A Starbucks sits in Saudi Arabia’s sacred city of Mecca, not far from Islam’s holiest site, serving its signature coffee to Muslim pilgrims who arrive from across the globe. The 1997 U.S. blockbuster film Titanic is praised by Chinese President Jiang Zemin in a speech before China’s National People’s Congress. Mickey Mouse welcomes its fans in Europe and Asia from his Magic Kingdoms in France or Japan. But the spread of American consumer culture goes beyond popular consumption.
Travel almost anywhere in the world today is possible today. Nonetheless you do not feel that you are in a different place that you experience local tastes since all of cities in the world started to look alike. You will are surrounded with global brands, movies, tastes but mostly American. Global products across the globe are more than mere accident. As a byproduct of globalization, it is part of a larger trend in the conscious dissemination of American attitudes and values that is often referred to as cultural imperialism.
Cultural imperialism involves much more than simple consumer goods; it involves the dissemination of American principles, such as freedom and democracy. Many cultures around the world are gradually disappearing due to the influence of corporate and cultural America.
Media imperialism goes hand in hand with cultural imperialism. According to the Guardian, American films accounted for approximately 80 percent of global box office revenue and one of the most successful one is Walt Disney Company. The Walt Disney Company commonly referred to as Disney is the largest media conglomerate in term of revenue. Taking on its current name in 1986, The Walt Disney Company expanded its existing operations and also started divisions focused upon theatre, radio, publishing, and online media. In addition, it has created new divisions of the company in order to market more mature content than it typically associates with its flagship family-oriented brands. The company is best known for the products of its film studio, the Walt Disney Motion Pictures Group, and today one of the largest and best-known studios in Hollywood. Disney also owns and operates the ABC broadcast television network; cable television networks such as Disney Channel, ESPN, and ABC Family; publishing, merchandising, and theatre divisions; and owns and licenses 14 theme parks around the world. Mickey Mouse, is the official mascot of The Walt Disney Company.
According to criticisms, ‘Disney’s animated features simultaneously soften and distribute messages of class hierarchy and anti-social hyper-individualism.” Scholars claim that it appears that the ‘good guys’ are usually designed with more European features and are more bright and curvy; on the other hand, the ‘bad guys’ tend to be drawn darker and with sharper angles. Pocahontas and Aladdin were drawn to look European with a darker shade of skin even though they were Native American and Middle Eastern, while the bad guys such as Jafar and the Hun in Mulan were drawn to look more like the nationalities they were supposed to represent. Even it was noted by them the voices of these characters allow the audiences to relate them to people. For example, Mufasa sounded noble and had a slight British accent.
As the last words, Disney films are considerably more cleverly than the printed comics. And their audiences are massive and growing. Disney films are prime household entertainment in the vast majority of North American homes. They form an integral part of child rising and family life. They are avidly consumed by millions, who, similar to the Star Trek audiences, consider them safe and good for family life. However while consuming those films, audiences needs to think that in Disney films some of these have been found to be, “sexism, racism, conservatism, hetero-sexism, , imperialism (cultural), imperialism (economic), literary vandalism, censorship, propaganda, paranoia, homophobia, exploitation, ecological devastation, anti-union repression
Sources: Wikipedia, Lee Artz Studies, A.H Itwaru Blog