Saturday, April 17, 2010

Viewing Disney through Said's lense of the Orient

Disney portrays Said’s “other” in many ways. In Lady of the Tramp the Siamese cats possess qualities of the Eastern stereotype. They are being categorized as sneaky and deceptive creatures.

In Aladdin they describe Arabia in the song as “barbaric, but hey, it’s home”. They create a world that is not only different then the western world, but savage. Aladdin’s only way of survival is to lie and cheat his way through life. The bum tends to be viewed as the most civil and caring from all the others, and it is his uniqueness of caring that makes him the “Diamond in the Rough”, a character that the West can identify with and want to see as the hero.
Oh I come from a land, from a faraway place
Where the caravan camels roam
Where it's flat and immense
And the heat is intense
It's barbaric, but hey, it's home
When the wind's from the east
And the sun's from the west
And the sand in the glass is right
Come on down
Stop on by
Hop a carpet and fly
To another Arabian night

Arabian nights
Like Arabian days
More often than not
Are hotter than hot
In a lot of good ways

Arabian nights
'Neath Arabian moons
A fool off his guard
Could fall and fall hard
Out there on the dunes

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