Join 3,561 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Disney presents...Arab Stereotypes and Dated Pop Culture References
June 14, 2013 7:12 AM   Subscribe

The FW reimagines 9 Disney movie posters.
posted by MoonOrb (37 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

 
Yup. Pretty much.
posted by Kitteh at 7:17 AM on June 14, 2013


eh. I think that these are very skin-deep criticisms of the movies. I prefer things more like ana mardoll's deconstruction and criticism of The Chronicles of Narnia
posted by rebent at 7:34 AM on June 14, 2013 [8 favorites]


This has some stronger criticisms /reinterpretations. I really like the Belle/Beast in Revolutionary France one.
posted by The Whelk at 7:43 AM on June 14, 2013 [6 favorites]


I don't really remember Aladdin, were the pop culture references already dated, back when it was released?
posted by ymgve at 7:45 AM on June 14, 2013


I don't really remember Aladdin, were the pop culture references already dated, back when it was released?

Yes.
posted by shibori at 7:47 AM on June 14, 2013 [2 favorites]


'Hamlet with Animals' isn't a criticism, it's just a description.
posted by shakespeherian at 7:57 AM on June 14, 2013


well that barrel has nine fewer fish!
posted by bendybendy at 8:01 AM on June 14, 2013 [9 favorites]


This is on the level of a Fark photoshop contest. Really, "Change for your man" for The Little Mermaid? Ariel was obsessed with the human realm and dreamed of being human before Erich was even in the picture. "Body Dysmorphic Disorder" or "High-placed (plaiced?) traitor to father's realm" would be better.
posted by mkb at 8:02 AM on June 14, 2013 [6 favorites]


Incidentally, wasn't Aladdin supposed to be Persian anyway? *cue dramatic music*
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 8:08 AM on June 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


The only one I disagree with is Little Mermaid. Arielle was fascinating with the walking world long before handsome prince came along. So she would have changed anyway.
posted by Kokopuff at 8:11 AM on June 14, 2013 [4 favorites]


Ariel really should be " Rabid fangirl goes too far."
posted by The Whelk at 8:16 AM on June 14, 2013 [8 favorites]


I mean, she doesn't seem all that into Prince Eric specially and more that he was a way to remain human forever - so maybe it's more " Species Dysmorphia should not be treated with black magic."
posted by The Whelk at 8:18 AM on June 14, 2013 [4 favorites]


I don't really remember Aladdin, were the pop culture references already dated, back when it was released?

Yes.


Indeed. They began to age badly about 15 minutes after Robin Williams said them and were old, corny, and stupid when the movie was released. Robin Williams (who can act, given the right role and director) basically ensured that the movie would not age well. Disney did a better job with Eddie Murphy in Mulan, I thought.

Maybe the reason you don't remember Aladdin was that they made choices that made it forgettable.
posted by Mad_Carew at 8:19 AM on June 14, 2013


Also cause the Prince Ali number is a big show stopper the movie never recovers from and just kinda...peters out.
posted by The Whelk at 8:20 AM on June 14, 2013 [3 favorites]


Ouch, I mentally erase Eddie Murphy from most of my thoughts about Mulan. It wasn't the corny lines, just the manic overdelivery of them.
posted by PussKillian at 8:30 AM on June 14, 2013


I've never seen the Lion King and after seeing that poster, I kind of do now.
posted by Hactar at 8:33 AM on June 14, 2013


The original tagline for Aladdin was: "Its barbaric, but its home"
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 8:35 AM on June 14, 2013


The Lion King has the gayest of all possible Jeremy Irons!

Also the subtext of every Beauty & Beast story is either A) You can CHANGE him or B) Listen, you might have to marry someone with a bunch of money you don't like who is all gross or old so just suck it up and try to be civil to each other.
posted by The Whelk at 8:35 AM on June 14, 2013 [2 favorites]


Hactar:
I've never seen the Lion King and after seeing that poster, I kind of do now.
The changed poster for Lion King 1 1/2 says "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead... with animals!" How can you not love it?
posted by charred husk at 8:46 AM on June 14, 2013 [2 favorites]


The Whelk: "Also the subtext of every Beauty & Beast story is either A) You can CHANGE him or B) Listen, you might have to marry someone with a bunch of money you don't like who is all gross or old so just suck it up and try to be civil to each other."

