Thursday, January 16, 2003

Today is not the first day of Mickey Mouse's grand entrance into the public domain. It's such a shame because in so many ways, the characters of Walt Disney and Warner Brothers have already entrenched themselves not only in our personal domains but our political domains as well.

Today's Social Studies feature from the Globe and Mail (link expires in seven days) illustrates this quite brilliantly with a series of stories dedicated to Daffy Duck, Donald Duck, and our world leaders. An except:

"Kim Jong Il is a movie fan," reports Newsweek. "He once said that if he hadn't become his country's ruler, he might have become a film critic or producer. He is the author of a book entitled On the Art of the Cinema." The North Korean dictator's favourite movies include the Friday the 13th series, and any movie with Elizabeth Taylor or Daffy Duck...

In 2001, the son of North Korea's Kim Jong Il posed as a citizen of the Dominican Republic so he could sneak into Japan to visit Tokyo Disneyland, Japanese media reported. However, authorities spotted his phony passport at the airport and detained 29-year-old Kim Jong Nam, along with a four-year-old boy and two women that they believed were relatives. The four were deported to China. The pre-eminent duck in any Disneyland in the world is Donald Duck.

And I love this bit of CanCon:

"Look at Disney's Donald Duck," wrote The Toronto Star's Philip Marchand in 1997, "a quintessentially Canadian figure, full of anger and frustration he can barely express, and compare him with Daffy Duck, so American in his cheerful, straightforward violence and aggression."

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