Tom RostonIndependent journalist Tom Roston checks in and writes about the world of documentaries in his column, Doc Soup.

You can follow Tom on Twitter @DocSoupMan.

Doc Soup: Disney’s New Docs

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I am giddy with joy. Last week, Disney announced that following the box office success of March of the Penguins (a bit of a delayed reaction, no?), it is launching a new film production unit called Disneynature to produce and distribute documentary films. I grew up watching Mutual of Omaha‘s nature show and then the Disney weekly movie every Sunday evening, and I have warm memories of going to Disneyland and Disneyworld as a child, so I can’t help dreaming of what else is to come from the Mouse House!

Disney NatureOf course, they’d have to start with Roger Rabbit and Me, in which grumpy documentarian Michael Moore has to save the animated Roger Rabbit from getting fired from his job in Toontown. Wouldn’t it be cute to see Moore harassing Scrooge McDuck and agitating to get the ‘toon characters a fair wage? And, well, I’d love to watch Errol Morris interview Snow White and the Seven Dwarves. His truth-telling techniques strike me to be remarkably similar to the evil Queen‘s magical mirror, so he would certainly be able to dig to the greater truths of why Grumpy is so grumpy and, really, what exactly Snow White is doing in the woods with her seven dysfunctional friends.

Naturally, Disney will soon be constructing doc-based, theme park attractions, so I wouldn’t be surprised by An Inconvenient Ride, in which families get to ride hydraulic forklifts (like the one Al Gore seemed to enjoy so much) and shoot laser pointers at striking images of a decaying world. And it wouldn’t be a stretch to turn Where in the World is Osama Bin Laden? into an adventure ride. That’s clearly what director Morgan Spurlock was going for: people could crawl into Tora Bora holes and wear an animatronic suit that lets them battle a nine-foot Bin Laden. And after a full day in the park, a McDonald’s would be conveniently located nearby. Of course, they’d only serve the franchise’s ever-growing arsenal of Premium Salads.
Let’s check in a few years, and see what comes to be…

Tom Roston
Tom Roston
Tom Roston is a guest columnist for POV's documentary blog. He comes to us as a ten-year veteran of Premiere magazine, where he was a Senior Editor, and where he wrote the column, Notes from the Dream Factory. Tom was born and raised in New York City. He graduated from Brown University and started his career in journalism at The Nation and then Vanity Fair. Tom has also written for The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, GQ, New York, Elle and other publications. Tom's favorite documentaries are: 1. Koyanisqaatsi - Godfrey Reggio 2. Hoop Dreams - Steve James 3. The Up series - Michael Apted 4. Crumb - Terry Zwigoff 5. Capturing the Friedmans - Andrew Jarecki
  • http://solshine7.blogspot.com SolShine7

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    This is awesome! Anything to make more people aware of documentaries makes me happy.