Emily Short's Bronze is probably my favorite version of Beauty and the Beast because it… doesn't quite avoid those two options, but explores them in an interesting way.
posted by Elementary Penguin at 8:56 AM on June 14, 2013


Indeed. They began to age badly about 15 minutes after Robin Williams said them and were old, corny, and stupid when the movie was released.

I feel like Aladin started a trend of having to insert a Robin-Williams-Genie-personality in all animated movies for a while. Some kind of over-the-top hyperactive sidekick included just to make lame pop-culture references. It pretty much turned me off big animated features altogether.
posted by Hoopo at 9:00 AM on June 14, 2013 [2 favorites]


Considering what happened to Disney's animation business after Aladdin I think it turned everybody off of animated features for a while.
posted by Elementary Penguin at 9:04 AM on June 14, 2013


I feel like Aladin started a trend of having to insert a Robin-Williams-Genie-personality in all animated movies for a while. Some kind of over-the-top hyperactive sidekick included just to make lame pop-culture references. It pretty much turned me off big animated features altogether.

See also: Shrek
posted by shakespeherian at 9:05 AM on June 14, 2013


Sure, Robin Williams was schticky and manic in his unique annoying way, but how many classic Bugs Bunny shorts had "Mammy"/Al Jolsen references, and references to stars/events/songs of the time? I didn't understand them as a kid, but they didn't get in my way.

What is most weird about that movie is that it kicked off Gilbert Gottfried's career as a voice for kid cartoons. He's in the PBS show "Cyberchase" now and it's kind of strange if you've ever heard his regular comedy stuff as well, you keep expecting him to insert expletives in the dialogue.
posted by emjaybee at 9:08 AM on June 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


The 10th Regiment of Foot: Incidentally, wasn't Aladdin supposed to be Persian anyway?

Even better: he's supposed to be Chinese.
posted by baf at 9:09 AM on June 14, 2013


Shrek is a cynical pile of CGI cutesypoo/pop culture shenanigans. It takes everything you hated about Aladdin and dials it up to 11.

And it had like, 4 sequels, because people are terrible.
posted by emjaybee at 9:10 AM on June 14, 2013 [4 favorites]


I remember seeing Aladdin in the theater and enjoying it, and don't necessarily recall Williams' Genie work as feeling worn out or out of date. It was classic Williams, definitely, but the Genie added another level of entertainment to the film. He was a good thing.

Lion King followed Aladdin, and it did well. It was after Lion King that Disney began to have trouble, such as Pocahontas, Tarzan, and Hunchback of Notre Dame. You had great attempts that just didn't succeed to the level of Disney films, in part because some of the best of those movies weren't "classic" Disney films, like Emperor's New Groove and Lilo and Stitch.
posted by Atreides at 9:10 AM on June 14, 2013


Except Shrek was DreamWorks which has also produced Ice Age and other money making craptacular vehicles for washed up comedians and actors. At least there the racism was agent if systemic.

Eddie Murphy portraying a donkey who just can't get his shit together as an donkey but manages to figure it out in the end and make a decent life for himself seems somewhat less of an issue when he's put up against the ogre Mike Myers who also can't figure his stuff out and lives at the margins of society. Both are characters they've portrayed before in different mediums for better or for worse.

Eddie Murphy as an out-of-work much dragon who can't get his shit together as a dragon because the elders think he's useless and he proves to be so throughout the movie until the very end and only to serve the purposes of the exceptional white-but-not-quite Mulan romping through some disjointed, multi-Dynastic portrayal of China that has elements of Heian Japanese geisha culture does somehow make the racism a little bit more obvious. Except for Pixar and possibly Wreck-It Ralph, most of the Disney animated crop features some element of really heavy systemic and also just baldfaced racism. And unfortunately enough, those are the reductive values most kids end up learning and keeping to heart because of how much of a powerhouse Disney is in terms of producing societal norms. So even skin deep, I think these are pretty valid criticisms because at the very least they disrupt the normalization a bit and they don't require the whole shibboleth of literary criticism just to understand.
posted by dubusadus at 10:23 AM on June 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


I don't really remember Aladdin, were the pop culture references already dated, back when it was released?

