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Education Reporter

Book of the Month

Disney, The Mouse Betrayed, Peter & Rochelle Schweizer, Regnery Publishing, Inc., 1998, 359 pps., $24.95.

The Schweizers provide a fascinating behind-the-scenes glimpse into "The Wonder-ful World of Disney," which today grimly contrasts with its wholesome past. While the name still connotes apple pie and family values, the authors report that Disney has sacrificed its founder's high moral standards and scruples for the sake of profits.

In 1984, Michael Eisner became CEO, and the company that had long remained on the fringes of the movie industry "went Hollywood." Disney adopted Holly-wood's morals, and making money became the number one objective.

The Schweizers demonstrate how the wellbeing and safety of employees and guests at Disney's theme parks have been sacrificed for the bottom line. Using employee interviews, company records, and a variety of documents, they provide shocking details of crime and cover-up at Disney World, including crimes by pedophiles, acts of violence, and serious accidents due to neglect of basic safety rules.

Disney's animated films have incorporated adult themes and controversial elements, such as subliminal sexual messages. The authors note that each film now "has an underlying message that is central to the project." Historical Pocahontas, for example, who converted to Christianity and is buried in England, "was transformed into a cover girl for Native American philosophies and present-day ecological concerns."

The book profiles the world of Miramax Films, a Disney subsidiary acquired in 1993. Extreme bloody violence, obscene language, violent and even child-centered pornography, and vicious religious attacks (directed primarily against Catholics and Christianity in general) are a sample of the Miramax fare.

The Schweizers also describe how Disney:

  • Signs recording artists who sing about drugs, sex, suicide and satanism.

  • Employed a convicted felon/pedophile as a writer/director;

  • Allows its memorabilia to be produced in sweatshops;

  • Sells out its creative control to market to the Chinese communists; and,

  • Champions the gay culture in its theme parks and film projects.

Regnery Publishing, Inc., One Massachusetts Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20001, (202) 216-0600.

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