“Audiences Should Not Be Treated as ‘Cultural Dopes’” (Barker, 1999)

Hi Digital Diary Followers

It is fairly obvious that the animation studio Pixar has gained a respectable reputation in regards to its universally appealing films and it’s forward thinking production. Movies such as such as Toy Story, Monsters Inc. and Finding Nemo have built the company’s name exploring the notions of nostalgia, transcending expectations and stereotype deconstruction.

However, although Pixar has grown to become one of the worlds leading animation studios the company has received increasing criticism in regards to the unwelcoming cultural stereotypes portrayed within their films (McMillan, 2012).

In recent films such as Brave and Ratotouille the studio has portrayed a romanticised version of Scotland and idealised notions of Paris. The Incredibles conjured disapproval after casting a black comic relief partnered with his sassy wife (McMillan, 2012) Pixar have even been criticised for upholding a sexist, homophobic culture in Toy Story 3.

 

Christopher Barker describes how content that flows across geographical boarders can play an influencing factor within the makeup of cultural identities. However he also goes on to write that television is a site that frames various cultural stereotypes through dominant ideology.

The animation company serve as an example of cultural imperialism and how Globalisation is leading to homogenisation of a monoculture as it disseminates “Americanised” views of certain places and people. The United States can be seen as the leading exporter of cultural goods with the entertainment industry being one of its largest export earners with the estimated value of the cultural and creative industries sitting at around $1.3 trillion in 2005 (Thussu, 2006). Hollywood films dominate the market share with content being consumed in more than one hundred and fifty countries (Thussu, 2006).

However as Appaduri describes, the exchange of culture is not one way and the United States should not be held purely responsible for inadequacies that come from an array of players within the world economy.

Non Online References
Appadurai, A (1996) ‘Disjuncture and Difference in the Global Cultural Economy’ Modernity at Large: Cultural Dimensions of Globalization Minneapolis and London: University of Minnesota Press, pp. 27-47

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