Yeah, the majority of the "pop culture" references would have been completely opaque to children in 1992 -- a quick scan through this YouTube sample give us Bing Crosby, Ed Sullivan, Groucho Marx, Peter Lorre, etc. There's about 1/2 a second of Arnold Schwarzenegger that I think was the only thing both specific and contemporary that I noticed.
posted by camcgee at 10:26 AM on June 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


Here's another YouTube sample with Elvis.

(NSFW language)
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 10:43 AM on June 14, 2013


The 10th Regiment of Foot: Incidentally, wasn't Aladdin supposed to be Persian anyway?

Even better: he's supposed to be Chinese.


I think that "China" was Edward Lane's sort of lazy way of translating "the East" which was the what Es-Seen translates to. "China" was not exactly a place, though, through the Persians the idea of a mysterious place to the east beyond the desert where tea (Chai thus Chai-na) comes from was forming in common use. A lot of mythology about the Jinn have them comingling and tormenting humans in Es-Seen and beyond in the raging seas found there.

Incidentally if you keep going beyond Es-Seen in Persian/Arab middle ages crypto-geography is a land (Sealah) where the Jinn kidnapped and took human women as concubines and the subsequent, malformed and evil half-breed offspring from these enslavements are the bat winged demons known as Sheytan. So in other words, to paraphrase a Persian scholar of the 20th century, cross the Pacific from China and you get to the land of [the great] Satan.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 10:47 AM on June 14, 2013 [4 favorites]


Ice Age and its sequels are not from Dreamworks.
They were produced by Blue Sky Studios, located in Connecticut.
posted by hexatron at 11:25 AM on June 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


Disney basically doubled their rate of movie production in the the 90's.

They did not double their biyearly revenue, as it happens.
posted by effugas at 1:40 PM on June 14, 2013


It's a cheap shot to rename 101 Dalmations to "Please remember to spay and neuter your pets," because the titular dogs are kidnapped from around Britain, and not all the offspring of the main pair.

The Lion King as Hamlet With Animals seems like it fits well at first, but breaks down towards the end of the movie when Simba doesn't have Timon and Pumbaa killed off-screen, there's no Ophelia, and the ending is completely different.

Hunchback of Notre Dame as Nice Guy Finishes Last is a remarkably cheap shot considering the original story. If anything, the movie is rather more faithful to the source material than we'd expect from Disney.
posted by JHarris at 2:02 PM on June 14, 2013


The Emperor's New Groove was Aladdin done right. All of the attitude, none of the ridiculous pop-culture references.*

Aladdin today requires subtitles. "Mom, who is Arsenio Hall?"

But the comedy of Groove is eternal. "LLAMA FACE!" "Bring it on!" "Why do we even have that lever?"

--------
*Although, to be honest, the genie's jokes in Aladdin freaked me out at the time. Wait! This is Disney! Disney doesn't do this! Whoa!
posted by SPrintF at 8:57 PM on June 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'd like to criticize this collection, but truly the only proper response to this is in the form of an animated .gif from Tumblr of a disney character rolling his/her eyes and making the 'jerk off' hand motion (or some G-rated equivalent).

(but I couldn't find one.)
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 4:26 PM on June 15, 2013


Also the subtext of every Beauty & Beast story...

...is surely the gradual evolution of a young woman's attitude toward male sexuality: at first it seems (or even is) a mindless marauding monster, but if approached with kindness, patience and understanding, eventually it can be tamed into, well, something human and even attractive.

Like "Cinderella," this is an odd sort of story to be presented as light entertainment for toddlers.
posted by La Cieca at 12:27 AM on June 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


« Older Jennifer Nelson is suing the music publishing comp...  |  Ettore Sottsass was an industr... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments