Mickey Mouse— Not a Form of Insidious Colonialism
Mickey Mouse, which is a lovely little mouse created by Walt Disney, has been well-known all over the world for quite a long years. It has been largely accepted by both children and adult for its lovely cartoon image and its well formed characteristics. The films, toys, watches and other kinds of things of it have helped America earn a large amount of money from other countries. Besides, the characteristics of it have a large and deep influence on people’s thought. However, Mickey Mouse is not a form
of insidious colonialism.
For Mickey Mouse itself, it just a character in the film. Russel (2003) demonstrates: “Mickey’s is a child’s world, safe (though occasionally scary),
nonviolent, non-ideological, where all the stories have happy ending”. For this
sentence, it clearly shows the theme of the Mickey’s series of films. Basically, Mickey
is just a cartoon image which is innocent, brave and humorous. It creates a world that everybody wants it to be—happy, honest, simple, free and safe. Life which is hard, hurry and full of pressure makes people sick. People enjoy the performance of the lovely dog and feel relax. It’s just a kind of entertainment which has nothing related to colonialism.
For economy, Souris (1990) climes: “He fosters rampant consumerism among
nations who are economically unready for it, thus, creating bankrupted dependent client states”. Though Mickey Mouse has really helped America earn lots of money, it’s just a normal commerce between countries. Take China for example. In china, people often buy presents of Mickey Mouse for the children or girls, like toys, watches, and DVDs. Nothing special of Mickey Mouse has been. It’s quite equal to
Hello Kitty or DUDU Bear. On the contrary, China has exported other kinds of the same goods to America. The commerce between countries is mutual. Besides, people
in other countries can also take advantage of Mickey’s reputation to earn money. It’s a
kind of win-win situation. It can not be concluded as colonialism ex parte.
For culture, it’s really a positive element for cultural exchange. Dent (1988) points out: “This symbolizes the American dream where everyone can expect freedom of speech, freedom of actions and freedom to make an honest living”. This sentence
well shows the American culture including seek for freedom and do things by oneself to achieve success. As Mickey Mouse spreads all over the world, the American culture has well exchanged with the other cultures. This can make Americans be understood by people of other counties. It has a positive influence of the world cultural fusion. It’s not a kind of colonialism but a form of cultural exchange.
All in all, Mickey Mouse is a symbol of America but not a kind of political machine to colonize other countries. People need to have a positive attitude when facing the popular culture, like the Mickey Mouse. From the cultural exchange, people can understand each other better and the world will be more peaceful.
Anon.(2003). Mickey Mouse as Icon: Taking Popular Culture Seriously. Word&World,23, 242-252.
Dent.R. (1988). Symbols of America. Ft lauderdale, Florida, USA: Clubhouse.
Souris.M(1990). Insidious Icon of Our Times. Cheesevale, Texas,USA: Mus musculus
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