Is Disneyland the great American artwork? - Deepstash
Is Disneyland the great American artwork?

Is Disneyland the great American artwork?

Curated from: bbc.com

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A window into how America interprets the world

A window into how America interprets the world

Disneyland is more valued than ever for its art. The theme park is also revealing how America interprets the world and itself.

Stepping into Disneyland is like stepping into a fantasy storybook. New Orleans Square has a version of a swashbuckling South, with pirates, ghouls and drooping Spanish moss. Frontierland is a take on the Wild West, with the rush for gold and saloons. Tomorrowland is a vision of a retro-fantastic future, which shows thriving US colonies.

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Disneyland as art

Disneyland as art

There is an increasing eagerness to see Disneyland, not just for the frivolous fun and entertainment, but as art.

A new documentary series, Behind The Attraction, reveals the technological and artistic innovation that goes into the theme parks most famous rides, showing the ingredients that add to the magic.

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The case for art

The case for art

Disneyland and other theme parks are becoming more an obsession for adults than for children.

Disneyland is full of design that doesn't draw attention to itself. It is architected so that every design choice reinforces the story around it. Every part is designed to carefully match the mood of the place, from the pastel paints on the buildings or floor tiles to the plant life and bins. Yet few people notice this as it is part of the park's romance.

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The current reputation of Disneyland

The current reputation of Disneyland

The internet has allowed new creators to document Disneyland and its history and culture.

Conversely, Disney's cultural dominance and corporate practices have sparked anti-Disney sentiment. However, it is still possible to separate art and artists from the larger corporate culture. The work of the Imagineers that designed the place to their fancy had nothing to do with its corporate decisions.

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An evolving symbol in line with modern values

An evolving symbol in line with modern values

Another major looming question around Disneyland is what it chooses to represent, and how.

Disneyland continues to scrub its depictions of the world, such as supposedly family-friendly fantasies and depictions of indigenous African people that they suggest were cannibals. Another is the Splash Mountain log flume, based on the 1946 film Song Of The South, which had racist depictions of black people. 

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