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Andromeda M.

Neilson
English 2010
10:00-11:20
Narrative Research

Narrative Research

Who is this character? This weird-looking person−What is the point of this movie? I
wouldn’t doubt that some of my feelings were childish; and yet, I was happy to have seen it in
my younger years. “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” came out in the 1990’s and I was just a
little girl when I saw this movie. During this time I must have had the idea that there was always
a happy ending to fairytales−for some reason I thought that it was going to end different. I
thought Quasimodo, the main character in the movie, would end up with Esmerelda, another
main character. But why did I think that? I figured that I was too young to know such
stereotypes; I at least knew I didn’t judge. But, why? Why is it now I understand the meaning of
the story? Was watching “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” an influence on my way to
understanding a moral lesson? I started to think that there was more to think then just experience.
Disney had to have an influence in order to make such an assumption, or at least a puzzle piece
to the “right” picture. Well, Disney’s one of the biggest franchises of our time. How strong is
Disney’s influence from then to now?
This caused me to find the solution to this boggling conundrum that lied inside my mind.
When I looked a quick biography about Disney I fell upon a title named, “Alice’s comedies”,
and at first I contemplated on the name Alice. The movie “Alice in Wonderland” popped in my
mind which formed a possibility that this was going to be whimsical and psychological. I looked
up Alice’s Comedies episodes and found one called “Alice’s Mysterious Mystery”. I watched the

episode which was far from what I expected. The episode starts off with a character named Pete
in the back of the car while a silly looking mouse is driving. Now this is the first appearance of
Pete character and throughout the years he has been known to be the mean one of the bunch.
(“Pete…”)So, I knew that he was going to be one of the antagonist of the show. As the show
continued, you can see that they were heading to a school of dogs. Around 1:11 in the clip you
find out that the cat and mouse were dog catchers. Here is where it gets interesting. The
costumes that Pete and the mouse were wearing looked like a KKK members. This video was
made in the 1920’s and the KKK have been around since the 1860s. And, to my understanding,
the KKK is a fowl and disreputable group that is known for their history of racial discrimination.
I figured that’s why I had a negative reaction the robes appearance. As the episode goes on, the
plot of the whole rescue starts to get quite disturbing. The puppies are taken to a sausage factory.
When they are lured to stand on a trap door; they get tricked and slide down to a prison. The
scene starts to become more intense as you then see, on the next scene, a puppy crying and
praying as a it is locked in a ceil next to a door called, “Death Chamber”. A person approaches
the cell with dressings similar to Pete’s robes to let the dog out to hear his final prayer from a
priest. Then, he is forcefully taken by the person in cloth into the death chamber; to then see the
disguised character with a sausage link. As all this is happening, Alice finds the factory and
manage to cleverly rescue the pups from their doom. (English) The message in this episode it
truly strong. If it’s disturbing to me then I could just imagine how some kids reacted to this. I
grew some curiosity and looked up to see if there was any critics that commented on this
episode. As I expected, there were multiple people on IMDb (website) that said they thought it
was “amusing” and/or “creepy”.(“Alice…”)

Then, an idea came to mind−an episode that starred Donald Duck dreaming about a time
during World War 2. It is called, “Der Fuehrer’s Face” and was known to be an animation
dealing with propaganda. In the beginning of the cartoon, you see a small marching band sing a
song waking up the neighborhood. As this is going on, Donald Duck is sound sleep until the
sound of the marching band provokes random salutes from objects that are trying to wake up
Donald. Donald jumps out of bed after a soldier pokes him. But, as he tries to get back to bed;
you start to see how forceful and controlling the Nazi soldier was on Donald to get up and
dressed. Now, there was a scene that caught my interest instantly. Donald Duck is hiding the
coffee he makes like it was against the rules. What makes it more noticeable is when a solder is
passing by his window he quickly hides his coffee can. I wasn’t so sure why he ended up
spraying his mouth with the aroma of bacon and eggs. I made the assumption that is was the lack
of food and the perfume bottle was symbolic for food shortage. What added to that was the bread
that Donald Duck ended up eating. He had to use a saw to cut it and was horribly stale when he
was taking bites off his bread. I started to arrange an image of what it was like living in those
times. I could only imagine was you would have to eat to survive. Like poof magic, a book of
“Mein Kampf” was given to him to read, and the whole marching band went into his house to
make him march to the factory where he had to work. This part of the episode was horrible to
see; Donald duck had work in a factory making ammunition. He looked too exhausted and
under-pressure as he was force to work intensively while praising his leader. Through-out the
time at the factory, he was ridiculed microphones and guns till he had a nervous breakdown. He
ends up waking up to find out it was a dream. For a brief moment he was shocked when he
thought he saw a person making a salute like a German Nazi, but then finds out it was just the
Statue of Liberty. Donald is relieved by this false illusion and ends up appreciating the fact that

