DEyncourt wrote:Seriously: this makes Disney different from any other film studio...how? Can you not take practically ANY romance-comedy movie and summarize it as "highlighting the common emotional experience of" falling in and/or out of love? Or practically ANY war movie as "highlighting the common emotional experience of" being in battle for your life? Or practically ANY family drama as "highlighting the common emotional experience of" being in a family?
Basically: why pick on Disney?
I think that Disney is, while not deserving the kind of utter dismissal Pariah would stamp it with, as worthy as anything in our culture to be dissected and analyzed for flaws. For one thing, they are usually among the first thing we show our kids and they tend to idolize Disney everything as something straight from God. Disney certainly knows this and rakes in a lot
of dough through endless merchandising, recycling, sequeling, spinoffing, and making sure kids can stay in a cash spending dream-state for as long as they can get the parents to acquiesce.
I think there is plenty of valid social criticism of the type of fantasy Disney deals in. There is the dreaded princess syndrome, the heroic destiny syndrome, and scores of other cliches (which to be fair are) lifted from popular mythology. It's also worth remarking that most of the source material, while often presented as children's entertainment in the past, was usually much more dark and grisly. There might be a case to be made that Polyanna Disneyfication has an enabling effect on the increased infantilization of our society. I can appreciate that there are entertainment choices that sort of have a kid-safe guarantee for the sake of easy parenting, but I wonder if it really just promotes lazy parenting by shielding children from anything too complicated that they might need an adult to explain it to them.
Anyway, I don't hate Disney. I think most of their movies are entertaining and some are fantastic. I think they do
maintain a very high degree of quality control in their output, but I also think that a great deal of that is to maintain a cash flow worthy rep as opposed to regularly opening outlets for inspired artists.
Let me put this out: for whatever reasons I find that TV situation comedies are intolerable. You might think with my science-bent that I might find "The Big Bang Theory" more to my liking, but I have tried watching it and didn't enjoy it much. I have spent the last 25 years or so NOT watching the popular sit-coms like "Seinfeld" and such--occasionally dipping into them but not liking them enough to continue watching (mind you: I do like Seinfeld's stand-up routines so his show's opening and closing tags were my only watchable parts). Here is a hint: I have taken a look via "Nick at Nite" at the 1970's sit-coms like "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" and "Newhart"--shows that I recall with much fondness and with the memory of absolutely literally rolling on the floor with laughter. Even if I happen on a particular episode I remember with much detail, I might smile a bit with that fondness but I do not "feel" that laughter at all. This pretty much knocks out the theory that some of friends have had that my problem is that I simply am unfamiliar with the characters in the recent sit-coms. After much thought I have figured out that basically the formula for sit-coms just does not work for me anymore. I cannot pin down any particular reasons why this has become so.
What I have not done--well, since my insight above--is condemn the current crop of sit-coms as stupid and insufferable (well, they are to me). I do not call them "nothing but bland, lowest common denominator, focus group refined swill" to explain their mass appeal.
Sometimes the difference is (in) you.
I understand all this too well. Most television is unwatchable for me, but I used to watch the same (often mediocre) "classics" over and over again as a child. If you have a capacity for greater artistic appreciation, you just eventually outgrow this type of theater. It no longer can produce a new or meaningful experience for you. The same thing can happen if you work in music or theater where you can't enjoy other performances as much because all you can focus on are the technical aspects or consider how you would have done things differently and it starts to become like watching people at work.
I think a lot of stuff today is much funnier and better produced than stuff I grew up on (but not more insightful than Bob Newhart), but the format really lacks the scope to keep me watching any more.
But I'm over 40 and they don't really care if I'm watching anyway.
[edited for major grammatical surgical reconstruction]
Remember, people, to forgive is divine. In other words, it ain't human.