Advertisement

The Nemofication of Nature: Animals, Artificiality, and Affect at Disney World

  • Jennifer A. KokaiEmail author
Chapter

Abstract

When Disney opened The Living Seas pavilion at Epcot in 1986, Disney tourists were transported to “Seabase Alpha,” an imaginary ocean research facility of the future that emphasized ecology and environmentalism instead of relying on the nostalgia and fantasy common to the Magic Kingdom. In 2001, faced with dwindling crowds, Disney began to transform the pavilion to focus on the characters from the Pixar film Finding Nemo, with the attraction renamed The Seas with Nemo and Friends. In this chapter, Jennifer A. Kokai draws attention to the diminishment of live non-human creatures in favor of more easily controlled and anthropomorphized animals, which she terms “Nemofication.” Many theme parks, like Disney, lean into this anthropomorphization with the idea that it will inspire guests to care more about the natural world, but at the same time, the framing choices built into the attractions ironically provide ecologically unsustainable choices, poor information, and shallow thinking as examples for visitors.

Keywords

Environmentalism Ecology Disney world The Living Seas Finding Nemo 

Bibliography

  1. “A World of Tomorrow: Inside Walt’s Last Dream”. 2012. D23, June 7. https://d23.com/a-world-of-tomorrow-inside-walts-last-dream/.
  2. Allen, David. 2014. Disneyland: Another Kind of Reality. European Journal of American Culture 33 (1): 33–47.  https://doi.org/10.1386/ejac.33.1.33_1.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Anonymous. 1986. ‘Living Seas’ Pavilion Dedicated At Disney World Epcot Center. Tribunedigital-Sunsentinel. http://articles.sun-sentinel.com/1986-01-16/business/8601030934_1_mammals-sea-world-disney-first. Accessed 2 May 2018.
  4. Baudrillard, Jean. 2001. Selected Writings. Stanford University Press.Google Scholar
  5. Castillo, Jose. 2018. PHOTOS: Original Living Seas Tank Paneling Replaced with Fresh Look. WDW News Today, April 24. https://wdwnt.com/2018/04/photos-original-living-seas-tank-paneling-replaced-with-fresh-look/.
  6. “Changes on Kilimanjaro Safaris at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Take Place This Week (All Ears® Guest Blog)”. 2012. http://land.allears.net/blogs/guestblog/2012/05/changes_on_kilimanjaro_safaris_1.html. Accessed 2 May 2018.
  7. Clément, Thibaut. 2012. ‘Locus of Control’: A Selective Review of Disney Theme Parks. In Media: The French Journal of Media Studies 2 (Journal Article).Google Scholar
  8. “Coral Reef Bleaching ‘the New Normal’ and a Fatal Threat to Ecosystems | Environment | The Guardian”. 2018. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/jan/04/coral-reef-bleaching-the-new-normal-and-a-fatal-threat-to-ecosystems. Accessed 23 July 2018.
  9. Diz Avenue. 2016. Disney’s Living Seas Television Special (1986)—DisneyAvenue.Com. https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=2013&v=5JXNDEHJKu0. Accessed 3 May 2018.
  10. “Epcot’s Living Seas—Classic or Nemo?”. n.d. MiceChat. https://discuss.micechat.com/blogs/the-626/7381013-/page2. Accessed 28 Feb. 2018.
  11. “Epcot’s The Seas With Nemo & Friends Part 2 (The ‘World’ According to Jack).” n.d.. http://land.allears.net/blogs/jackspence/2011/03/epcots_the_seas_with_nemo_frie.html. Accessed 7 May 2018.
  12. “Exploring Pandora, Disney World’s New ‘Avatar’-Themed Land: Big Crowds and the Park’s Best Ride (Photos)”. 2017. Cleveland.Com. June 21. http://www.cleveland.com/travel/index.ssf/2017/06/exploring_disney_worlds_new_av.html.
  13. Gauchat, Gordon. 2012. Politicization of Science in the Public Sphere: A Study of Public Trust in the United States, 1974 to 2010. American Sociological Review; Washington 77 (2): 167–187.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Harley, Heidi E., Erika A. Putman, and Herbert L. Roitblat. 2003. Bottlenose Dolphins Perceive Object Features Through Echolocation. Nature 424 (6949): 667–669.  https://doi.org/10.1038/nature01846.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Hayes, Thomas C., and Special to the New York Times. 1982. Fanfare as Disney Opens Park. The New York Times, October 2. http://www.nytimes.com/1982/10/02/business/fanfare-as-disney-opens-park.html.
  16. https://plus.google.com/+travelandleisure/posts. n.d. More Disney Avatar Theme Parks Could Be on the Way. Travel + Leisure. http://www.travelandleisure.com/trip-ideas/disney-vacations/more-disney-avatar-parks-may-be-coming. Accessed 2 May 2018.
  17. Kates, Robert W., Jesse H. Ausubel, and Mimi Berberian. 1985. Climate Impact Assessment. http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/1985cias.conf.....K.
  18. “LOST EPCOT—The Living Seas—History”. n.d.. http://www.lostepcot.com/livingseas.html. Accessed 3 Mar. 2018.
  19. Navarro, Mireya. 1995. Disney Announces Plans For a Wildlife Theme Park. The New York Times, June 21. http://www.nytimes.com/1995/06/21/us/disney-announces-plans-for-a-wildlife-theme-park.html.
  20. Nordheimer, Jon. 1986. WHAT’S DOING IN ORLANDO—NYTimes.Com. New York Times, February 9. http://www.nytimes.com/1986/02/09/travel/what-s-doing-in-orlando.html. Accessed 7 March 2018.
  21. Porges, Seth. 2010. The Tech Behind Four New Wonders at Disney World. Popular Mechanics, February 19. https://www.popularmechanics.com/technology/engineering/gonzo/4346536.
  22. Prévot-Julliard, Anne-Caroline, Romain Julliard, and Susan Clayton. 2015. Historical Evidence for Nature Disconnection in a 70-Year Time Series of Disney Animated Films. Public Understanding of Science 24 (6): 672–680.  https://doi.org/10.1177/0963662513519042.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Rawls Jr., Wendell. 1982. Close Encounters with Epcot; by Wendell Rawls Jr. New York Times, November 14. http://www.nytimes.com/1982/11/14/travel/close-encounters-with-epcot-by-wendell-rawls-jr.html.
  24. Sandlin, Jennifer A., and Julie Garlen Maudlin. 2017. Disney’s Pedagogies of Pleasure and the Eternal Recurrence of Whiteness. Journal of Consumer Culture 17 (2): 397–412.  https://doi.org/10.1177/1469540515602302.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. “What Happened to The Living Seas?”. n.d. WDWMAGIC—Unofficial Walt Disney World Discussion Forums. https://forums.wdwmagic.com/threads/what-happened-to-the-living-seas.27706/. Accessed 3 Mar. 2018.

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Weber State UniversityOgdenUSA

Personalised recommendations