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Madagascar (not "Slim", but the movie

Calamity Jane

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On the weekend, I took my two girls and Snail's daughter to see this gem

highly recommended.

I love all these great computer animated kids' movies coming out lately. Most of them have great story lines and messages, without being overly maudlin or sloppily sentimental.

the characters are always somewhat stereotypical and simplified -- but sometimes that's part of the charm. Case in point, the self-appointed lemur king here is hilariously arrogant, with a North Indian accent (perfectly reminiscent of our travels there and the relentless come-ons by tourist hustlers).

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Thanks Deb! I have to watch my cousin Jack from time to time and can never figure out what to do with her. If I have to sit through The Cat in the Hat one more time.... *shakes fist* Although I'm sure she's pretty sick of The Lorax too. :P

It's nice to see that newer movies are finally getting away from that Disney mold of conflict/resolution/big fucking wedding. ??? I never understood that. I think in almost every Disney movie (from when I was a kid), the main characters either got married at the end or had a parent die at some point.

Anyone ever read this? VERY interesting.


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I know what you mean about the tired and predictable Disney plots. (and give more info on the book, please)

As well, Disny hardly inspires kids to think or ponder (except to wonder why their prince charming has yet to come along). Disney was pretty much banned in our house after we watched PeterPan. In addition to the very troubling depictions of Native Americans which we needed to de-brief, miniscule little Tinkerbell has body-image issues, thinking her rump must be too big after Peter starts ignoring her in favour of Wendy. UGH!!! Why are we programming our children like this??????

I'll say one thing though, crappy movies DO make for some interesting discussions with Cassia and have undoubtedly contributed to her feminist leanings!!

As for Madagascar, there's a great scene done to the entire Louis Armstrong's "What a Wonderful World" song where the 4 New York zoo toughies, now in the wild, discover how brutal the 'law of the jungle/survival of the fittest' really is. They prance through lush rainforest, mesmerized by its beauty but continually witness smaller creatures being gobbled up by bigger creatures. At one point they rescue a helpless, teeny, huge-eyed duckling, place her back in the water, and watch as seconds later she's a gator's breakfast!!

Again -- highly recommended -- with or without child accompaniement!

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Deb, I have a copy of The Mouse that Roared: Disney & the End of Innocence if you'd like to borrow it. I can bring it down Friday!

It's a really informative and thought provoking read. It basically studies the role Disney has had in creating a Western/American identity. It examines what it means to be an American, how Disney has shaped national memory from childhood on and also how Disney has contributed to the definition of our gender roles in a progressing society. Also a bit at the end about consumerism/capitalism and how we must examine the roll Disney plays as a key ingredient to our cultural flavour. It really is astounding when you look at all that Disney has accomplished...and not just in material/monetary terms. This is a corporation that has changed the way generations think. Disney's cartoons are largely discussed, but Touchstone (AKA Disney) branded blockbusters such as Pretty Woman are also deconstructed.

"[t]he strategies of escapism, historical forgetting, and repressive pedagogy in Disney's books, records, theme parks, movies, and TV programs produce identifications that define the United States as white, suburban, middle class, and heterosexual."

Edit to add: Prior to writing the aforementioned book, Giroux published this article.

Edited by Guest
I found the dang link!
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