The Mouse that Roared: Disney and the End of Innocence

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9781442201439: The Mouse that Roared: Disney and the End of Innocence

How are children―and their parents―affected by the world's most influential corporation? Henry A. Giroux explores the surprisingly diverse ways in which Disney, while hiding behind a cloak of innocence and entertainment, strives to dominate global media and shape the desires, needs, and futures of today's children.

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About the Author:

Henry A. Giroux is the well-known author of many books and articles on society, education, and political culture. He is the Global Television Network Chair in English and Cultural Studies at McMaster University. Grace Pollock recently completed her doctoral degree at McMaster University and a two-year postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Western Ontario. Her ongoing research interests include cultural and media studies, historical formations of the public sphere, social policy, and community development.

Review:

Henry A. Giroux and Grace Pollock's revised and expanded edition of The Mouse That Roared: Disney and the End of Innocence presents tools, key concepts and analyses, and the context to provide a critical pedagogy of all things Disney. The author's dissection of the Disney Empire shows that it is not only selling entertainment and related products but a way of life and value system that the authors critically unpack. This is a valuable resource for all parents, teachers, and those interested in cultural studies of contemporary culture. (Douglas Kellner, UCLA; author of Media Culture and Media Spectacle and the Crisis of Democracy)

The Mouse That Roared: Disney And The End of Innocence by Henry A. Giroux and Grace Pollock sets a new standard for the study of Disney and popular culture. It offers new lens to understand the merger between corporate power and corporate culture while unveiling the insidious educational force of pre-packaged culture. This brilliant book should be read by every parent, educator, and youth. (Donaldo Macedo, University of Massachusetts, Boston)

Disney productions carry important cultural authority but until now we have lacked sure-footed guides to unpack the consequences when Disney products get embedded in everyday play, learning, and growing up. Now Henry Giroux and Grace Pollock in their revised and expanded edition of Giroux's pioneering study give us the tools with which to talk back to Disney's world. These tools are especially welcome because other ways of talking back to consumer culture have been relentlessly closed down by neoliberals. This book offers a crucial intervention in cultural politics for any place where Disney products sell. (Nick Couldry, London School of Economics and Political Science)

Giroux is an author of many books and articles on education, politics, and corporate influence. This highly critical examination of the Disney corporation explores the scope of influence that Disney has over the developing minds (and bodies) of children as it uses the facade of innocence and nostalgia marketing to promote consumerism over values such as reading and creative play, which are known to stimulate intelligence and social interaction better than the passive viewing of television and movies. Giroux asks us to reevaluate the seemingly innocuous animated Disney productions and theme parks, which focus on a safe, sanitized, middle-class white depiction of the American ideal, while promoting racial and sexual stereotypes in films such as Aladdin and The Little Mermaid. He points out the hypocrisy (or is it irony?) of the feature WALL-E, which depicts Earth as a desolate wasteland despoiled by rampant consumerism and an overreaching mega-corporation, while at the same time promoting WALL-E robots, action figures, playsets, apparel, stationery, and other 'collectibles' in the real world. This updated and expanded edition (with the help of coauthor Pollock) includes a discussion on Disney’s focus on marketing toward the lucrative 'tween' segment, as well as two new chapters, 'Globalizing the Disney Empire' and 'Disney, Militarization, and the National Security State after 9/11.' Well researched and well written, despite the academic jargon. (Booklist, Starred Review, May 2010)

Henry Giroux and Grace Pollock survey this theme with abundant brilliance. (Dissident Voice, May, 2010)

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