he was in America. (Solarer111) This episode was truly a symbolic meaning of patriotism− an
American short animation. What caused this to be an issue was the appearance they gave about
the Nazi ways of living. During World War 2, it shown agony and suffering of a regular soldier.
And, I believe that’s what Disney wanted you to see and understand.
I thought of other things that would possibly add to the influence of Disney. I
couldn’t help to remember the controversial gossip of the hidden messages that artist plug into
Disney movies. I came upon a case that was about three people from Texas that sued Disney for
scenes that they “purposely” put in the making of the film. They criticized against certain images
in “The Lion King” and “The Little Mermaid”, and, also pointed out a disturbing sentence that
was said in “Aladdin”. I decided to look back on the videos. I watched these movies when I was
a kid and never noticed such thing. I looked up the image from “The Lion King” first. As I
watched the certain clip of the film, I thought it was too obvious to be true. Simba makes his way
to a cliff in a saddened mood. He suddenly lays on the curb of the cliff which unleashes a cloud
of dust in the air that forms the word “SEX”. (AZDigitalTranfers) I questioned myself when I
saw this. I had to see if this was Disney’s real intention to do. I came upon a website called “The
Lion King Pride”. It said that the cloud really was ”SFX” which only meant “special effects”.
(Kalie) I felt like that made more sense than it revealing “SEX”, but I still think that the editors
of the movie should’ve acknowledge the possibility of people thinking such things like that.
Then, there was “The Little Mermaid”. I looked up the image on google to see what I could find.
I wasn’t that hard because the flaw is on the front of the movie cover! (Hayes) The problem was
the castle in the back ground. One of the towers looked like some man’s genitalia. I had to look
this up. “Anomalies−unlimited”, a website, had an article on the particular question that sprung
in my head. Was this really done purposely? In the article it said that the artist who actually did

the work said he rushed and didn’t even notice it. He even admitted that it did look like a man’s
genital area. (“Well..”) They also mentioned about the scene were a bishop has an erection
during the wedding of the prince and Ursula. When I searched for it on YouTube I found a video
that specifically showed the part I wanted to see in the movie. I couldn’t help myself; I laughed
at the scene. “People find the weirdest things”, I said to myself, “Why would there be something
like this on a movie?” (Buckley) I carried on to the next movie “Aladdin”. In this clip there is a
section of the movie were Aladdin tries to impress the princess and goes to her balcony. He runs
into Raja, her loyal pet tiger, and runs into trouble with the animal. During this misfortune, there
is a “hidden message” that is said to say,”Psst…Take off your clothes” or “Good teenagers take
off your clothes”. (AZDigitalTranfers, 2) It scared me because I heard this message. I couldn’t
understand why that would be put in the movie. Now I’m not the only person that had to have
thought that was unusual, so I looked up to see what it really said. What I came up with led me to
Snopes.com, and even this source says it’s hard to tell what it really did say. (“Take…”) In the
end, the lawsuit was lost and Disney won the case, but this didn’t stop Disney from being a
target. Even though these may not be true, it still brings an eerie sense of uneasiness to your
thoughts.
I knew that, despite these negative aspects, these Disney classics carried a golden
moral value to them. This made me understand that the episodes and movies alone outshone the
adverse provocative features that seem to stick out. Then, something creep up my mind. What
about Disney’s influence now? I knew from watching cable that Disney is no longer the same.
This channel has pre-teen themed shows that revolved around modern and simple lessons.
Actually, from what I’ve seen, I felt like there actually showing weak and/or wrong ideals. One
episode that I remembered was “Avery’s First Crush” from “Dog with a Blog” Through-out the

whole show, Avery convinces her brother to help her win a boy’s heart by getting him to hang
out with her. She tell her brother that the boy she likes looks up to him and he would be a good
brother if he did. Her brother ends up helping her, and things start to get silly like her tripping
and saying goofy stuff. And, in the end she ends up getting the boy she wanted. (Kilus) I
understood that this is what you could expect from mostly all the programs on Disney. What I
didn’t understand is what are you really learning from this? When I watched to show carefully I
started to pick problems here and there. One was the appearance of the little girl Avery. She
looked like she was barely 14 and had her hair and makeup done that made her look attractive. I
took into consideration that there are parents that find this okay for girls to wear, but I felt at that
moment that a girl her age didn’t need to be doing that to appear attractive. What also came to
mind was her using her brother to get a guy’s attention. These kinds of things are common
between siblings. I just couldn’t see why this was the main plot of the whole episode. There was
no moral value to this episode, nor was this something I expected Disney to turn out to be.
From all this, I realized that Disney went from meaningful animated movies and cartoons
that were comedic a times to most shows and some movies that had overused moral lessons with
overacted humor. And, despite what I realized, Disney still has a strong hold on the young
viewer’s minds.

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