How Donald Duck and Mickey Mouse Elevated the Everyman

The Disneyfication of American History Began Long Before the Theme Parks

There are few symbols of pure Americana more potent than the Disney theme parks. To walk down any of the destinations’ manicured Main Streets, U.S.A.—as hundreds of thousands of visitors do each day—is to walk though a particular vision of America’s collective memory. It’s small-town values. It’s optimism. It’s energy. It’s innovation. It’s a certain kind of innocence. It is by design, the story of the “American Way”—and one that has played a dominant role in shaping the collective memory of American history.

Though Disney Parks today are well-established cultural …

How ‘Bambi’ Hoodwinked American Environmentalists

The Sentimental Disney Cartoon Cemented the Myth That Man and Nature Can’t Coexist

Perking up her ears, the dog was the first to notice them, just a few blocks from our homes in east-central Illinois. One-by-one the does strolled from the woods …

Disney’s Bob Iger for President

Running a Major, Publicly Traded Multinational Requires Many of the Same Skills That Make for a Good Commander in Chief

Early in Donald Trump’s time on NBC’s The Apprentice, I wrote a column for the New York Times wondering why the network had cast someone with such a spotty business …

Give Every California Kid a Free Trip to Disneyland

Visiting the Happiest Place on Earth Is a Golden State Resident's Fundamental Right

On Christmas Eve, it felt like the park was all ours.

When I was growing up in the 1980s and early ’90s, Disneyland was so reliably empty on the day before …

The Man Who Brought Flying Purple People Eaters to Life

Bob Baker Earned L.A.’s Love with Magical Marionettes and Ice Cream after Every Puppet Show

In the last decade, I’ve led dozens of tour groups on my Disneyland tour of downtown Los Angeles. We explore the heart and soul of the city as if it’s …

That Cellist on the Promenade Is Living Off Your Tips

He’s Also Playing the Same Songs Over and Over, Spending Hours Waiting for a Good Spot, and Dealing With the Occasional Hostile Clown

We made the decision in December of 2005.

The two of us had just returned to Los Angeles from a 10-week nationwide tour in support of the debut album that we …