Friday, October 22, 2010

My thesis, in one 3:46 clip

I'm in my last semester of graduate school, and I am writing my thesis about American history as it is portrayed in Disney theme parks.  Basically, within the parks, narratives of progress are translated into meticulously controlled physical space for consumption by millions of middle and upper class paying "citizens" of the Disney nation. 

In Epcot, Disney's "permanent World's Fair in Orlando, there is an "American Adventure" pavilion which includes a 45-minute show MC'ed by Ben Franklin and Mark Twain audio-animatronics (robots), that takes visitors on a whirlwind tour of exactly what Disney wants its visitors to know about American history.  The finale, shown in the video below, is basically a montage of 5-10 second video clips of What It Means to Be American.

It's pretty incredible. Louis Armstrong! JFK! JFK Jr.! MLK! Elvis! Gloria Steinem! 9/11! Eagles! Clouds! Soaring music!  AMERICA!!!!

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