Bienvenido, Mickey Mouse!?: Hopes for a Magic Kingdom in Post-Franco Spain

Bienvenido, Mickey Mouse!?: Hopes for a Magic Kingdom in Post-Franco Spain

Volume 44 Issue 1

Author(s): Hamilton M. Stapell

Recommended Citation:

Stapell, Hamilton M. (2019) “Bienvenido, Mickey Mouse!?: Hopes for a Magic Kingdom in Post-Franco Spain,” Bulletin for Spanish and Portuguese Historical Studies: Vol. 44 : Iss. 1 , Article 8.

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Abstract:

Who doesn’t love Mickey Mouse? Apparently, not the French in the 1980s, as they actively fought to keep the mouse and his friends out of France. Many Spaniards, on the other hand, were quite eager to lure the Magic Kingdom to their country. What accounts for the difference? It appears as though Spain did not suffer from the same kind of cultural insecurity and anxieties that plagued other European nations during this period. Instead, many Spaniards apparently welcomed American investment, business know-how, and cultural products, including a Disney theme park, with open arms. In these cases, it seems that they were comfortably willing to accept American cultural products to serve their own ends, namely economic development, international prestige, and a feeling of full European integration. However, at the same time, there was a certain degree of anti-Americanism in Spain, often as a result of Cold War politics. Debates surrounding the NATO referendum and the presence of American military bases, and nuclear weapons in particular, did provoke anti-American sentiment during this period. Spain’s attempt to lure Disneyland to the Iberian Peninsula demonstrates that not all European countries in the postwar period have embraced (or rejected) American culture influence in the same way, to the same degree, and for the same reasons.

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