In class we have discussed five perspectives of media effect. They are the magic bullet theory, the two-step flow, critical-cultural, cultivation, and agenda setting. In the documentary Mickey Mouse Monopoly it discusses all of these, but two that stood out greater then the others were critical cultural and cultivation theory. They deal with how people see the greater society based on how Disney portray society through there movies.
During the documentary it can clearly be seen that critical-cultural theory is used. The major question this theory asks is how media represents culture in interaction with the existing culture. It also deals with how power works within a society and asks how media is used by elites to maintain power. One example of this from the documentary is when the narrator discusses how Disney owns not just Disney, but ABC and a bunch of other radio stations and magazines. This is how Disney maintains media power. They can publish what they want and not discuss what they think will hurt their image. Another example of this is when Disney remade the classic, Tarzan. Jacqueline Maloney from Harvard talks about how the crows and monkeys are always represented by black voice or jiving and hustling. She says they want to be like men but they never will be. Due to this criticism the new Tarzan movie was made with no black peoples voices or anything. It shows Disney eliminated the black people in African and they also eliminated their presence. It displays that the white executives in Disney want to promote whiteness.
Another perspective that can be seen in the documentary is the cultivation theory. The cultivation theory is a theory that states that the more time people spend watching television, the more likely they are to believe social reality seen on television. Cultivation leaves people with a misperception of what is true in our world. This can be seen in many Disney videos, one that it is seen in, is beauty and the beast. Dr. Carolyn Newberger from Harvard talks about how the beast is very mean to beauty. She also discusses how beauty is supposed to find the prince charming inside the beast and bring it out of them. The little girls watching this film sees this and thinks that how a guy is supposed to treat a girl and it is the girl’s job to tame the beast, which are men. Another example is from Aladdin, which Dr. Elizabeth Hadley discusses. She talks about the scene where Jasmine seduces the person who is after Aladdin. She finds that this is very dangerous because it gives young girls the idea that to get what you want you just have to use your bodies. Again if girls watch are these Disney movies they will learn this, and in reality this is not true and will not work. You have to work for what you want, not just be good looking.
In the documentary Mickey Mouse Monopoly it can be seen that Disney uses both the critical- Cultural Theory and the Cultivation theory in their movies. This theory’s help Disney portray certain images that they want the public to see, and it also make claims to the viewers that are not true. In the end the viewer has to know what is true and what is not true.