Welcome to my take on the psychology and sociology of the Disney culture. This is my own outlet and expression of my views on Disney everything! I love great discussion too so please feel free to comment. I mostly follow the current state of Disney but I have a social-science-colored lens through which to view it and occasionally compare it to the past. I'm a bit of a biased nostalgic too so please enjoy a little thoughtful commentary mixed in with educated exploration.
Wednesday, September 12, 2012
A huge trend in Disney merchandise over the past few years
has been evident in what I call Character Crossovers.I'm going to present several different examples of CC’s
that you can currently buy or see in stores.
first one, Vinylmation, is fairly popular and consists of figurines in the
shape of Mickey Mouse, but with features of a plethora of different
characters.For example, Donald Duck in
the shape of Mickey, Snow White in the shape of Mickey, Bambi in the shape of
Mickey, Miss Piggy in the shape of… Well, you get the idea.
Vinylmation See Link A
You can purchase Vinylmation in sets, in key chains,
or even representing Major League football and baseball teams and you can form
a collection as large as you like.This
gives an outlet for artistic creativity as the characters have Mouse ears that
can be made into whatever, but to my personal taste is distracting.I’m lost on the reasoning behind Vinylmation
popularity, but Disney culture has taken it and run with it with no end in
My second example of CC’s is associated with Star Wars Weekends,
which are select weekends where Star Wars theming is central at Walt Disney World
through characters, panels, and yes, merchandise.Here Star Wars characters appear mostly as
classic Disney characters IN the clothing and features of Luke Skywalker, Darth Maul, etc. Pins, bags, shirts, and even Vinylmation
depict these CC’s and are extremely popular among fans of both Disney and Star
SWW Merch See Link B
Again, my personal feedback on
this is confusion.Unless you want to
stretch it, classic Disney characters are not equal to Star Wars
characters, and are not even strikingly similar.Sure, some share the same
traits or gender, but Donald Duck is not an evil character, so why is he depicted as Darth
Maul?Even more baffling is the Darth
Vader/Mater mash-up that has recently surfaced.Just because the names sound the same make it
an instant candidate for a CC I guess.
Darth Mater See Link C for the other Cars CC's.
But while these examples merely make me wonder, here’s the kicker that really
eats at me and makes me upset: Minnie Mouse in Princess Leia’s slave getup and
looking a little too comfortable in it.
Sexy Minnie-Leia. Weird and wrong. Pic courtesy of @AtDisneyAgain
If we’re sticking with consistency (and why would we?) Leia was forced to wear that oufit and it was merely a tool to sexualize and objectify her for
the sick bad guy Jabba the Hut.Minnie is a
favorite character of many a young girl, so why are we putting her in the same sexualized position while also adding a seductive stare?So many things wrong with this picture.
While most CC's really are harmless and open to each person's opinion, I feel there's a line that can be crossed when a movie with certain adult themes gets mixed into family-friendly Disney ones. This is what happened with Minnie and I can't give it a "to each his own" approval.
Here’s my question:Disney is known for it’s classic and relatable storytelling and its stories are beloved through the decades
and generations because it’s that good... so why is there the need to combine irrelevant worlds and themes that so
much effort has been put into perfecting on their own?Disney canon characters are excellent on their own, as are, say, the Muppets.But muddling them together seems to push all
that aside and accentuate the dollar signs that drives Disney business.Disney culture does seem to love it though,
my confusion aside, and I’d love to delve deeper into the reasoning behind it.
Tell me lovely readers, if you are a fan, what makes
Character Crossovers appealing to you? No judgement here, just discussion.