Disney v. Satire

July 24, 2008
Posted by Jay Livingston

“Satire is what closes on Saturday night.” So said George S. Kaufman. The updated version is “Satire is what Disney closes on Saturday morning.”

A couple of weeks ago, I blogged about the satirical website BuyNLarge.com that Pixar set up to accompany Wall-E. In the movie, Buy N Large has come to dominate the universe by feeding our desire for consumer products and entertainment. The only thing that people do is shop and lie around watching television. The website continued this satirical idea in a delightfully pointed way.

The final sentence of my post about the website was, “I wonder what kind of reception it’s getting among the Disney brass.”

Now we know.

When you click on BuyNLarge.com now, instead of getting the tongue-in-cheek fictional website, you get an utterly conventional Disney-style movie auxilliary complete with games, video clips, stuff to buy, and even links to real corporate tie-in sponsors.

The only trace of BuyNLarge.com I could find on the Internet (aside from the two images I posted) was the Disclaimer page, which begins
In order to access services through our site, you must provide us with certain personal information such as your name, your Vari-Credit number and expiration date, your Vari-Credit billing address, your telephone number, your e-mail address and the name or names of the person(s) in your immediate family. We may also ask you for other personal information, such as your medical history.

All acquired customer information becomes the property of the Buy n Large corporation and can be used (but is not limited to) any venture the Buy n Large Corporation deems beneficial to it. By visiting Buy n Large (or a Buy n Large partner) the user agrees to relinquish (if requested) any personal assets that may be deemed "usable” by the Buy n Large Corporation; this includes (but is not limited to) real estate, stock holdings, user transportation, employment income and the users “soul” (either real or imagined, regardless of spiritual or religious affiliation).
This gives you some idea of what the rest of BuyNLarge.com was like. If anyone knows where BuyNLarge.com can be found, please spread the word.


Andi said...

I was disappointed too when I tried to visit buynlarge and was redirected to Disney (I blogged about it too!). They did a sloppy job, though, because the flash file is still there --> http://www.buynlarge.com/bnl.swf

Enjoy! :o)

Jay Livingston said...

Andi -- Great find. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Seems Disney's only comfortable with satire, and weak satire at that, if a buck or two can be made from it.

Unknown said...

Omg, Andi, you just saved my life! I also blogged about the movie and website, and I was super-distressed to see that it had disappeared. I was so fascinated by the tension in which Pixar was choosing to operate, creating really quite incendiary art for one of the largest media corporations in the U.S. I was so disappointed for them when it seemed Disney had taken away one of their loudest statements of cultural critique! I'm so glad Disney didn't make them get rid of it all... or at least, doesn't know enough about technology to realize...