own their own resorts, cruises, theme parks, massive amounts of marketing products, and even their own town. Through careful examination of the semiotic implications in many of Disney’s marketing and product endeavors I hope to pull the curtain back and criticize the truth behind what Disney is selling and what exactly the multi-national corporations’ moral agenda is. The American dream has always been the driving force behind everything we as a country do from settling the new frontier to industrialization. That is what drove two brothers, Walt and Roy Disney, to start their own production company in 1923. In 1928 Mickey Mouse was created and would become one of the most iconic images not only in America but around the world. These iconic ears aren’t always happy images though as described in Friedman’s essay Revolution is U.S. where he relates Mickey Mouse ears and big Macs with the cons of globalization (Friedman 160). It is true the Disney Corporation, no matter how many borders they cross, will always be a symbol of the American dream and its connotations such as manifest destiny and globalization. In 1943 during World War ll Disney Studios was handed over the U.S. military to produce propaganda for the war effort. Der Fuehers Face was one of those films, starring the cartoon character Donald Duck as a Nazi soldier working in an assembly line under Hitler’s control, only to find out that he loves America. In t... ... middle of paper ... .... "A Moral Never-Never Land: Identifying with Tony Saprano." 2004. The Signs of Shopping in the U.S.A. Sixth ed. Boston: Bedford/St. Martins, 2009. 274-82. Print. Jones, Jeffery M. "Football Remains Runaway Leader as Favorite Sport." Www.gallup.com. Gallup, Inc., 29 Dec. 2008. Web. 26 Feb. 2011. . Klein, Naomi. "Chapter Seven." No Space, No Choice, No Jobs, No Logo: Taking Aim at the Brand Bullies. New York: Picador USA, 2000. 143-64. Print. Newell,perry, Claire, Simon. "Disney Toys Made in ‘sweatshops’." The Sunday Times. Times Newspapers Ltd, 23 Dec. 2007. Web. 26 Feb. 2011. . Norton, Anne. "The Signs of Shopping." The Signs of ShoppinG in the U.S.A. Sixth ed. Boston: Bedford/St. Martins, 2009. 101-06. Print.

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