“Disney Constructs Childhood so as to Make It Entirely Compatible with Consumerism

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“Disney constructs childhood so as to make it entirely compatible with consumerism” (Smoodin cited in Giroux, 2002; 105). Discuss this statement in relation to TWO animated films from the Disney canon. The Walt Disney Company is a diversified international entertainment company (Disney, 2010) with ownership of many media outlets including radio, cinema, television and literature as well as consumer products such as stationary and toys. The Disney brand has huge recognition globally especially in the category of children’s entertainment with over 80 years of productions in this sector. With an obvious predominance and market leadership in children’s entertainment and consumerism, The Disney Company has an unparalleled capability to reach…show more content…
Disney 's 1997 film Hercules is an example of Disney 's use of its films to create a media spectacle to increase awareness of its products through the media and also to use the film contents itself to promote consumerist behaviours to children. Disney 's release of the film in 1997 amidst a “promotional blitz” (Giroux, 2001, 160) that included advertising not only the film itself but also toys, clothing, accessories and electronics all with the Disney branded Hercules featured on them. The purpose of this was that every child who was exposed to the media hype would also be exposed to the advertisements for the products that surrounded the film. “Disney was in full force…making sure that every child…knew that along with the film[Hercules] came stuffed animals, figurines, backpacks, lunchboxes, tapes, videos and a host of other gadgets.” (Giroux, 2001, 161) By doing this Disney created a direct correlation between the film excitement and the commercial goods that is undistinguishable for children and therefore pushes them to participate in the spectacle by buying the Hercules products advertised as well as seeing the film. Disney also shows consumerism within the film and emphasises the excitement of buying products relating to Hercules. During the song within the film “from zero to hero” The people of ancient Greece are seen buying

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