Wednesday, August 21, 2013

How to Read Donald Duck: Imperialist Ideology In the Disney Comics

How to Read Donald Duck: Imperialist Ideology In the Disney Comics (originally titled Para Leer la Pato Donald, which according to Google Translate means "To Read Donald Duck") is a book written by academics that were working in Chile.
Content and Background
In the '70s, Donald Duck comics were produced across the world. Some people felt it was spreading capitalistic propaganda. How to Read Donald Duck is an analysis of the Donald Duck comics and tries to convince the readers that the Donald Duck comics are propaganda.
One of the most notable examples is when they talk about a comic that features Donald, Uncle Scrooge, Huey, Dewey and Louie travelling across the world. The natives are portrayed as children. According to the book, this was to show that third world countries are open to be exploited by more "advanced" cultures. Also, they claim that reason the characters tend to be nephews, uncles and so on, as opposed to sons, fathers and so on, is that they are trying to portray a world with no family ties. The supposed reason for this is to portray a world where the only hierarchy power is the amount of money you have.
According to the duo, the writers of the comics know about the propagandist undertones and intentionally put them in. However, it should be noted that much of material the duo got this book was translations of the comics made for Chile. The reason this is notable is because the comics' script were often distroted in translation.
Comic Art Propaganda by Fredrik Strömberg
Google Translate

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