Young Chinese Communists delight in the joys of Disney

I guess a country isn’t developed or modern until it’s fully adopted the best of Western culture, like Jerry Lewis movies and Walt Disney. The latest proof: Disney is actually going to youth centers in China to teach young CCP-members-in-training the wonders of Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck and Goofy.

China’s future Communist Party cadres are learning about Mickey Mouse along with Mao.

Walt Disney Co. said it had partnered “Youth Palaces” run by China’s Communist Youth League to build awareness of its stories and characters in the mainland ahead of the opening of a Hong Kong Disneyland theme park in late 2005 or early 2006.

“It’s one part of an overall brand-building process,” Jay Rasulo, president of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, told a small group of reporters in Hong Kong on Thursday.

Mickey Mouse and other Disney representatives visited 500 children at two youth centers in Guangzhou, in southern China, in July, a spokeswoman said.

The California-based entertainment giant plans similar outreach programs, with story-telling and interactive games, elsewhere in China ahead of its Hong Kong Disneyland opening.

Other efforts to build the Disney brand include story-telling in public libraries, tours of shopping malls by the famous mouse and other characters such as Goofy and Donald Duck, and programs on Hong Kong television, which can be viewed in southern China.

The company said it is fine-tuning its program for youth centers. Some 70 million young Chinese are members of the Communist Youth League.

“In one session, we teach them to draw Mickey Mouse — they’re all amazed by that,” said Irene Chan, vice president for public affairs at Hong Kong Disneyland. “We hope we can expand to more cities and provinces.

As a public relations coup, this is beyond belief. All those little kiddies, bugging mom and dad to buy them Goofy dolls and Pluto memorabilia. I guess there’s no stopping progress, and in today’s world progress seems to mean Americanization. What would Mao say?

The Discussion: 4 Comments

I’ve seen the inside of a bootleg video store, trust me, the Chinese already know about Disney.

Since half of the Disney toys in the universe seem to be made in China, then this is really self promotion. Buy local, buy Disney.

Then again, Disney is a wild fantasy land, full of coragious heroes battling against the odds, where history is re written to suit the current political swing and were fantastica and unbelievable stories emerge every day, and so is China.

A perfect match.

September 23, 2004 @ 7:26 pm | Comment

Great. If there’s an uncharted corner of the world where children are missing out on being hypnotized by insipid crap, Disney will find it.

September 23, 2004 @ 10:26 pm | Comment

Seeing so many Disney trappings in China is creepy.

September 24, 2004 @ 12:30 am | Comment

Living just over the hill and across a little channel from HK Disney is plenty scary. I guess I’ll have to get used to the noise pollution of fireworks every night as well. Ugh.

September 25, 2004 @ 4:59 am | Comment

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