Monsters Inc., Moslems, Inc.: The Uses of Disenchantment in the film that is set after but made before Monsters University.
We know that children’s films can be tools for introducing the unpleasant realities of the adult world. Witness Chicken Run, a claymation film from the creators of Wallace and Gromit, in which the World War Two story of the Jews’ imprisonment, forced labor, and then systematic destruction is told through a parallel tale of chickens’ forced imprisonment, mandatory egg laying, and then systematic destruction when the egg farm converts to a chicken pot-pie factory. It is all right there, right down to the propagandistic American hero, whose heroics are in fact very chicken-hawkish, much the way the reality of Nazi Germany’s defeat was thanks more to the Russians than the good ole U.S. of A. So if children’s cinema can be used to explain harsh political realities from a past that the children are currently unaware of but which still retains currency in living cultural memory, how far-fetched is it to imagine that a film could describe harsh political realities while they were happening, so as to soothe the psychic feathers of children as they are experiencing them? Especially if those children are, in fact, the necessary voters and taxpayers your system is going to need to sustain the fictional fantasy by which you run global politics.
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