Thursday, September 10, 2009

Disney Dorks

This post was almost entitled "' she Black." And I will tell you why in a moment.

My sister, who lives just outside of Tampa, is a self-described "Disney Dork." She loves all things Disney; especially weird, behind-the-scenes stuff (to which I must admit a fondness of my own). I sent her a link to an NYT story about how Disney is displaying rare and long-unseen artifacts at what they hope will be their ComicCon, the D23 Expo, and she writes back how she's been reading about it for months on the official Disney Newsletter she gets. Then I found out that a Facebook friend (and one-time castmate) is attending said Expo and Facebooking about seeing Betty White and Robin Williams. Betty Effing White, ya'll! Who doesn't love Betty White? And you won't see BFW at ComicCon, I'll promise you that.

Anyway, it all seemed rather synchronicitous that just Saturday, a friend related an amusing story about Whoopi Goldberg on "The View"* from Disney World. She was introducing a clip from this movie:

Ms. Goldberg, whom I love and admire as both a performer and a human being, finished her intro with the words: "' she Black!" which just seemed so silly and superfluous and completely contrived. And please don't get me wrong, it's high time Disney had an African American Princess (though I have other issues with the whole Princess thing...), but it seems to me that the way to make it work is not to make a big deal out of it. Big deals shouldn't have to be made about social progress. Social progress should speak for itself and no one should have to say "Look at what a progressive inclusionist I am!" But I digress.

* In full disclosure and further Mouse-influenced programming, "The View" appears on the Disney-owned ABC television network.

To complete the cycle, this morning I was trolling my usual sites and I came upon a clip from an animator who was better and more creative than Walt would ever be, Max Fleischer. The clip (I believe it was here) was linked because it features a vocal performance from the late, great Cab Calloway. It caught my eye because of the subject matter. Four years before Disney made his masterpiece, Fleischer gave Betty Boop the lead in his version of "Snow White." Watch it here. You can see why Danny Elfman and the Mystic Knights of the Oingo Boingo (link may be NSFW) loved Fleischer's work. Just in case you are some musical Philistine or under 30, and aren't sure who or what Oingo Boingo was all about, here is their biggest hit. Oh, Kelly LeBrock, where are you and your lips, now. And yes, Dharma is his sister-in-law.

Personally, I'm torn. I (as most Americans today did) grew up with Disney. The classics are forever ingrained into our psyches. The artistry, if often repetitive, was undeniable. And there's no villain like a Disney villain... And Beauty and the Beast is the only animated movie to ever be nominated for Best Picture. Still... "Beauty and the Beast" started the Disney-fication of Times Square...I suppose I have a love/hate relationship with the Mouse. As I do with many things. Chocolate, beer, fried foods... men... sigh...

I still prefer Universal Studios, anyway. So now my question to you is: If my sister is a Disney Dork, does that make me a Universal Unicorn? Unitarian? Unionist? U2? UB40? R2D2? Help me, Obi Wan Kenobi! You're my only hope!

Please respond with your own alliterative suggestion in the "Comments" section. I always want to hear what you have to say!

More nonsense, anon.

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