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on 16 March 2014
A strong critic of the Disney group as well as the society that accepts the strategies of Disney:
In the year 2000 Disney spent more and 27 billion dollars on lobbyism in order to influence the legislation and jump the democratic processes that might reduce the possibilities of the company.

The Disney marketing is targeting small kids '- the goal of Eisner being to turn every person on planet earth into a lifetime consumer of Disney products.'

The marketing budget of the Disney Group went from 100 millions in 1990 to 14.4 billions in 2004.
DVDs with Baby Einstein are intended for kids as young as three months old even though the Journal of Pediatrics documented that children of the age eight to eighteen months who are watching an hour of children DVDs per day has a smaller vocabulary that babies who do not watch DVDs.
If you wish to increase the vocabulary of your child you will still have to read to it.

Apart from the child focused marketing Disney is accused of altering the history of the US. In the Disney version there are nothing about slavery, the relationship with native Americans or atomic bombs whereas the American citizens are presented as uncomplicated, decent, hard working, white middle class families.

The book is convincing and so is the documentation. At the end the book proposes a kind of reeducation of all of us:

'If belonging to a global community is not to be understood as a private affair ... it must begin with a kind of education that provides the traits of courage, critical thinking, civic engagement, responsibility, and respect, all of which connect the fate of each individual to the fate of others, the planet, and global democracy.'

Birte Jensen/Bogvægten.dk
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on 8 April 2013
I checked the "look inside" function before ordering that book, but to my surprise, I received a book that was missing the last two chapters that were shown in the "look inside". I knew that there are two different editions of that book, but the "look inside" function showed that the two editions are quite similar, which was extremely misleading. I do not know who's fault is this, but to future buyers, be aware of this misleading issue!!!
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on 25 August 2001
For those familiar with Giroux's work this book contains few thematic surprises. It was nice to note, however, that perhaps part of his motivation was the observation of his own son's reactions to the colonisation of their minds by the Disney megalith which adds the human touch. For those with an interest and in need of some evidence of the influence corporations with diversified media-come-cultural interests like Disney has this book certainly provides a rich source. In this respect, Giroux's critical approach to the Disney pedagogy sounds a clear warning for all who always knew there was something inherently malignant about Disney's (and for that matter other media empires) cultural products but could not quite put their finger on it. With this book the messages we once received as kids are made more lucid, revealing an ideological position of Disney that at once adheres to using images of the good society drawn from the past but doing this with a slight of hand to add to their financial bottom line.
Of course, there is nothing intrinsically bad about a business making a profit, even a big one. One can even say that that is their moral duty, a point that Giroux could have made to add a bit more depth to our understanding of Disney's motivations. Indeed, a more rigorous deconstruction of the personalities involved in creating and perpetrating the Disney image would have likewise added to a deeper understanding of what make the business tick. What Giroux does get across, however, remains important nevertheless: that Disney uses nostalgic images and claims of innocence to (pun intended) whitewash the collective memory of past in order to capitalise on such fantasy to make money. The cultural implications of this, as Giroux continuously suggests, are significant. In this respect, a politics of whiteness, couched in innocence, overwhelms any countering of minority voices and resistance. In a similar way, he suggests that the Disney persona, where they want to be seen as a public service company, sits very uneasily with the practice of democracy especially given their own internal labour practices and the sense of democratic ideals portrayed in their cultural products (i.e. films such as Aladdin, Good Morning Vietnam and Pretty Woman). Indeed, it is the deconstruction of some the images in Disney films that offer the new reader in critical theory some good guidance in deconstruction. There is also an excellent definition/explanation of the term "critical pedagogy" (pp. 124-126) which all readers should find useful.
As a book that describes the influence the media juggernaught it should hold some great interest for those who are concerned with the politics of whiteness/middle-class values (of a particularly American kind, granted, but then again aren't we all becoming Americanized?), citizenship, democracy and the construction of knowledge. As a contribution towards this understanding I commend Giroux's book to other readers concerned with such things. It is also an easy read and structured in such a way that if you have to put it down for a while you can come back and be reminded of things said previously if you read from where you left off. For the new reader I give it the 5 stars, but for those familiar with his work it is a 4 because the themes are quite familiar but it still has a spark that makes it a good addition to the bookshelf.
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on 15 January 2011
This is a very interesting book (all be it written from a very one sided perspective). The language is accessible and it is therefore easy to read. (I am a 3rd year BA Hons. student, studying for Early Childhood Studies). I used it to write my essay on the effects of the media on children and used Buckingham D (2000) After the Death of Childhood as a more balanced perspective, within the same essay (as well as numerous other books and essays). This book provides damning opinion against Disney.
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on 29 September 2015
Great. Used for my media degree. Really informative!
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on 25 February 2016
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