it’s not about the wig

    For most of people who won’t pay much attention on media and entertainment corporation, they maybe hardly figure out the scale of The Walt Disney Company. Most American aware there is one Disneyland in California, and another one in Orlando, Florida. Rest of the world, people know there is “a” theme park called Disneyland. Than, there has a media industry, which chances are less identifiable than amusement park. Since 1923, Walt Disney started his animator career at Kansas City, Missouri. His studio’s work was known by the interaction between actual actor, anamorphic personified object and the combination of jigging music. In the early Disney’s studio, they often coherent their work to social and political issue. After the huge success of his first feature-length film in 1934, the Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in 1934, Walt Disney Studio reinforced its domain position in animation industry. In Disney Animation’s history, there's a certain period that their movie gained huge success and become ageless product that sold to generation through generation.  
    In 90’s, there is a term that being designated: the Disney renaissance. This decade, Disney produced, The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Pocahontas, Hercules, Mulan, Tarzan and the Lion King. This period of the movie shared some sort of template that generally formed the stereotype of Disney Animation, which quoted from Dream on Silly Dreamer: “a musical-comedy format with Broadway-style songs and tentpole action sequences, buoyed by cross-promotional marketing and merchandising designed to pull audiences of various ages and types.” Animation is an activity of creation, animators has all access and power to decide how to form the image or their character, what kind of character to tell the story. Disney manage to practice a method to catch various audiences eyes. The Lion King among all the carious, is the most successful one. It’s about a king’s orphan return from its outer-edge exile life to regain family and land after his father’s tragic death. If the character is not a lion, this plot will be more like a gray, heavy post WWI Russian literature. Instead, there are something else which is more accessible to public. There is a scene when Simba, the main character, was confused by his role and lying on a cliff in the Savannah. He wiped up some grass and dust into sky. The wind those grass and dust into further distance. Then, there is a second they be arranged into three letter: S-E-X. This is the most famous urban myth. Disney’s animator did admit that they will be a little ”playful” while they are making films. However, the S-E-X inception in the Lion King has never been confirmed for  an intentional act. Once a psychology test took place in movie theater, researcher put 1/60 second frame of slide that wrote “Coke” or “Popcorn” and implanted in the middle of movie. 1/60 frame’s information is not recognizable by our eyes. However, the selling number of coke and popcorn increased drastically during the movie. Our conscious expose to a wider range of connotation. 
    Back to the design of image, The Lion King has a interesting character set that more interesting than the conspiracy of sexual symbol exposure. Disney is good at the method of anamorphic personate character. Between Simba and his father, Mufasa, animators set up a clever element which been used to differentiate those two. Mufasa, in the story is a wise ruler, role model of father. Simba is a young, immature cub that eager to become his father. Then, look at their hair.  Mufasa has a perfect smooth, no spiky, creamy fur. On another hand, Simba get a bang and thick sturdy hair. It seems a logical match for character and hair style: a solemn serious character versus clean, well taken cared image. (see fig. 1); a playful, no-worry noble versus a bang. (see fig. 2) Which one can be more easy to build connection for Disney’s young audience?  This is another layer of information this film inherited. 
    The third aspect that worth pay attention to is one of the music scene in that film. Composed by Sir Elton John, Can you feel the love tonight is an Oscar Academy Award winner piece. Animators had choose a specific perspective to illustrator this scene. Story is about the love relationship between Simba and Nala. After Nala found Simba is still alive and try to persuade him back to power. They found a waterfall, Kiara sip some water first, then Simba jump into the pound, and grab Kiara into it. As the music goes on, they are playing in Savanna, rolling down the hill. Kiara kisses Simba, not kisses, she licks his cheek. Then they spend a good night.
    Is this good or bad? An animation that embedded different kind of layer of sexual content. If anamorphic can start to let audience bound with character, then inevitably, the attraction between affection should be conclude to capture the humanity. Disney did a good job to keep these content as a behaved sublayer of the story as a tool to approach to large customer while maintaining a good quality context. Children will attract by the delightful color, humorous music and they will learn about friendship, family and maybe a lesson about live. Young one, as in the age of first being introduced to having an affection with different sex, the interaction between two personate animal is much more less deliberate than the actual reality. In this case, Disney is sending a message of feeling, not knowledge, including that Simba’s bang. Than audience grow up, sex itself start to derived as a sensitive subject that need to be sealed nut still stay as a hidden secret, which cause when some random grass and dust being carried to sky, people see S-E-X. Before audience  over drain their attention to superficial conspiracy, the Lion King treat sex as a nature primitive quality that all human share and well translated it anamorphic into the subtle layers of seasoning that make it a good tasteful story.

fig 1.  Mufasa  courtesy to Walt Disney Animation Studio

fig 1. Mufasa
courtesy to Walt Disney Animation Studio

fig 2. Simba courtesy to Walt Disney Animation Studio

fig 2. Simba
courtesy to Walt Disney Animation Studio

1. “Company History” Corporate Information. The Walt Disney Company. Retrieved August 30, 2008.
2.  “Disney: Notes on the end of the Disney Renaissance”. Retrieved 2008-08-26.

