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Disney Recycles–and We Don’t Mean Plastics

Disney recycles, just probably not in the way you are thinking!  They may recycle old bottles and newspapers, however they definitely recycle animation.  Artist Oliver Laric points this out in his documentary Versions, featured in our Memery exhibit.  Take a couple of deep breaths before watching because the evidence may taint your image of the “Wonderful World of Disney” (:45-2min):

Versions highlights the widespread re-usage of images throughout the history of art, so don’t worry, Disney isn’t only at fault.  However, Laric emphasizes how such recycling of images is iconoclastic in that the art that was once unique loses much of its significance as it is re-mediated.  These Disney segments are shocking because their originality and individual magic has been undermined, essentially leaving them simply as versions of one another, hence the title of the documentary.

Though Disney is not the only one reusing images and animation, it is quite rampant through their history.  Here are some other examples of Disney’s recycling habits.

Guilty:  Robin Hood, Aristocats, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, Beauty and the Beast, the list goes on and on and this vid exposes them all!

The Jungle Book copies other film animation, as pointed out by Laric, in addition to repeating countless of its own images (including their dances!).

Suspiciously similar leisurely bike rides, horse-drawn ice trucks, and bar brawls make appearances in films like The Great Mouse Detective, Make Mine Music, and Casey at the Bat.

Bambi and Fun and Fancy Free face a similar issue in the forest and the same wolf terrorizes in Make Mine Music and Lambert the Sheepish Lion.

The re-usage of images has also spread into live action films, as seen in Enchanted, which draws from The Little Mermaid.  However, Enchanted definitely pokes fun at the classic Disney princess, and the usage of images from these films is what makes it so funny and ridiculous.

The reality of when most of these films were made is that animation technology was not nearly as advanced as it is now, making it not all that surprising that they would reuse animation.  Even so, it can detract from some of the Disney magic.  How do you feel about the recycling system used by Disney and throughout art history?

Posted December 28, 2011 by MASS MoCA
Filed under BLOG, Exhibitions, Memery
2 Comments »

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2 Comments on “Disney Recycles–and We Don’t Mean Plastics”

  1. Stephen Says:

    If you follow animation history, this is not news. With tight production schedules, why not reuse a bit of animation? Live-action films use stock shots here and there (or used to, anyway) without condemnation.

  2. Darcy Says:

    why imply fault?

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