Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Online Assignment #3_Dobbs

The video, Mickey Mouse Monopoly, portrays many different course perspectives throughout the film and addresses many controversial topics that open viewers’ minds to things they have never thought of before. The two that I found most prominent were the Magic Bullet and Culture Studies course perspectives.

The Magic bullet is one of our course perspectives I have noticed in the film, Mickey Mouse Monopoly. I have noticed this specifically in the section when the commentators are talking about how women are portrayed in these Disney Films. They examine very good points of how women are portrayed in these films and are seen as “sexualizing”. They have skinny waists, flirtatious expressions, and seductive speaking lines in certain movies, and little children are watching this. The Commentator, Dr. Gail Dines, points out certain examples from movies, such as Aladdin, where the female characters use their bodies to manipulate people to get what they want. When children see this, they think that it is all right to behave like this and do these things. The magic bullet comes into play because children watch these actions happening and then think it is okay and go ahead and do them. Another piece of proof of the magic bullet theory is when the commentators are talking about the mirror effect and then they show the two little girls dressing up like certain Disney characters and are signing songs from different movies and are dressing up like the characters. One of the commentators even mentioned that she saw children playing on a playground and they were acting out scenes from certain Disney movies. She goes on to mention that the things these children are watching in these movies are becoming real life for them; it is the ultimate fantasy coming to life.

The course perspective of cultural studies is also very prominent and well addressed in the Mickey Mouse Monopoly. Multiple children were asked the question if they can recall seeing any black people in any of the movies. They both responded no, they do not recall seeing any or could not remember seeing any. This proves how unequally represented different cultures are shown in Disney movies. There are several examples within this video that prove different cultural studies among Disney movies. The general theme is that other cultures are mostly represented as animals, which is degrading. The first to talk about this is Marisa Peralta when she is talking about how Latinos are always associated with Chihuahuas, specifically in Lady and the Tramp, and are often participating in mischievous activity. Jacqueline Maloney is next to talk about the representation of black people in Disney. She talks about how they are mostly represented as animals that usually do the dancing like the jive or hip-hop/break dancing and typically mimic the speech patterns of this culture. She finds this present in the orangutans in Jungle Book. The third example is Chyng Feng Sun describes how the Asian stereotype is portrayed in the Siamese cats in Lady and the Tramp. She states how the cats have the slanted eyes, buckteeth, and the very heavy accents and are seen as cunning, sinister, and manipulative. She then goes on to talk about how in Mulan, she is seen as a powerful woman, but the woman stereotypes are still present in the movie. All of these cultural representations are shown as inferior to Americans. 


  1. Great analysis Linzie, I can tell you made real connections between the 5 perspectives of media systems and the Mickey Mouse Monopoly film. I also saw representation of the Magic Bullet concept in the film; however, in a completely different context. I thought the part of the film that focused on how women are portrayed in Disney films was very interesting and your application of the Magic Bullet theory really helped me understand how this system works in children’s play and their emulation of Disney’s characters. It also made me much more critical of Disney’s representation of women and how this representation of women is played out in American society in other mediums of media, for example, advertising.
    You also gave a lot of great evidence to show how the cultural studies perspective theory plays out in Disney films with stereotypical characterizations. I think if you applied Stuart Hall’s work to your argument you could make even more connections to how Disney unfairly represents different cultures in its films. Stuart Hall was one of the original advocators of multiculturalism and equality. He believed that power is unequally distributed in society according to race. This inequality, he believes, is reproduced in mass media messages like the ones we see in Mickey Mouse Monopoly with the representation of Asians, Latinos and Blacks in society.

  2. Great job, Linzie. You were really effective in your analysis and connecting class concepts with the film.

    The Magic Bullet perspective was not one that I picked up on as prominently in the film, but you were very convincing in your arguments. I definitely see how young girls not only see and experience certain portrayals of women but actively exhibit the behaviors as well. Your example of the young girls reenacting specific scenes from Disney films showed just how powerful the media can be; it changes how children lead their lives and impacts their everyday actions.

    Your paragraph on the Cultural perspective was also very strong. All three of your examples offered a lot of convincing credibility to your argument. It is very clear that Disney carries a sense of caucasian superiority, something that even children are going to pick up on.

    If I could offer one criticism it would be to more fully explain the two perspectives you used to analyze this film. You did a great job of using examples and explanations to show why the perspectives were used, but a little more content on what exactly the Magic Bullet and Cultural perspectives are would be quite useful to the reader. Using these explanations will help you to not only explain the effects media has but how the media does so as well.

    Overall this was a great analysis!

  3. Great analysis in general. The magic bullet and cultural studies perspectives were both very prominent in this film. Great examples from each speaker, also. The part about black people not being featured very often in Disney films came across as especially interesting to me since it made me realize that minorities are critically underrepresented in this form of media. All that I would add is a brief definition/explanation of what the magic bullet/cultural perspectives are just to contextualize this information to readers who aren't familiar with those terms. Keep up the good work!

  4. Your analysis of this documentary brought up some interesting points. The point about how the children they asked could not recall, or had never seen black people in any of the movies, not to mention in a lead, role is very sad. They clearly do not fairly represent all races in their films, and if they do, they usually represent them in poor, stereotypical light. The fact that they represent them as animals is an interesting concept that I hadn’t thought much about, but can have severe impacts, especially in combination with presenting them as low class characters. The way they represent cultures in these films can not only impact the children, but insult many others who watch these films and understand the implications. They often display other cultures or races in stereotypical ways by making them act a certain way, or giving them a stereotypical and degrading appearance. Your points in the second aspect can also influence the first. These displays of cultures in poor light can have direct and powerful impacts on children's minds. They will grow up, maybe not realizing what they saw in these movies, but the concepts will stick with them. They can have influence over children’s views of the world for the rest of their lives. It’s sad to grow up and realize that the movies you grew up on actually possess sexist, racist, and other offense messages hidden beneath a facade of innocence and magic.

  5. Great analysis. I feel like you backed up your arguments well. It is scary how much Disney "sexualizes" women. It is also scary that young girls would pick that up from them. Your argument here is really strong. I didn't understand why they used the playground clips, but with your analysis I had a better idea. The magnitude of how much the girls are impacted by Disney's image of women is scary.

    I agreed with your second point about the culture studies. It feels as if Disney and the media have the ability to set the stereotypes with see in race. Again, it was scary to see how much young kids are effected by this.