If you have spent any time at all watching TV shows or movies on Hulu lately, you probably have come across a long-format commercial for Disney Blu Ray. The tagline for this commercial is “Create New Memories”, and it directs you to this website. I tried to find a version of the commercial that I could post in my blog, but, after diving into the equally scary worlds of Disney and YouTube, this video was the closest I could find.
I should probably mention that I came across this ad repeatedly while watching anime that is rated–oh, wait, my parents read this blog–let’s just say it’s rated a bit higher than the standard family friendly fair.
So, here’s the thing. I grew up in the age of the VCR. I remember watching movies with my family and friends, but I don’t remember a single instance of watching a particular movie in a particular location with anybody in particular. Wait, that’s not true, I did insist my parents rent “The Princess Bride” every time I got to choose the movie or we had a sleepover, but that’s only because my Mom put her foot down and said no more.
I do remember playing outside, or playing dolls/dinosaurs with my friends. (Amber was always a dinosaur when we played Barbies, her choice) I remember reading books, like Anne of Green Gables, The Secret Garden, A Little Princess, The Little House on the Prairie box set, Island of the Blue Dolphins and A Wrinkle in Time. I even remember reading more obscure titles, like The Diamond in the Window or I Spent My Summer Vacation Kidnapped Into Space . And those are just the titles I can remember off the top of my head. If I thought about it, I could come up with a much longer list. I remember family vacations, including a road trip to Bear Lake via Wendover. (For those of you unfamiliar with Utah geography, Bear Lake straddles the Utah/Idaho border, and is very close to Wyoming. Wendover straddles the Utah/Nevada border on I-80. Basically, we started a road trip to points east by driving 120 miles west.) I have fond memories of singing songs and playing games, but not of watching movies.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I love Disney movies, especially the animated ones that were released during the 90’s. I remember walking to the movie theater to see “The Lion King”, but it’s not one of my top 100 favorite memories.
I know that Disney is all about making money under the guise of family entertainment, but please, don’t reduce the American family to a group of individuals who does nothing together except watch TV. (Yes, I am aware there are families like that. Leave me alone.) If the memories of the rising generation are all about watching “Up” or “Cars” on Blu-Ray, than we as a society don’t deserve to continue.
I have never once waxed nostalgic about watching “Alf” or “Punky Brewster” even though those were my favorite shows as a kid. I don’t remember a single movie of my early childhood (except Princess Bride), even though I now know there were some amazing Jim Hansen kids movies put out during the early to mid 80’s.
Disney, please re-think this ad campaign. “Create New Memories” is a great tag line–please use it for one of your parks. Movies and TV do not equal memories.