|Disney Palaces and Castles in Movies by M.K. Reddington|
(note: Tiana's restaurant is included - not a palace but still a key building)
The referenced infographic is ENORMOUS (you can see a small version of it near the bottom of the post) and very interesting to look around in. It's a map of the most popular animated movies - also known as, the most influential children's films - from a variety of studios, showing the locations each of their films are set in. Disney's films are color coded red.
Why am I putting this on Once Upon A Blog? Because a large percentage of these films are considered fairy tales or overlap with people's definition of fairy tales, this is the overall impression many children are getting of story in general (especially if they're not being read to, or told other tales by family and carers).
|At least 50 animated movies are set in North America and close to 40 in Europe.|
It should come as no surprise that Disney's movies are "Western-centric, as The Independent calls is, since the people who created them initially were largely American and of European descent (meaning the stories they themselves were most influenced by were European). BUT as time has gone on, society has changed and the workload been distributed more evenly across the ethnic board, little has changed in this representation. Again, not a huge surprise considering the story influences perpetuated in American (and Disney) publishing BUT as more and more animators, story tellers, artists, designers, CG wizards and all round production people making these movies have hailed from places more and more distant and diverse, you would expect the stories being made to reflect that too. Instead it hints largely that the people in charge are making the decisions and what their (narrow) world view is.
Interestingly, the rest of animated cinema reflects the same trend, though not to quite the same extent.
There is a notably heavy concentration of movies in Europe and North America, clearly showing how Western-centric cinema remains. Just four of the most popular animated films of all-time have been set in South America and one of those, Rio 2, is a sequel.
Only seven are based on African soil and most draw on common perceptions of the continent – The Lion King, Madagascar,Tarzan and The Wild for example.
Australasia also fares badly, with four films set down under, while Asia boasts a relatively small proportion for its size with eighteen, including Mulan, The Jungle Book, Big Hero 6, Kung Fu Panda and Aladdin.(FTNH Edit: I don't count Big Hero 6 as taking place in Australasia at all. It's clearly an alternate San Francisco - officially an urban mash-up of Tokyo and San Francisco aka "Japanamerica" - and is discussed that way in the 'making of' interviews as well. The university where key story points are set is likely an alternate MIT as well, so definitely very American).
It's a very telling infographic and should make people sit up and take notice.
Thankfully we are seeing some signs of change recently, and, as with any giant machine, a little change can be the start of a big one. It's just been a long time in coming. For instance:
Disney is making moves to address the skewed representation of countries in its films, with the first Latina princess, Elena of Avalor announced in January and another, Moana from Oceana revealed last October.The infographic was created by Slovakian designer, Martin Vargic, known for his Map of the Internet and Map of Stereotypes projects on Halycon Maps. He pinned the 124 most popular animated films onto a world map, color coding each film for the studio that created it (there is a key at the bottom of the map).
Each location mapped was either explicitly stated or shown in the movies, such as in Madagascar, derived from evidence within them, as in Frozen and The Lion King, or taken from the original work in which the movie was based, as in Snow White and Pinocchio.
Vargic researched the films in detail by reading fan theories and studying where various animal species are geographically distributed. He did not include movies set in radically different worlds such as Treasure Planet and Wreck-It Ralph.
|Disney Palaces & Castle Part 2 by M.K. Reddington|
(including Elsa's ice castle)
Click HERE to read the list of films and their locations. You can also see a huge version of the map there (just click on the link, which will take you to a new page but you will see there's a magnifying glass on that page too. Clicking on that will show you the map at 100% and you will need to move the blue scroll bar at the side AND the bottom of the window to see it all. As I said, it's HUGE.)
There's also this map below with most of the Disney animated movies (ie. just Disney movies) and their locations. Click HERE to read the list of exact locations.