Italy’s top Disney villain: Captain Hook. In the rest of the
eurozone – not so
The Eurozone is Torn – Even When it Comes
to Disney Characters! (La Stampa, Italy)
“This the Europe
of the euro, which always seems to be hanging in the balance and caught between
differing perspectives - even when it comes to choosing a favorite Disney
character. Italy seems to be walking its own path. While the winner outside our
country’s borders is Mickey Mouse, the hero par excellence and favored villain of
the Disney Universe in Italy is Captain Hook.”
By Adriana Marmiroli
Translated By Rinald Meta
June 3, 2012
Italy - La
Stampa - Original Article (Italian)
MILAN: Perhaps you thought that Mickey
Mouse was the most beloved character in the Disney pantheon? Wrong. In Italy,
only the generation between 25-45 see him as their darling, along with,
surprise, Scrooge McDuck ( perhaps a legacy of
Italians over 50 are irresistibly
attracted to the hot-tempered and ill-fated charm of Donald Duck, while younger
ones prefer the pirate Jack
Sparrow of Johnny Depp. But when it comes to villains,
one name is on everyone's lips: Cruella De Vil.
Hook and the witch from Snow White are right behind. This is what emerges
from a survey Disney
Junior commissioned the ICM Institute to conduct on the channel’s first
anniversary. The results have been evaluated by Dr. Lynn Whitaker from
University of Glasgow.
In order to find out how different
generations experience the characters of the Disney universe and how this
universe is shared among children, parents and grandparents, 7,644 people were surveyed.
The survey included responses from 600 Italians, while the
remaining respondents were from the other European countries in which the
channel is broadcast.
The outcome shows that Disney has managed to span a
generation gap of at least 70 years, linking people from the post-war era to
Hence, Disney is a common heritage, capable of “traversing” the generations.
The differences are spotted when comparing the names of the aforementioned
characters, which appeared in the types of media people derive their first Disney
memories from: for grandparents, it was comic books, part of the childhoods of
all those over 50 (the legendary Topolino
[Italian Mickey Mouse comics]); for parents it was cinema and home video; and today
it is TV along with cinema and home video for the very young, whose tastes
determine the appearance of new characters, again, typically in movies and
television. Jack Sparrow is the new hero for the under 14s, but only those free
from overlapping media influences identify him a Disney character (whereas, in
this context, parents and grandparents prefer Cinderella).
A sign that a new wind
is blowing among the younger generation is the presence of Pumba (warthog
from the Lion King) and
Dory (companion of Nemo the fish) as their most beloved sidekicks –
insofar as their relationships are much closer that those of Cinderella
and her little mice and Snow
White and her seven dwarves. In short, the elderly prefer the darlings of their
youth, whereas younger generations respond to the spurs of the latest trends (Nemo and the Lion King have just been reissued, while Mickey
Mouse and Donald Duck are always on TV).
It is therefore not about getting people to unglue
themselves from their favorites, but about memory. Because this survey also indicates
that the average Italian adult fan of Disney characters, if he or she is a
parent, shares this passion with their pups abundantly, as if they want to relive
the pleasure of his or her own initial experience through them, or at least, as
a fan of Mickey Mouse & Co., to witness the handover to the young.
Posted by Worldmeets.US
Speaking of which, as fans, parents tend to cherish the
magic and mythology; 85 percent of grandparents and 83 percent of parents, i.e.:
nine out of ten, are prepared to call themselves enthusiasts (in terms of the
stories, characters, morality conveyed by the narration, to such an extent that
“the memory remains clearly etched throughout life”).
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In terms of expressing over-the-top enthusiasm, no one seems
to beat Italian parents and grandparents. Much more contained
are French and Polish parents and grandparents (seven out of ten, with slightly
less enthusiastic declarations like: “Disney memories are nice”), a bit more
restrained are Scandinavians and Germans (six out of ten), and a bit cooler
still are the Swedes and Turks (five out of ten).
Is it just a question of culture, in that non-Italian
children are more independent of their parents? Is it because parents in the
other countries have moved on from their childhood while we Italians still
stubbornly cling to it?
This the Europe of the euro, which always seems to be
hanging in the balance and caught between differing perspectives - even when it
comes to choosing a favorite Disney character. Italy seems to be walking its
own path. While the winner outside our country’s borders is Mickey Mouse, the hero
par excellence and favored villain of the Disney Universe in Italy is Captain
The loyal Pluto, almost completely
snubbed by us, outstrips the goofy Pippo [Italian name of Goofy] as the ideal sidekick. To
conclude, it is official: we Italians like them strange, clumsy and
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