Tuesday, January 26, 2010

We Bow before the Disney War Machine

For a family that does not do Disney, we've actually been doing Disney quite a lot this month.

You know how I love a deal--when I found out that the Humane Society foster program that we already participate in is also participating in the Disney Give a Day, Get a Day program, allowing us to earn three out of four tickets to a Disney theme park (Sydney's too young to volunteer) by doing the stuff that we already do, and that we could therefore use our tickets at Disneyland in California, where Matt's parents live and where an early Christmas, including the much longed-for winter activity of whale watching, would be super fun...well, a trip to Disneyland is critical for American pop cultural context, don't you think?

And as if that wasn't enough...the Family Fun magazine that I adore and receive in my mailbox regularly thanks to my awesome Aunt Pam is also Disney's whore. And as Disney's whore, they always have this page of special offers for Disney crap that I don't want. Except for the offer of a free week's subscription to Disney Digital Books...

Okay, fine:
The site is pretty much what it claims to be, a huge library of digital books at three reading levels--read-alouds (with music and special voices), easy readers, and books with more words per page. Of course, every single book is about some freakin' Disney character, with the Winnie the Pooh and Bambi books being pretty inoffensive. But after the girls went so crazy for the site (tally of books read on the site in the past 24 hours: 24), I just let them read whatever they want--the tragedy that is Dumbo, all the asinine Princess and Tinkerbell books, whatever.

The cool things about the site: the look-and-listen books are easy enough for Sydney to do independently; pointing the cursor at a word in the more difficult books will read it aloud for you, which is good for Willow. The lame things about the site: the navigation in the site itself is kind of difficult, especially for a site that's meant to be used by children; the digital books don't fit entirely within my laptop screen, which is not unusually small, meaning that you have to be skilled enough to scroll or you have to live with the bottom of your book being cut off.

Anyway, it's only a week, and I'll tell you if it turns the girls into princess freaks or if I see any symtpoms in their behavior of Disney's notorious subliminal messaging. Or in my behavior? *shudder*

No comments: