First posted on July 20th, 2011 on The Rotting Flesh Radio Podcast and Blog - CW post link
Hello fiends! Today we consider one of the greatest sources of bone chilling, spine tingling horror. Yes, hold on to your hats and glasses, I’ve come to you today to talk about Disney Feature Animation!
The folks at Disney have always been creative geniuses. However there is something in recent years that Disney has begun to value just as much, if not more than the actual properties they develop. You may not know this but Disney has started to take a look at the world of advertising! Yes you heard me correctly, the Magic Kingdom has begun (ever so slightly) to take an interest in the marketing of its characters and films. I know that up until now the house of Mouse has shunned commercialism in all its form, preferring to let their productions speak for themselves.
Now, since Disney is new to this marketing I want to take this opportunity to explore some areas they might want to focus on, so that sometime in the future they could become a really successful company. For starters, they seem to be aiming a lot of their advertising budget on kids. Now I seriously doubt that Disney’s particular brand of entertainment will ever catch on with our nation’s youth. Obviously thirty-something geeks should be the target audience…I mean, cartoons for kids? Give me a break. But if they do feel like they want to go after a children audience they are going about it all wrong. For instance look at the groups they have picked to be the “role models.” Don’t get me wrong, the idea of grouping their characters allows for easy marketing and themed parties, etc. It’s just that the groups they chose leave much to be desired. On one hand, they’ve got Princesses; spoiled helpless princesses. Now what self respecting child would want to group up to be rich respected royalty with hundreds of servants and an adoring public? To try to answer these hard hitting questions, Disney responded by introducing the “Fairy” line. Now, with the fairies Disney was getting closer to the right track. The leader of the fairies was Tinkerbell, who’s introduction into Disney films showed her to be a supernatural, manipulative and hot-headed being ultimately capable of murder. This is obviously a more suitable figure to look up to, unfortunately so few of us have the ability to become tiny, much less winged; and checking to see if clapping can bring us back from the brink of certain death doesn’t seem worth the risk. No. Fairies, while a nice try, does not cut it either. The character Disney should focus on, the characters that could really put the company on the map, the characters that both children and adults of all ages can no doubt look up to, are the evil witches.
The evil witch has long been a beloved figure in popular culture. Whether they are helping to feed lost children in the woods by creating incredible works of gingerbread construction, or building a young woman’s self confidence by placing real-world obstacles before her as she journeys through the land of oz. Evil witches have proven themselves to be noble, helpful and resourceful ladies. Disney has taken this art form and ran with it. So let us take a look at some of the wonderful witchy women of the Disney Universe.
Yzma – A wise and yes, I’ll say it, incredibly attractive master of magic…lover of animals, and respected mentor to her assistant Kronk.
Lady Tremaine- Perhaps one of the classiest of all the witches while not an official witch per-se; I would be willing to bet that if given the option of possessing awesome and dark powers she would use them (to do only the best things of course for her two…whoops, I mean three daughters)
Cruella DeVil – Also not in possession of traditional evil magic she does wield the evil magic known as fashion. And wield it she does! She proves that you can produce real artistic expression using anything you happen to have around.
Maleficent – Possibly the greatest of all evil witches! She can teach us all that if you really stick to a plan and never give up hope, in the end an innocent person will fall victim to your cruel and horrific curse. Plus, she can turn into a fire breathing dragon…what little girl doesn’t dream of that?!.
Evil Queen (Snow White) – Proof that unrivaled beauty and unfathomable wisdom can exist in one person. Master of disguise, genius detective and apple saleswoman extraordinaire. Did I mention that when she talks to her mirror, it talks back?
Ursula – Four words: Va va va voom! This full-figured big-hearted queen of the sea has more than a few tricks up her sleeves (all eight of them!) while she posses power than anyone would absolutely kill for, she never passes up a chance to help out those poor unfortunate souls out there…for a small price of course.
So there you have it…the greatest group of role models that we as a society could ever hope for. Intelligent, resourceful and possessing both inner AND out beauty. Disney just need to come to its senses and give those femme fatales the publicity they so richly deserve. And think of the parties! Candy apples, lever pulling contests, Lady Tremaine floor scrubbing lessons! Games of capture the puppies, and who stole the voice? There really is no end to the fun that could be had! So if Disney is reading this (and why wouldn’t they be?), give these evil witches a chance, and you just might be surprised. I am absolutely sure that together they will cast a monstrous, terrifying and nightmarish curse…of fun!
Until next time; Sit Back Relax and Rot Away!…and have a nice day.