For myself, I am interested in Japanese manga and anime, which become an important element in Japanese culture. By the way, these works are usually divided into the areas that design for children or teenagers only, and young ones are not suitable for them. Instead, different from anime or cartoon that are produced in other countries, anime and manga in Japanese have shaped as a particular culture, which relates to many popular and special elements, and the same with the anime from Disney.
The name Disney comes from the founder of the Disney Company, Walt Disney. He was a famous anime producer, director, voice caster and entertainer. His works and company influenced the entertainments a lot, for example, a child of other country may not know about some native funny characters, but he must know some of the Disney anime and characters, such as Mickey Mouse, or Donald Duck. Obviously, Walt Disney is successful. He was born in Chicago, an native in Midwest. Before he found his company, he was a successful storyteller. Unlike the Japanese anime, Disney anime shaped a particular corporate anime brand and culture. That means all of these anime owns a same theme and worldview. One major action for Disney Company is to set their works in a low level in make audience to understand. In the case, it can attract children’s interests. For example, People can find that many characters in Disney anime are set as a humanized animal; and no doubt, Mickey Mouse is one of the most famous Disney character in worldwide. These animal characters are easy to adopt, and it can catch children’s eyes soon. A main of a particular anime is easy to understand, such as wisdom, brave, kindness and friendship. It is quite suitable for early teaching. I think this is one a major that why Disney Company makes their achievement successful and popular: parents are willing to provide their children a good education, and Disney anime is a good choice.
Another major action for the company is to set center theme park: Disneyland. The earliest Disneyland was founded in California in 1955; it was the first center theme park in the world. Now people can find Disneyland in many countries, such as Japan, Hong Kong and Paris. Mainland China now is building a new Disneyland park in Shanghai, and it may be finished after 2013. All these Disneyland parks have set a section called the Main Street, U.S.A. It is used to represent the typical Midwest town of the early 20th century, and Walt Disney noticed,
“For those of us who remember the carefree time it recreates, Main Street will bring back happy memories. For younger visitors, it is an adventure in turning back the calendar to the days of grandfather’s youth.”
Actually, for those visitors who come from other regions and cultures, it is also a way to insight how the status in early 20th century in America.
As people knows, a film always carries producer’s ideas, and it can represent the ideas in different ways to make audience know. It is the same with anime. One of an important reason of why people think that anime usually works for kids or teenagers only is that anime are usually to be funny and fantastic. Different from some paper medias, anime cost a lot of labour, time and money; it may not easier than a film. What is more, an influence in one’s childhood will be stronger, and it often lasts for a long time. For my generation, I was less influenced by Disney; at that time, Japanese anime is the most popular media in China. That is to say, my generation is much closer than Japanese culture, rather than Disney. Someone may know that import in China is hard and strict, especially in Mainland China. Chinese people realize that some cultures from other countries or regions may not suitable for them; what is more, there is a group of people thinks that it is a way of cultural invasion, which will deep-rooted in children’s mind for quite a long time. Therefore, nearly everything from other country will launch in China much later than other countries. Here is an example. My younger sister was born in 1996, and she was deeply influenced by Disney anime. Her generation is much later than in America when Disney became the fashion.
On the other hand, as a program for children, for those people who think that anime is a way of cultural invasion hold a strong reason. Take an example of a special group for Japanese anime audience, “Zainan”: this group usually does everything depend on anime, even “live” with those made-up characters. Due the popularity of Japanese anime, the culture is represented, and the audience often imitates the cultural ideology out of these media: it may relate to Japanese food (sushi, sashimi), Matsuri (Japanese festivals) and Shinto shrine. Actually, the imitating has last 15 years. Take myself as an example, I never learn about any characters in Japanese language, neither Kanji nor Kana. Obviously, I cannot read Japanese text; but I can understand what the characters say in Japanese anime. For most sections, I can just understand what is the meaning, rather than translate to Chinese language. Chinese people has tried to stop the anime importing from Japan and protect the native ones, yet, the young ones transfer to watch online more usual than before. Anime has been already confused in ideas deeply in young ones, especially the generation after 1980s. Moreover, the generation after 2000s only knows Japanese culture rather than native one.
In my view, Disney fans in China will never live in such a depending style. They will not live with these characters, but they remind the story deeply in mind. Here is an example, one of my friend, who is a Disney fan, he is good at communicate with others. When his friends face any problems and talk with him, he can take examples to explain the problem and help them to find a solution; nearly all of these examples come from Disney anime.