Refraction - On American Design

    America is not the country where car was first born. Automobile was born in Europe, 1886. With the design of Benz Patent-Motorwagen, the ancestor of Mercedes Benz of nowadays, humans can transport to places faster, safer and longer. The machine which used as a tool of moving hardly fit the conception of car in our days. It was more like a wagon, or a carriage with engine powered by mechanic system. It wasn’t until Ford’s Mobile T that automobiles started to have an enormous impact on to American culture. The innovation of mass production caused Ford to become the prologue of modern auto mobility. Since 1908, the launch of the Mobile T, the pursuit of mobility started to become one of the significant DNA in American culture. The mobility merged and expand when Curtis proposed another level of loading capacity, from the ability of moving develop to the right to choose whether staying or going. Curtis promises a standard of living, which consists of “a clean, efficient, highly-serviced, totally independent living unit.” (Banham, p.160) Airstream, as the pursuit of platonic ideology balancing between hospitality and mobility, successfully promote the image of the futuristic living prompt with mobility by the polished aluminum skin as aircraft, miscellaneous doors. 
    There was a discontinues choices of design Airstream can been experienced. Airstream’s version of futuristic image was being designed and set in the period of the New Deal while this product, in reality, was introduced in seventieth.  For the outside of the caravan, the line formed by aluminum came from the style of art deco in thirtieth. However, the interior had none related serve to exterior, only function aspect took space. Some takes the difference between exterior and interior as an illusion of lie. Instead of the future projection, what is inside, is simply home. Banham depicted a scene that Airstream passed farms and composed a high contrast movement between future and real life. The refraction of context transformed seamlessly from one style to another. 
      The refraction method of design was manipulated in various aspect of American culture. Such as the automobile industry started to affect the food industry in various aspect. For example, California as a modern city blooming in twentieth century, fully echoed the ecology of car industry. In-N-Out, collect refractions from different value along with chromatics, architecture and visual rhetoric that effect subconscious behavior and user experience. The design of this chain fast food restaurant has a decent proportion related to mobility. First, the big arrow stands in the middle of the logo, which relating to the moving, accelerating, a “go” characteristic of fast food; Second, the audio broadcast system that make sure even the customer in one’s car in the parking lot won’t miss their meal. Third, the simplest menu one can ever get (Hamburger, Cheeseburger, French Fries and Shakes), which a time saving design to shorten the waiting period before they handed the meal to customer. 
    The signature colors for In-N-Out are white, red, and yellow. The white is used for the building's’ exterior walls and the employee's’ basic uniform. Red is used for the buildings’ roofs and the employees’ aprons and hats. Yellow is used for the decorative band on the roof and iconic zig-zag in the logo. These kinds of color coding is widely being used in fast food restaurant such as McDonald's, KFC...Etc. Red is known for having the function of stimulation humans appetite. Yellow links to the color of potato and cheese, also, scientifically it’s the most eye catching color human can ever experience, which is truly essential for a restaurant that have to advertise those fast moving, distanced customer. White is about hygiene as the color of napkin, the guarantee of clean environment and sanitary food process. 
     Above all, perhaps the most interesting design refraction inside In-N-Out is about their architecture. Walking in to In-N-Out, one will see small square ceramic tiles which used with their recognizable color and relatively low counter that allow one to see inside the kitchen. These are the important elements that also shared in American’s home kitchen. What is In-N-Out trying to sell? The flavor of family owned, home-cook quality food, decades-old businesses in the local area. Therefore they construct their trust between customer by using the projection of the clean, old-fashioned  image of kitchen even before their food is served. Another visual detail that usually appears is a popular image on In-N-Out ads and artwork, which often shows classic cars such as 1965 Mustangs and 1968 Firebirds visiting the original restaurants. The product (I mean their food, user experience and other aspect as an whole dinning activity) along with their brand image, including menu, interior setting, color, mix the perception of family and all the value of auto mobile industry together, created  a mouth watering attempting option. 
      Famous London chef and restaurateur Gordon Ramsay ate In-N-Out for the first time when taping Hell’s Kitchen in Los Angeles, and it soon became one of his favorite spots for take-out. Ramsay was quoted, saying about the experience: “In-N-Out burgers were extraordinary. I was so bad, I sat in the restaurant, had my double cheeseburger then minutes later I drove back round and got the same thing again to take away.” After all, who wouldn’t love this kind of promise: the freedom of moving, traveling, and during the traveling, you can always goes back home only by drive into those drive through under the white, yellow, red billboard.  Or even more so, you can take “it” with you.1

Work Cited:
Reyner Banham. “Taking With You.” Berkley: University of California Press, 1996
Fugure 1. The interior of In-N-Out.