unit two
Analyzing Cultural Artifacts: Disney, Discourse, and Domination



cultural artifact: the disney corporation

reading assignments:

in class screening:

video: mickey mouse monopoly: disney, childhood and corporate power

filmmakers: Chyng Sun & Miguel Picker, 2001
produced by: artmedia productions
distributed by: media education foundation

see study guide links below


The Disney Company's massive success in the 20th century is based on creating an image of innocence, magic and fun. Its animated films in particular are almost universally lauded as wholesome family entertainment, enjoying massive popularity among children and endorsement from parents and teachers.

Mickey Mouse Monopoly takes a close and critical look at the world these films create and the stories they tell about race, gender and class and reaches disturbing conclusions about the values propagated under the guise of innocence and fun. This daring new video insightfully analyzes Disney's cultural pedagogy, examines its corporate power, and explores its vast influence on our global culture.

Including interviews with cultural critics, media scholars, child psychologists, kindergarten teachers, multicultural educators, college students and children, Mickey Mouse Monopoly will provoke audiences to confront comfortable assumptions about an American institution that is virtually synonymous with childhood pleasure. Interviewees include Henry Giroux, Diane Levin, Gail Dines, Elizabeth Hadley, Carolyn Newberger, Alvin Poussaint, and Justin Lewis.

mickey mouse monopoly: online study guide (html)

mickey mouse monopoly: study guide (pdf)

at the end of this unit you should be able to define these key terms:

  • discourse
  • hegemony
  • ideology

extrnal links on disney studies

Henry A. Giroux, "Disney, Southern Baptists, & Children’s Culture: The Magic Kingdom as Sodom and Gomorrah?"

d.k.peterson's disney sources online

online article Alex Wainer, "Reversal of Roles: Subversion and Reaffirmation of Racial Stereotypes in Dumbo and The Jungle Book"

disney's celebration resources

online essay: jean beaudrillard,"disneyworld company"

external links on giroux

popcultures.com: giroux summmary, primary & secondary sources