Walt Disney: eating children: ROBOT CHICKEN S1E2 “Nutcracker Suite”

Robot Chicken is a stop-motion television series which started in 2005 on Adult Swim, the “adult” channel of Cartoon Network. It is created and produced by Seth Green and Matthew Senreich along with co-head writers Douglas Goldstein and Tom Root.

The show takes a sometimes sardonic look at popular culture. This episode, the second ever shown (and it’s now in its tenth season!) took on the rumour circulating on social media that Walt Disney’s head had been frozen after his death in 1966, in the hope that he could be revived later (there is a huge industry of cryogenics).

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It’s not true, just BTW.

In this reimagining of the Disney legend, Walt is not the lovable avuncular figure that (older) readers may remember from black and white TV. The episode starts by rehashing the old story about his antisemitism, then we see his head being cut off with a chainsaw for freezing. Under the Matterhorn, later, his head is thawed out and grafted onto a steel spider frame, reminiscent of War of the Worlds. He has death rays in his eyes, and he HUNGERS!

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He’s in this cannibal blog because he’s, well, become a cannibal, eating children to keep his monstrous form alive. They are brought to him by his minions.

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“Bring in the first human child!”

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He builds a theme park in Florida, so that he can access lots of children, and keep his appetite satiated. But then, “one fateful day”, he sees on television the story of Elián González, the little Cuban boy was was involved in a huge custody battle which became an international incident between the US and Cuba.

He hungers for Elián and decides to invade Cuba. As he begins his attack on Cuba, the Cuban standing at the monitor can be heard yelling the same Spanish phrases as the popular cartoon character Speedy Gonzales.

Disney causes havoc, knocking planes out of the sky à la King Kong. Poor Elián appears on the shore, offering to sacrifice himself to save his beloved Cubans, but then Fidel arrives!

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Look, it’s a satire on American imperialism of course, but it has a lot to say about the cannibalistic nature of capitalist consumerism and the voracious appetite of corporates who look to eat up the culture and the cash of their target audience. Imperialism is not just via planes and tanks and giant spiders with frozen heads on top. Cuba has been embargoed from receiving the benefits of American culture for decades, and some of them seem to like it just fine that way.

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