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Disney and China

Disney and China October 17, 2015
Disney and China

Above: ACM faculty and students, along with other international students at ECNU, visiting the world’s largest Disney Store, which opened this year in Shanghai.

120 Hours in Shanghai

Daily posts and photos from ACM faculty and consortial staff during their site visit to the ACM Shanghai Program.
< Day 4

Day 5 – Saturday, October 17, 2015

Posted by Kim Lanegran (Associate Professor of Political Science, Coe College)

On Thursday, Luther College’s Dr. Hongmei Yu gave a lecture about relations between China and Disney Inc. to the ACM faculty group and an East China Normal University (ECNU) International Marketing class.

I know the story of Mulan portrayed in the Disney film, but I was totally ignorant of the back story concerning the tension between China and Disney that influenced Mulan’s production. Dr. Yu explained to us that an earlier Disney film had covered a contentious aspect of events in China and angered the authorities. Chastised and eager to gain access to the huge Chinese market, Disney chose to use a beloved Chinese epic heroine as the subject of an animated feature film. Her talk was fascinating.

Next, we took a field trip to the brand new Disney store in central Shanghai. Located on prime real estate near the financial district, the Disney store has become a tourist destination in its own right.

Rather than buying any Disney gear, I found great enjoyment watching visitors taking photographs next to the life-sized Inside Out statues. It was fun to watch parents place their children next to the statues and encourage them to strike the poses of each character. I sat near Sadness and observed many people pull pouty faces as they stood next to her. Even adults took selfies and posed for their friends and even me.

Disney Shanghai is scheduled to open next year, and I expect that Chinese and international visitors will flock there. I hope to return some year and do some more people-watching there too.

Photos courtesy of Kim Lanegran and Emily Gaul.

120 Hours in Shanghai

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