China

Mickey Mao

|

China has been caught between capitalism and communism for so long that it shouldn't be surprising to learn Sino-Disneyland has a mixed economy too:

The Hong Kong government, which hopes the park will attract tourists to the city for many years, has spent more $2.9 billion on the project, about 82 percent of total costs, while Disney received 43 percent of the joint venture shares.

A survey conducted by AP last year found that 56 percent of Hong Kong residents thought the financial deal with Disney was unfair while 70 percent said their "opinions toward Hong Kong Disneyland have become more negative" because of problems since its opening, including several overbooked days during last year's Chinese New Year.

There have been some culture clashes as well:

For mainland Chinese who visit the park, many of whom don't speak English, a lack of cultural relevance may be more damaging. Some of the shows and rides at Hong Kong Disneyland are presented only in English and many older Chinese do not recognize Disney characters.

"Younger Chinese like Mickey Mouse, but they should include traditional Chinese culture for adults," said Zhu Yuan, a 64-year-old retired professor visiting Hong Kong Disneyland from China's northeastern Tianjin City.

Here's a suggestion:

mickeymao

 

NEXT: War Is Hell

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Micey Mao, perfect. But why is he green?

    BTW, this comment comes during my EDD mandated 10 minute break. Oh wait, do I get double time for working Sunday?

    Boss says no. No OT either.

  2. “Younger Chinese like Mickey Mouse, but they should include traditional Chinese culture for adults,” said Zhu Yuan, a 64-year-old retired professor visiting Hong Kong Disneyland from China’s northeastern Tianjin City.

    Because when Mr. Zhu travels hundreds of miles on vacation he wants it to look like home? What part of “theme park” does he not understand?

  3. Do they at least have a Mulan ride?

    Kevin

  4. You know this just made me think of one of my all time favorites, The Last Emperor. Whatever, the pinot is kicking in, again, but anyway there ya go.

  5. Larry A: the customer is always right. If they want to see Chinese legends instead of European fairy tales, then Disney better get on it, chop-chop. You talk as though the theme park has some sort of moral obligation to educate the Chinese in American culture.

    Actually, retailers, service providers, and entertainment companies frequently have trouble understanding the Chinese market. They tend to assume that our culture and values are universal, that what we like is so obviously superior that everyone else will like it, too. When I was abroad I found it impossible to get donuts. Africans, you see, don’t like sweet things. Even cake donuts are too sweet, far less glazed ones, and forget about Krispy Kremes. A Kenyan I met who had been to the US laughed and shuddered when I mentioned it. He said the first time he saw a dessert cart in America he nearly threw up.

  6. James,

    Hmmm…from now on all our food aid to Africa should be in the form of cream filled glazed donuts. That’ll teach them not to disrespect our culture!

  7. Funny, “Mickey Mao” was my Halloween costume one year.

  8. Africans, you see, don’t like sweet things. Even cake donuts are too sweet, far less glazed ones, and forget about Krispy Kremes. A Kenyan I met who had been to the US laughed and shuddered when I mentioned it. He said the first time he saw a dessert cart in America he nearly threw up.

    That’s alright. It all balances out, tit for tat. Every third or fourth time I eat Ethiopian food I end up on the toilet in the middle of the night. And yet, I keep going back, I can’t keep away from that stuff, the Crack of Ethnic Cuisine…

  9. “including several overbooked days during last year’s Chinese New Year”

    Sounds like they are giving the customers enough of what they want.

  10. Well I guess that answers that age old question, is Mickey Mouse a Stoner?

    Just look at those Chinese Eyes he has.

  11. “Micey Mao, perfect. But why is he green?”

    I’m guessing it’s in opposition to the Red Red Sun of the Great Oarsman. Presumably green stands for money, capitalism, greed, or all three.

  12. I think it’s green because it’s supposed to look like a carving in jade, which is some kind of big deal in China.

  13. Why the cigar?

  14. They tend to assume that our culture and values are universal,

    George Bush has the same problem with the Middle East.

  15. madpad: I actually wrote the political connection explicitly into my post before deleting it as too heavy-handed but, yeah, cultural arrogance and tone-deafness has become the defining character trait of all US institutions, public and private.

    Thirty or forty years ago, the same beliefs and behavior were taken as a sort of admirable self-confidence by the rest of the world. It was said of Bismarck’s son that the older man’s strengths were weaknesses in the younger man: he was arrogant rather than confident, sarcastic instead of ironic. I wonder if the current generation of American leaders is different from its predecessors in the same way or if the world itself has changed. The periphery has become stronger and more assertive and finds US leadership overbearing rather than reassuring.

    Probably some combination of the two. But if the US is unable to adapt to its changing relationships it will go from one failure to the next.

  16. the customer is always right. If they want to see Chinese legends instead of European fairy tales, then Disney better get on it, chop-chop.

    I’m sure if there are enough people who want to visit a Chinese Legends theme park Disney or someone will be willing to set one up. But why should they feature anything but Disney tales at a Disney theme park? Particularly when tickets are apparently selling well.

    When I go to a Chinese restaurant I don’t expect them to serve chicken-fried steak. I probably wouldn’t like it if they did.

    You talk as though the theme park has some sort of moral obligation to educate the Chinese in American culture.

    You talk as though a Disney theme park has some sort of moral obligation to educate the Chinese in Chinese culture. Coal–>Newcastle?

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.