Disney Culture (Quick Takes: Movies and Popular Culture) (Paperback)

Disney Culture (Quick Takes: Movies and Popular Culture) By John Wills Cover Image
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Over the past century, Disney has grown from a small American animation studio into a multipronged global media giant. Today, the company’s annual revenue exceeds the GDP of over 100 countries, and its portfolio has grown to include Pixar, Marvel, Lucasfilm, ABC, and ESPN. With a company so diversified, is it still possible to identify a coherent Disney vision or message?

Disney Culture proposes that there is still a unifying Disney ethos, one that can be traced back to the corporate philosophy that Walt Disney himself developed back in the 1920s. Yet, as cultural historian John Wills demonstrates, Disney’s values have also adapted to changing social climates. At the same time, the world of Disney has profoundly shaped how Americans view the world.

Wills offers a nuanced take on the corporate ideologies running through animated and live-action Disney movies from Frozen to Fantasia, from Mary Poppins to Star Wars: The Force Awakens. But Disney Culture encompasses much more than just movies as it explores the intersections between Disney’s business practices and its cultural mythmaking.  Welcome to “the Disney Way.”

About the Author

JOHN WILLS is a senior lecturer in American history and the director of American Studies at the University of Kent in Canterbury, England. He is the author of Conservation Fallout: Nuclear Protest at Diablo Canyon, California and U.S. Environmental History: Inviting Doomsday.

Praise For…

"Wills makes a strong contribution to both the fields of media studies as well as Disney scholarship with this concise, well written and thoroughly engaging overview of how the cultural, artistic, and economic factors surrounding the Disney corporation intersect."
— Blair Davis

"Disney Culture is a notable addition to the growing critical work on Disney and its cultural significance. Wills skillfully dissects the Disney ethos and even challenges the multimedia giant to 'mean something beyond merchandise' in the twenty-first century."
— Janet Wasko

"Wills's little gem of a book assesses the art, business, ideology, and audience of the Disney organization from its beginning to today. Disney Culture is an essential text for students in media studies, animation, and American culture."
— Journal of American Culture

"An elegantly written and well-researched book...Wells makes a strong case for the powerful influence Disney has exerted on American life over the past century, how it has spread worldwide, and what it means for civilization."
— Cercles

Disney Culture review in Musicals
— Musicals
Product Details
ISBN: 9780813583327
ISBN-10: 0813583322
Publisher: Rutgers University Press
Publication Date: March 17th, 2017
Pages: 140
Language: English
Series: Quick Takes: Movies and Popular Culture