core@gundam.com
Thu, 30 Mar 2000 21:46:16 -0500 (EST)


David "Jojo" Wong wrote:
> I give up, I really do. While I'm not saying that Disney is an innocent,
> clean and virtuous company, I simply don't think companies make business
> deals and mergers just to put out the one they are merging with out of
> business. I don't see the logic, long term or otherwise, in Disney financing
> Ghibli's more recent films if they want Ghibli to fail. I don't see the
> logic in Disney hiring big-name voice actors to dub anime films just to keep
> Disney on top in "the long run." So go on...go on with the Disney bashing.

Ok, normally I don't wade into this kind of "did too!", "did not!"
argument (not for long anyway), but it does look like the argument is too
lopsided.

I agree with Jojo, yes Disney is monopolistic and ruthless, watch how it
tried (and maybe succeed) to squeeze out "Anastasia" (or was it the other
one) "The Iron Giant" and "Antz". But all evidence so far has suggested
that Disney has not tried to squeeze out the anime genre. In fact, they
have done much to promote quality anime. Some anime fans would argue that
Disney hasn't done enough, but that comes mostly from fans not financial
anaylsts.

I don't understand why so many people assume that if Disney had promoted
the hell out of PM, it would have made a lot of money, won the West, and
topple the the Big D Empire. How many of you have sat in a theatre full
of expectant American (in my case Canadian) fans erupt into a standing
ovation at the end of PM? I happened to love PM, but damnit, it's an
ORIENTAL ART FILM! Even Akira Kurosawa won't do much better than PM's
result. And honestly PM is not Miyasaki's best film by any stretch of
imagination. We should be thankful that D gave it a (semi-)wide release
In fact D had perhaps over promoted it, now there are a bunch of people
who went to PM expecting the second coming and are now going around saying
"anime is boring shit!"

Going back to a more cynical mode: if D were run by a bunch of artists and
writers, then perhaps I can believe the conspiracy theory about D engaging
in cultural isolation strategy. But that's not true, D is run by a bunch
of lawyers and accountants, all they have in their heads is money, and why
should they give a shit if American kids are being poisoned by Japanese
anime or American cartoon, as long as they get a piece of the action? All
the better if they can laid off all the homegrown teamsters! "Sorry boys
and girls, the Jap stuff is selling as well as yours, either you take a
paycut or we ship your job over there. By the way, I love you guys!"

But of course that's not what's going on now. WHY? Because anime is not
for mass (American) consumption. First of all, the majority of anime,
just like the majority of Disney stuffs, are plain crappy. Those that are
good, falls into two categories: (1) "exportably" good and (2) "real"
good. The "exportably" good stuff can and will make money in America, and
you know what boys? That's Pokemon, Power Ranger, Sailor Moon. The
"real" good stuffs, like Ghost in the Shell, NGE, Gundam, Perfect Blue and
PM, those that get GMLers excited, doesn't have mass appeal. C'est la
vie. Or as we Canadians say, bummer dude!

I symphasize with Alfred's experience with Disney. I have a cousin who
used to produce kid's shows for Disney and has sworn that she will never
ever work for Disney again. I have not seen a single D cartoon since the
Hunchback because I was pissed that they gave it a happy ending. But not
every single thing that D does is wrong. I think D has been good to anime
fans as far as Miyasaki's work is concerned. Yes I am pissed at D's
monopolistic ways to stiffle American competitions (such as Iron Giant and
Antz), but I just don't think they are doing it to anime. Why don't they?
Well because anime has not and will not (in the foreseeable future)
present a real financial threat to the Big D Empire.

And why are we having this huge debate anyway? We all have pretty good
access to anime without the big D's help right? We can (and should)
complain about the quality of American cartoons. But the Gundams and PMs
can stay in the art house theatres and the fansub circles forever as far
as I am concerned. As I said to a friend recently, why sit and whine all
day? Do something! If you don't like to play by Disney's rule, let's get
together and subvert it. It's a question of will and imagination.

Do you have it?

Name: Core (CT Chin)
Patient ID: #1
Room: http://side7.gundam.com/newtype_asylum/
Condition: Critical

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