There is probably no one Disney ride/attraction I loathe more than “It’s A Small World.”
It brings together all the worst of Disney & theme parks into one package.
In design terms it has a banality and mediocrity that makes it possible to forget these are the same people that brought us Oswald the Rabbit, Pinocchio, the early Mickey Mouse cartoons and a host of other wonderful works of real art.
It also has the problematic racial issues that litter the Mouse’s history: Song of The South, Epcot’s bizarre and historically inaccurate Eurocentric history lessons, an animatronic Native American village — (personally I was hoping Euro Disney would have an animatronic shtetl). In Small World the racial problem becomes that all the people of the earth who are not already Caucasian appear to have undergone a severe loss in melanin. Small World’s many deficiencies are wrapped in a song I can only compare to the aural equivalent of mixing Twinkies & Spam.
Given all this you would think it impossible to make the attraction* any worse. But NOOOOOOOO. In what seems to be a complete violation of Small World’s saccharine “we’re all alike” will now include a nice cuddly display of nationalism.
Mrs. Collateral Damage — aka The Queen of All Disney Media — quotes the following:
And in one of the most egregious and downright disgusting decisions in Disney theme park history, the gorgeous New Guinea rainforest scene, replete with some of Mary Blair’s most whimsical character creations (a crocodile with an umbrella, colorful birds hatching from eggs) and her drummer children with Tiki Masks on the opposite shore will be replaced with a Hooray for U.S.A sequence.
Now don’t get me started on the whole tiki masks thing and the gross condescension towards indigenous peoples — anyone surprised that we don’t get cute caricatures of any Christian religious images?
I really think Disney should go the whole way with this redo and insert a display of gross nationalism for every nation. Then they could have a follow-up ride called “It’s A Small World War.”
BTW, the headline is a quote from one of my favorite Disney attractions: Muppet*vision 3D.
*or is it a ride? that’s one of those distinctions that the Disney-centi are very particular about.