Disney’s Little “Freak” Show of Animals in Nature: A Dis-Ability Pedagogical Perspective on the Disney Industrial Complex
By, Amber George
Film is no stranger to reinforcing and creating images of “Otherness.” The Hollywood-Industrial Complex, which prides itself on constructing normalcy through sexist, homophobic, ableist, speciesist, and humanist perspectives, reinforces the binary of ability v. disability, human v. nonhuman, and nature v. civilization. George exposes a critical blind spot—Disney’s role in perpetuating ableism, speciesism, and anthropocentrism—by examining two Disney films: Dumbo and Finding Nemo.
Amber E. George, Ph.D., is an educator, social justice advocate, and artist currently teaching courses in ethical and social philosophy at SUNY Cortland, Le Moyne College and Misericordia University. She received her Doctorate in Philosophy from Binghamton University in 2007. Her dissertation, “Interpreting Dislocation: Gathering a Sense of Belonging,” employs various visual and poetic metaphors to analyze oppression based on race, gender, and disability. Themes of her work center on challenging the systemic nature of oppression as it materializes in various cultural situations. Her life and work celebrates a kind of belonging for humans, nonhuman beings, and nature with the hopes of achieving social justice.