Can we just stop acting as though there is an issue with “Disney adults?”
If you’re an adult who enjoys Disney — whether for its movies, TV series, music, products, or theme parks – congratulations. I can’t image going through life without having a strong interest in something, whether it’s sports, theater, video games, or, yes, even Disney.
But it doesn’t stop the haters from hating, especially when they can do so anonymously and without consequence online. Consider a recent Rolling Stone piece titled “How ‘Disney grownups’ became the internet’s most reviled demographic,” which recounted multiple viral occurrences in which the online hive mind went after grown-up Disneyland and Walt Disney World visitors.
It turns out that a Big Brother government was not required to generate Orwell’s Two Minutes Hate. The current media economy provides such 24 hours a day, as innumerable publishers and broadcasters have realized that spreading hatred for “the other” — whoever that may be — increases traffic and ratings at a low cost.
The detested “other” can be a wide range of individuals, including Muslims, immigrants, gays and lesbians, and even Disney lovers. The group is unimportant. There is just hatred, views, and clicks.
Disney adults are a sizable demographic these days since Disney produces a massive amount of entertainment that appeals to individuals of all ages, including those aged 21 and over. So I’d want to refute another allegation in the Rolling Stone piece, a critique of Disney fandom that I’ve heard from a variety of different places both online and offline, that “Disney promotes a fairly basic kind of desire fulfillment to customers.”
I can think of many ways to characterize Disney’s entertainment, particularly at its theme parks, but “unsophisticated” is towards the bottom of the list. Walt Disney Imagineering has received several patents for its ideas that power the company’s theme park attractions throughout the years, with Imagineer Lanny Smoot alone receiving more than 100.
Attractions like Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance and Fantasmic! are absurdly intricate and sophisticated technological feats, especially when you consider how frequently and for how long they must operate to thrill Disney’s millions of theme park visitors each year. Anyone who has visited the set of a Disney film or television show can attest to the sophistication of those productions, which employ hundreds of technicians and creative specialists.
Okay, Disney’s productions may be technically advanced, but are they also creatively intelligent? Ask Disney’s buddies at Warner Bros. how simple it is to create a lucrative and long-lasting movie world based on comic book characters. Disney films like “WALL-E,” “Black Panther,” and “Up” not only earned well at the box office, but also received widespread and long-lasting critical praise.
Disney’s technological and creative brilliance are the reasons for its vast and devoted fan base. That is something to be proud of, not ashamed of.
Born in 1993, my Father John and mother Sarah have taking me to Disney since I was an infant. When I am not blogging about Disney I am scrapbooking and planning my next Disney vacation!
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