Disney: Image of an empire.

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Disney has been for decades a symbol of awe inspiring excitement and entertainment for youth and old alike. What began with a handful of innovative minds now stands as a leviathan of media and entertainment productions.

With the birth of the Disney Brothers Productions in the first half of the 20th century, the two Disney brothers, Walt and Roy, went on to brighten the lives of many, first through the animation industry and later continued their legacy in the well known resorts and amusement parks enjoyed by the populous today.

Although Disney holds many identifying symbols, the one that seems to hold the attention of all is Mickey Mouse, arguably the insignia of the Disney Corporation.

Mickey has led the early fame of Disney and now can be found “live” throughout their resorts worldwide, continuing his legendary reputation.

Through the Disney climb to fame, their productions were always known to be fun for all: adults, children and the families found within the two.

In the second half of the 20th century, the Mickey Mouse Club was established as a variety show with an ever changing cast of young and talented teenagers. This was one of the major directions the corporation had towards a different form of entertainment.

Recently it can be noted that Disney has begun to find success in a similar form of entertainment as was seen in the Mickey Mouse Club. Although still focusing much of their production on cartoons and animation, their biggest audience seems to be found glued to shows such as Hannah Montana, stage name of actor and entertainer Miley Cyrus, shown below.

Seen through this change towards the new trend found in Disney, the display is entirely different. Instead of aspiring to one day visit Disneyland and get that picture with Mickey, the audience of the Disney corporation is idolizing Hannah and such performers as the Jonas Brothers, depicted below.

The two previous images are what many children now worship. They have become not only popular stage acts, but also sex symbols of gigantic proportions influencing the youthful minds of the audience who mimic them. Other forms of media have risen from this trend and Miley now has a clothing line so all her young fans can dress like her and continue to aspire towards that  image.

Backlash to this new wave of entertainment have been seen, for example, in the controversial television show South Park, and also with many troubled parents worrying of the innocence of their offspring, but examples such as this do not seem to be impeding the rapid growth of some of the new Disney cult sensations listed above.

An episode was aired depicting the Disney empire in a very unenthusiastic way. The source of this new trend being none other than Mickey Mouse who was shown to be the ringleader and tyrant of this new format of entertainment for children and puppet master of such acts as the Jonas Brothers. Below, Mickey is breathing fire upon a fleeing crowd of Jonas fans.

Fictional? Yes. But how has the image of the famous mouse altered to this extent, although merely a satiric poke at the huge success of Disney?

Although it took years, how did this image change so drastically from the lovable Mickey?

Obviously it is the disgust felt by observers of this drastic change in child entertainment, but how can one representing joy, happiness, and all the other aspects of childhood be portrayed in such a light?

Although Mickey is still loved by many, he is no longer the immediate response regarding who is the iconic symbol of Disney, at least for the new youth generation of the Disney audience. Times are always changing, and each day sex appeal becomes the most desired form of representation to grab viewers attention. Although the use of icons such as Mickey can still be seen throughout advertising, the use of real flesh and blood seems to be the easiest manner of attracting the attention of viewers. One glance through magezines and the like can prove this. This change towards superficiality is inevitable. Icons like Mickey will always remain, whether in person at resorts such as Disneyland or remembered when wearing a stylish pair of Mickey ears, but these characters will continue to step aside for the new class of idols: acts like Miley and her contemporaries.

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