When average folk think of Disney, they envision cute animated and live-action films as well as the theme parks which have become modern-day meccas for the middle-class. For nearly a century, Disney has produced tantalizing eye candy to fulfill peoples' deepest and in some cases darkest desires, and Disneyphiles have eaten it up in droves.
From "Steamboat Willie" to "Bambi" to Disney World to their "On Ice" tie-ins to all the "Herbie the Love Bug" sequels, Disney's popularity has not only lifted them to the status of American icon, but a symbol recognized around the world. Even war-ravaged children in impoverished nations can be seen wearing so-called Disneyana.
What can be more enticing than the hypnotic "Yo Ho Ho" or "It's a Small World" while floating along the picturesque attractions that have made Disney this planet's most-frequented family vacation destination? The Mouse represents the ideal way of life, a fantasy world devoid of the hardships that the rat race has forced upon us. From the Plasticine facades of "Main Street, USA," to the eager "cast members" immediately scooping up that wayward piece of trash, what can be more ideal than escaping to the "Happiest Place on Earth?"
To die-hard fans, Disney is the paramount of perfection. Anything to the contrary is blasphemous in the eyes of the Disneyphile. They stake their investments on those colorful stock certificates hung over the infant's bed; on the abundance of clothes, toys, and accessories that burst forth from every nook and cranny; on their extensive video collections that line the shelves. To own even a small piece of the Mouse represents a life's dream for many. And no one is going to tell them otherwise.
There are noticeable symptoms to "Disneyitis" - sufferers have an unwavering devotion to all things Disney, they disbelieve anything anti-Disney, and of course may have an obsession with Disneyana. In their eyes, anyone who thinks differently is mentally ill. In many cases they will resort to foul, insulting language when dealing with those that don't share their passion. Hardcore Disneyphiles abound. Many are full blown Disney Nazis in the eyes of detractors.
This army of Mice is dedicated to the motto "Ignorance is Bliss." Or at least they are unwavering in their devotion. They refuse to peek under the rug to see the Rat's dirt. The Disney drug is so habituating, the average person doesn't even realize he or she is hooked. And if they do, they don't care.
"If anything is more irresistible than Jesus, it's Mickey," observes Carl Hiaasen in Team Rodent: How Disney Devours the World.
Copyright © 2007, SkewsMe