First off, lets dispense with the notion that Walt Disney was some sort of happy hero to the masses.
Disney was a right-wing reactionary (he was virulently anti-union and named names in HUACs anti-Communist witch hunt), a closet white supremacist (he supported the pro-Hitler German American Bund), and a general all-around bigot (he openly parodied Jews in many of his works, and refused to hire blacks at Disneyland, because he believed it would have spoiled the illusion). Its not enough to forgive Disneys flagrancies with the usual excuse that he was a product of his time; not when youre Uncle Walt, and your product crafts the daydreams of generations.
Disneys contemporaries knew this, and, though their reactions were driven by professional jealousy as much as anything, they creditably undermined Disney and his snow-white oeuvre at every turn. Film scholar Dennis Nyback has made a career out of packaging and screening rare animated works that parody and counterpoint Disney, and hell screen some in the Compare to Disney (aka [email protected]#k Mickey Mouse). In addition to Disneys own Der Fuehrers Face, a 1943 toon in which Donald Duck dreams hes a Nazi, the bill includes Tex Averys va-va-va-voom Red Hot Riding Hood and the Warner lampoon Coal Black and De Sebben Dwarves.
Sat., Sept. 5, 7 & 9 p.m., 2009