Monday, December 28, 2009

Disrael: M-I-C-K-E-Y N-E-V-E-R F-O-R-G-E-T

Our Man Elli in Israel checks in with some historic Disney news: The Walt Disney Company will produce, for the first time, original Hebrew-language shows in Israel. The Disney Channel began airing in Israel this year and has been so successful, it's begun joint production with Herzliya Studios on two original programs to air there.

So let's put aside all that talk about old Uncle Walt being an antisemite. Yes, in the 1930s he was sympathetic to the pro-Nazi German American Bund, and allegedly showed up at a meeting or two, and yes, legend has it that he, alone among all studio heads, met with Hitler's filmmaker Leni Riefenstahl when she was looking for work in Hollywood, and yes, legend has it he told her he admired her work that hiring her would hurt the brand, and yes, there were lots of Jew gags in the animated shorts Walt approved (like the scene in the original "The Three Little Pigs" in which the Big Bad Wolf comes to the door dressed as a stereotypical Jewish peddler, yes--- in any case, there's always Eisner and Iger... oy!

UPDATE: Our Man Elli reminds us we can't put aside Uncle Walt's record, and adds this from the Israel News Network: "The announcement is bitter irony for Hamas, which was forced to stop its anti-Israel children’s programs, featuring Disney characters, after the company threatened to sue it for copyright infringement. Hamas used characters similar to Mickey Mouse, among others, to air material that often incited Arab children to become martyrs when they grow up.

"Anti-Israel groups previously have tried to boycott Disney, which 10 years ago set up its Millennium exhibition in Florida and referred to Jerusalem as 'the capital of the millennium' and the 'heart of the Israeli people..' The Arab League had tried to boycott Disney until Saudi Prince Walid ibn Talal, who was a large shareholder of Euro Disney said, 'If we boycott Disney, Israel will win because it will impact our image negatively in the United States.'"

No comments: