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Disney Cut and Paste

by Critical Commons Manager

This remix illustrates Disney's own internal plagiarism and lack of originality in animated sequences.

The Triumph of Remix

by hsun

I don't know if we can summarize the intriguing culture practice that is remix quite accurately, or at least come to its defense against the maddening persecutions coming from the  big, evil and faceless business moguls who want to achieve nothing cultural wise but to brand all their often inadequate and self-repetitive commodities with the intimidating "copy-righted material" mark and lock them up in dark warehouses so that nobody else could ever lay their hands on them so a limited version DVD can be produced every year, by referring to the ever so witty and convincing argument made by the old master of  France Renaissance, Montaigne, saying: "I quote others only the better to express myself."  Or I can't. Or I can use something even more famous though I can't remember the originality however hard I tried, saying: "Satire is holding up a mirror to the truth."

OK, I lied. I do remember the originality of the statement above, or at least the Originality with a capital O. It is a variation(let's say this for scientific integrity's sake) of a quote from "Hamlet", Act II Scene 2 : "anything so overdone is from the purpose of playing, whose end, both at the first and now, was and is, to hold, as 'twere, the mirror up to nature." So see? That cute little epithet turns out to be a REMIX. And, at least from my personal POV, it has made neither the original version nor the remixed version a little bit untrue.

That's basically (or frankly speaking, the far-stretched version of) what I feel about this clip. Is it really useful for either scholars, critics or general movie going public to lament on the lack of originality any more? I assume not, because nobody reads any more, and nobody listens any more. All that people do today is surf on line purposelessly, and getting washed away by the information "flows" that Lev Manovich mentioned at the beginning of his article. Information flows are just like the water flows, as the quantity of fluids increase, the paths get wider and wider. An article on the front page of New York Times may not raise that much of attention any more, but a multi-million-hit youtube video might. So video remix could prove to be a renovated and powerful solution to a lot of social, political, cultural issues in the foreseeable future. 

I quite liked Manovich's argument on "remixability". Remixability is, like he quoted Barb Dybwad, is "a transformative process in which the information and media we’ve organized and shared can be recombined and built on to create new forms, concepts, ideas, mashups and services." This is an official acknowledgement of the creativity of remix. Remix does create meanings from existing, and sometimes static and lifeless "samples" or even more fittingly "Lego blocks" in Manovich's essay, the "cut and paste" in the clip has indeed breathed new life into the sickening repetitions in old school Disney cartoons, and this new life, by any means, is far more intellectually superior than its originality. In this round, remix has clearly triumphed.

Response to "The Triumph of Remix"

by Jesse Kapp

In response to Haining’s thoughts on this clip, I agree that Manovich’s thoughts on “remixability” are well founded. The use of pre-existing media and information into new works is clearly not new (like the Shakespeare reference). I often think of Andy Warhol’s work as perhaps some of the most well-known examples of image appropriation in the fine art world in the last century. I do, however, find it difficult to locate the real value in this Disney remix clip. It admittedly does serve a function, and it clearly communicates the fact that Disney has reused basic animatics and character design in their films. This can be seen as cutting a corner, or as a simple time and money saving device in a field of work that requires vast amounts of these elements.


The problem for me is that the point of the clip is quite simple and therefore slips very quickly into redundancy. Perhaps Manovich’s discussion of modularity can come into play here. The units that the video works with are repetitive. Also, there is nothing to be compared concerning the dialogue in the clips, so instead we get a silly song (something that is all to prevalent in this type of clip). As Haining points out, “remix does create meaning from existing”, and I personally find good remixes involving dialogue or lyrics to have an immediate sense of depth concerning the specifics of the language and how separate elements are interacting with each other. The modularity of single words chopped up and reassembled offers a much more dynamic range of new expression. Also, a remix piece of this kind is more interesting if it evolves and doesn’t make its entire point in the first ten percent of its running time. So again, the Disney clip admittedly does have a purpose, but it really isn’t all that fascinating to me because it communicates a fairly simple concept very quickly and then overstays its welcome.

Test commentary 2

by TestUser1

This is another test commentary to delete later

Disney Cut and Paste

Filed under: , , ,

A remix showing uncanny resonances in Disney animations

from Ressemblance (2010)
Creator: Unknown
Distributor: Internet
Posted by Critical Commons Manager