Islam, animation, and money: The reception of Disney’s Aladdin in Southeast Asia.

  • Author(s): Timothy R. White, J. Emmett Winn
  • When: 1999-12
  • Where: Themes and Issues in Asian Cartooning: Cute, Cheap, Mad, and Sexy
  • Much has been said about the reception of Walt Disney Incorporated's (WDI) 1993 film Aladdin by Arab-American groups in the United States. However, little has been written concerning the reception of the film in other parts of the world, especially in those nations with significant Muslim populations. Although an investigation into the reception of the film in the Islamic nations of the Middle East seems obvious and appropriate, there are other parts of the world with significant Muslim populations that deserve attention. This chapter, then, is a study of the controversy surrounding the distribution and exhibition of Aladdin in the nations of Southeast Asia with large Muslim populations. These nations include Indonesia (with the largest Muslim population in the world), Brunei, and Malaysia—all of which are predominantly Muslim—and Singapore, in which Muslims constitute a significant minority.' Although in the United States the issues surrounding this film may be regarded as primarily concerning freedom of expression, in other parts of the world this is not quite so simple.

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