David Smith writes:
"Those war movies you speak of perpetuated the myth that
U.S. society was an integrated and tolerant 'melting pot'
in which anyone could become President, and which went about
making the world safe for democracy (as opposed to, say,
carving out new markets and installing satellite regimes).
Generally speaking the U.S. military was not integrated until
the Vietnam era."
And even politically, the forces weren't integrated until Truman became
President and after the war (even that was 10 years ahead of Brown v.
Board of Education). Note, though, how a few filmmakers--perhaps because
of gov. pressure and perhaps not--throw in black faces from time to time in
such Army fare.
There were of course people who protested Disney's version of America while
he reigned. Proto-deconstructions of Disneyland, et al. were offered
even as it began--see Richard Schickel'
s THE DISNEY VERSION for the first real full-length hatchet job on Uncle
Walt. But Disney had also bought himself a certain amount of cultural
cachet in the 1930s and 1940s, when it was respectable for intellectuals and
the like to admire Mickey Mouse (in the way that they admired Chaplin).
It was probably the increasingly bland and homogenized look of the Disney
world-view and his rightwing position over the cartoonists strike and (later)
the blacklist that really began to alienate the intelligensia.
BTW, has anyone read WALT DISNEY: HOLLYWOOD'S DARK PRINCE and would care to
pass judgment on its judgments? (It's a great title, at least!)
--Don Larsson, Mankato State U., MN