Disney animated films are entertainment animation series featuring Mickey Mouse as the major character and, therefore, earning the name Mickey Mouse series. These animation series were founded by Walt Disney causing him to become one of the most popular figures in the entertainment industry. He is also regarded as an international icon, amassing much recognition from his influence and achievements to the field of entertainment during the 20th century. Mickey Mouse is almost synonymous with Disney’s company. Mickey Mouse original name was Mortimer, and was it not for the intervention of Disney’s wife, Lillian Disney, the mouse’s name would be Mortimer Mouse. Walt Disney was an American animator, cartoonist, producer, screenwriter, director and voice actor. As a powerful Hollywood businessman, he founded Walt Disney productions, with his sibling Roy O. Disney. This company later emerged as one of the most successful motion picture production companies globally. He together with his staff produced some of the world’s most famous imaginary characters such as Mickey Mouse, etc. (Deere 132).
Through his creative work, Disney succeeded in transforming animation from its original black-and-white to a highly respected genre that would feature films worth of high recognition and attract Oscar awards. For the period between 1932 and 1969, Disney won four honorary Academic Awards and a sum of 22 Academy Awards from a total of 59 nominations, including a record of four awards in one year. This made him set a record of receiving more individual nominations and awards than any other person in history. Moreover, Disney is the winner of seven Emmy Awards and his name is used to theme parks in the U.S. of Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resort, and the international resorts such as Disneyland Paris, Tokyo Disney Resort and Hong Kong Disneyland. This just shows how famous and iconic Disney animation works were. His animation and filmography works appealed to people across all ages and social classes. This made his animation business boom beyond imaginations of many people. It is still an iconic animation work up to date (Bazzini et al. 79).
Apart from being skilled in animation, the producer and the director (not to mention his business acumen), Disney also tried to play the role of voice acting. From the inception of Mickey Mouse in 1928 up to 1947, the mouse’s voice was provided by Disney prior to being turned to English’s voice actor Jimmy MacDonald. Throughout the history of animation, Disney’s fine work has never lost fame since its inception. Disney’s work also remains as a source of motivation and a guide to the younger generation with a dream of becoming animators or motion film producers (Mickey Mouse 45).
Disney’s work has many famous ubiquitous characters. Disney’s animation work is endowed with many awesome characters (Mickey Mouse is one of them) whose roles portray many aspects of the American culture. Disney created Mickey Mouse together with Ub Lwerks in 1928 after losing the rights to Oswaldo. Mickey Mouse was a funny animal character. Mickey is also the official mascot of The Walt Disney Company. Mickey Mouse is depicted typically wearing red shorts, large yellow shoes and white gloves. Mickey has so far been recognized as one of the most appealing cartoon characters in the world. Mickey was originally characterized as a mischievous and antihero. In this part, he played the role of promoting comic effect of the film. Later, his increasing popularity led to his rebranding and appeared as a flawed, but adventurous hero. In 2009, Disney rebranded Mickey’s character again to lay little emphasis on his pleasant, cheerful side, and also reintroduce the more mischievous and adventurous sides of his character, beginning with a video game Epic Mickey. Mickey’s comic character makes him a darling among many viewers of Disney’s films. Mickey has been a cornerstone in Disney’s success, in the animation film industry up to date (Bazzini et al. 69).
Another popular of Disney’s character is Elsa, Frozen. Elsa fits the modern day definition of Cinderella, a character that exists in fairy tales. Her story circles around conquering fears, embracing oneself and gaining control over her life. In reality, people grow up a little scared and unsure of their potential, but Elsa eventually learns how to possess what makes her special from others, and literally builds an entire kingdom from these powers. She is depicted as a Disney’s heroine. She has a refreshing personality and teaches viewers to use their powers and keep them in their arsenal for all days when a person doubts him or herself. Many viewers love this character, because of the way she acts as a source of encouragement. Disney’s animated films have many characters most of whom serve to encourage people and/or to address the emerging issues in the community and the culture of the American people. These ubiquitous characters have aided in the fame of Disney’s animated films as they continue to be favorite among many people worldwide. Other famous characters include the princesses appearing in most of Disney’s films (Smoodin 74).
Another reason behind Disney’s film wide popularity is the way animated films appeals to both children and adults. Disney’s products, for example, Disney animated movies, have the element of the gender role that attracts much audience. American popular culture has employed issues of gender in its products. For example, a common gender stereotype in American popular culture is that of a traditional wife and mother. This gender conception is explored in Disney animated films such as Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty. In these movies, a woman is depicted as whose life is devoted to her family. She is also depicted as having a very strong internal locus of control and acts as a master of the private realm of family life. She also works endlessly to cook, clean, provide care and guide her children, as well as provide support to her husband as he interacts with the outer, public world. In return, the woman is rewarded for accepting her domestic place by a lifestyle full of physical luxury like a nice car, and a nice home among other things. She is also provided with emotional and intellectual satisfaction by her husband. Elsa, in the film Frozen, portrays this character. This is an example of many themes articulated in Disney’s films. Such themes appeal a lot to adults making Disney’s films a favorite choice among the majority of adults who love animated movies (Finch 57).
Disney’s films also have many comedy integrated as portrayed by majority of Disney’s characters who provide comic reliefs. Most of the characters are mischievous or funny throughout the film. For example, Mickey Mouse in most of the scenes such as in Streamboat Willy is portrayed with a funny personality. The comic side of Disney’s films makes them very popular and appealing among many children, and, consequently, they enjoy watching Disney’s movies up to date. This has made Disney an epitome of children’s entertainment. Another reason behind Disney’s films continued popularity is attributed to their influences on people. Disney’s films have influenced people who watch them to a great extent. Some of this influence are positive and beneficial while some of Disney’s work influence has impacted negatively mostly among children (Clarke 113).
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Some of the negative impacts in Disney’s work are on how Disney’s most ubiquitous characters impact negative social influences mostly among children who grew up watching Disney’s films. Among people who raised the alarm on this issue is Vincent Faherty who studied Disney’s work and its impact on socially vulnerable subjects like children. For example, the way men act the role of villains in Disney’s films may make children watching Disney’s films have a perception of men as villains. Disney’s films have in major cases been accused of robbing children of their innocence. For example, the way Disney portrays women in most of his films can demean women status in the society. This is evident, for example, in the films like Cinderella (1950), Sleeping Beauty (1959) among other films. Disney’s work has also impacted positively among the mass watching his films in a majority of ways. For example, some of her movies teach the younger audience the importance of morals. Also, majority of Disney’s films emphasize on the issues of expression, equality, and hope and self-acceptance. Such themes addressed in Disney’s films serves to benefit many children and even adults who watch Disney’s films (Cheu 67).
In conclusion, Disney is an international icon in the field of animated films production. Disney’s works serve as one of the largest sources of entertainment to the people of America as well to people in other parts of the world. This is depicted by its reign in commercial success and influence among people worldwide. Disney’s movies continue to be favorite among masses due to their educative nature both to adults and younger generation impacting influence to its viewers. However, as much as Disney’s films continue to be favorite among many people, it has received enormous criticism from some people claiming that Disney’s films may end up corrupting minds of viewers with some immoral ideas such as sexism, racism and male chauvinism. With critics continuing to debate on this, it is good to note that Disney’s films impact more positively to the public as compared to its negative influences. This happens because even if they have some negative impacts, the positive influences outweigh the negative ones (Thomas, Ollie, and Frank 112).
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