Wasko’s article is focused on challenging five major myths associated with the Walt Disney Company, products offered by the company, and the creator of the company, Walt Disney. For challenging these myths, a set of studies and researches were applied, particularly the ones related to political economy and critical cultural analysis. Within the article, numerous interesting, unexpected, and smart arguments challenging the myths are provided.
Firstly, the myth saying that Walt Disney, due to being a creative genius, was responsible for the corporation’s success is challenged by the article’s author. Wasko, represents several arguments against this assumption. While agreeing with the fact that Disney managed to control efficiently the business and played an extraordinary leadership role in the company, the author suggests that there is variety of inaccuracies and misconceptions about Disney’s life, character, and capabilities. It is noticed, for instance, that Disney was not the only one responsible for the company’ success, that he used to be not always gentle and kindhearted but also tended to be authoritative and moody, and that he did rather little drawing after 1924 (Wasko 238-245).
Secondly, the myth regarding the uniqueness of the Walt Disney Company is challenged within the article. It is emphasized that despite numerous fans and academics prefer to believe that the Disney is not primarily a profit-oriented company but it is a special corporation focused on providing people with entertainments and happiness, it is still essential to understand that earning income for the stockholders is a major company’s purpose (Wasko 246).
The third myth claiming that “Disney is only for kids” is challenged in the article as well. It is claimed that, according to the profile of the company, its businesses are not intended to satisfy children’s needs (Wasko 249). Furthermore, Wasko asserts that there are numerous activities and products offered by Disney which are aimed directly at adults; these activities and products in particular include Touchstone, Miramax films, ABC, and sporting events’ hosting.
The fourth myth which is challenged in terms of the article is the one claiming that Disney products are unbiased and wholesome. Nevertheless, Wasko provides a set of argument to deny this idea. Several profound studies have been analyzed by the author for making needed conclusions. For example, it is noticed that in certain Disney films, women tend to be portrayed pristine, weak, and the ones who are not capable of making an independent action. In addition, Disney culture is characterized by being focused on past America’s reminiscing (Wasko 251).
Finally, the fifth myth about Disney which is challenged by Wasko is the one arguing that is adored everywhere in the world. To certain extent, the author agrees with the statement. However, the suggestion about huge diversity of the Disney’s audience and problems associated with this phenomenon are discussed. Besides, the author states that “this universality is not necessarily automatic or natural but has been and continues to be deliberately manufactured and carefully controlled” (Wasko 253).
Taking everything into account, within the article by Wasko, a profound and fascinating analysis of five major myths associated with the personality of Walt Disney, the Disney Corporation, and its products is provided, and attempt to challenge these myths is made. The authors arguments, which are grounded on the researching of sufficient studies as well as on cultural and empirical analysis, contributes significantly to increasing the understanding of the phenomenon of Disney.
Wasko, Janet. “Challenging Disney Myths.” Journal of Communication Inquiry. 25.3 (2001): 237-257. Print.