Daniel Pollack-Pelzner, a professor of English at Linfield College and regular contributor to The New Yorker and Atlantic magazines, wrote an article for the New York Times in January 2019 about the problematic racist imagery in both the 1964 and 2018 Mary Poppins films from Disney. The article sparked a huge outcry and backlash, resulting in calls for his dismissal and threats to him and his family, and this week Daniel talks about how the article came to be and how he’s been dealing with its unexpected response, how we confront (or don’t) the legacy of white supremacy in so much of our popular culture, an impertinent reference to J. Robert Oppenheimer, the badge of honor of being on an alt-right watchlist, prescient wives and why they should be heeded, the question of why Disney keeps returning to problematic racist tropes, the threat (promise?) of being spat on by Julie Andrews, and what’s next in the multi-part series “Daniel Ruins Everything”. (Length 25:15)
Disney Castle, Shanghai (taken with Austin’s iPhone)!
As foretold in last week’s episode, we spent a day at Shanghai Disney, the recently opened newest addition to the Disney family of theme parks, and this week we discuss the park’s highs and lows. Featuring general excitement and a few sore necks for Tron, unanimous thumbs-up for Pirates of the Caribbean, unbridled passion for Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln, a bit of wonder towards the live-action Tarzan show, disappointment in the lack of Mulan merchandise, repeated and unnecessary swearing, several kraken releases, a special appearance by Roy Conli, Oscar-winning producer of Big Hero 6 and Tangled, and the importance of ruthless efficiency when having fun. (Length 19:28)
“Oh, what a tangled weave…Take a rare peak behind the scenes at the Walt Disney Studios as producer Roy Conli describes the creation of Disney’s 50th animated feature Tangled. Featuring advice on the attributes of a great producer, the use of wine imagery to describe the return of John Lasseter, the value of a theatrical upbringing, and the storytelling advantages of taking left turns. (Part Two of this conversation can be heard here.) (UPDATE: On February 22, 2015, Roy won the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature for Big Hero 6.) (MP3. Length 21:45)
“OMG! Are you like, so into Wizards of Waverly Place on the Disney Channel? Neither are we, but our kids are. Peter Murrieta is the Executive Producer of the Emmy-winning children’s show, and talks about how he uses his improv and sketch-comedy training to create TV sitcoms, how he bucks the Disney mold by portraying young protagonists with parents who are both alive, and how he’s okay with his show’s place in the cultural pantheon. (MP3. Length 20:52)