Cognitive Dissonance: WALL-E at Disney Store Champs-Elysées

29 Jul

I keep looking at this picture, on the Disney and More blog (via John Frost‘s shared RSS items). And I feel so incredibly conflicted. On the one hand, I love WALL-E so I kinda want the merch, and seeing the Champs-Elysées Disney Store reminds me how excited I was when I stopped there one August afternoon in 2005, to pick up my Disneyland Paris park tickets. But on the other hand, I’m continually struck by the irony of shelves upon shelves stocked with highly-disposable WALL-E merchandise, as if the company had not noticed that this film conveys a strong anti-consumerism message (among other things).

There are also some rumors floating around the interwebs (sorry, I can’t recall all the sources!) that suggest that Tomorrowland will be re-themed with Buy N Large logos, and a generalized WALL-E theme. What then could be next? How far will life go to imitate art? Will the TTA be replaced with floating hovercraft couches, complete with digital display screens and cupcake-in-a-cup?

My head hurts.

7 Responses to “Cognitive Dissonance: WALL-E at Disney Store Champs-Elysées”

  1. Jon July 30, 2008 at 12:39 am #

    I totally agree! I think Disney has one of the world’s best marketing teams out there. Its the reason people seem to be able to eat up these products without thinking of the message. This kind of behavior is going to bite them eventually. Wait until a mainstream publication highlights the same thing you’ve pointed out. Its ironic that Disney even allowed Wall-E to be made, considering the many stabs the script took at the company.

    Disney merchandising makes it money from cute characters and bright colors. As long as the characters are edgy, cute, or beautiful as stand-alone models, the merchandising department can sell anything.

  2. Ken in Atlanta July 30, 2008 at 7:21 am #

    mmmmm…..cup cake in a cup

  3. Amy July 30, 2008 at 8:33 am #

    I’ll admit that I would like to buy the interactive Eve toy, though the thought does seem a bit off message from the film. As to the re-theming. That would be terrible, I hope it’s just a rumor. They need to clean it up and move back to a positive, utopian ideal of the future. A wall-e theme would just be depressing.

  4. Jennifer July 30, 2008 at 10:21 am #

    Amy, I totally agree that would be depressing!

    Here’s a WALL-E theme I’d like to see: Since the movie ends with WALL-E and Eve essentially re-populating the earth, and we see the vegetation and animals return in the closing credits, how about a little WALL-E theme over at the Land Pavilion in Epcot?

  5. collateraldamage July 30, 2008 at 3:38 pm #

    What do you do when your two brand values contradict each other? I’ve been waiting for this moment since seeing the movie. I have been amused at the flack disney/pixar has gotten from some areas for making a movie that is both anti-conservative and anti-fat.
    See:

    http://the-f-word.org/blog/index.php/2007/11/04/spineless/

    and

    http://kylesmithonline.com/?p=1314

    I’ve heard reports it is getting criticized for being anti-consumerist, but I have yet to find someone actually defending over consumption. Anybody actually seen this or is it a cynic’s urban legend?

  6. Jennifer July 30, 2008 at 3:54 pm #

    More on this topic, courtesy of an email from Collateral Damage (aka Mr Broke Hoedown): An in-depth article, “The Devin’s Advocate: Is WALL-E Environmental or Hypocritical?”

  7. Kevin August 5, 2008 at 12:26 am #

    That’s quite a wall o’ WALL-E!

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