Disney Does Steampunk

Everyone, prepare to clutch your pearls and bemoan the “mainstreaming” of Steampunk… Disney has just released its Mechanical Kingdom pins, featuring Mickey and company all decked out with parasols, spats, and, of course, gears and goggles. It’s all a fun mix of cute and cringe-worthy, and has a lot of people crying about the official End of Steampunk.

Fortunately, Steampunk Scholar and Cory Gross at Voyages Extraordinaries have posts offering some perspective. As they point out, Disney was steampunk before Steampunk was steampunk – from 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea back in the 1950s to more recent films like Atlantis and Treasure Planet that lured my generation of kids into the world of brass-coated sci fi.

Both are well worth the read and make excellent points. I gotta say, though, Mickey Mouse surrounded by gears might be a tad much for me, even if it isn’t the End of Steampunk.

Be Sociable, Share!

10 Responses to “Disney Does Steampunk”

  1. Thanks for the links as always 🙂 Personally I’m in the “It doesn’t bother me” camp, and I’m not just saying that because I’m a biased animals-in-waistcoats nut. (Though I probably am biased… *coughs*)

    First of all, it’s just a pin set, nothing major.

    Secondly, steampunk to me is about fun first and foremost.

    Thirdly, if people are afraid of cute fuzzy cartoon critters in steampunk duds, Neopets beat Disney out a loooong time ago. *pokes her Neopets, which are currently adorned in gear-furnished top hats, monocles, pocket watches, and steam-powered wings*

    Anyways, those are just my two cents… I dunno, it just seems to me like it doesn’t matter who or what might be borrowing the current steampunk fashion look, most of us here know that it’s the process of creating and making things that truly defines steampunk, and I don’t think a Disney pin set is going to put that under crossfire 🙂

  2. More distressing to me is that steampunks think a mouse with gears is steampunk enough to be noteworthy.

  3. Maybe this will finally stop people wearing those tophats with the goggles on. You shouldn’t wear goggles if you’re not going to use them!

  4. Pike: I left Neopets before they released the gear-furnished top-hats? Damn! *is now thoroughly disappointed.*

  5. I’m mixed on the feeling, especially since my own artistic ventures trend to a sci-fi in a steampunk-esque world. But as Waterbug said – it’s a bit more distressing that some people are so worked up over the idea.

  6. Disney is not the demise of steampunk—has contributed to steampunk—but steampunk was around before Disney, and will be around long after the mouse loses his ears.

  7. I think it’s great that places like Disney cotton on to these things, it’ll be something that steampunk fans who also love Disney can have fun with, and then it’ll move on.

    And let’s not forget Treasure Planet, that was WAY steamy. And awesome.

  8. […] View full post on SteamPunk Magazine […]

  9. […] Scholar, the style wasn’t fitting of the story Disney was trying to tell in this film. Critics also bemoaned the “mainstreaming” of steampunk — because, of course, there’s no way it could […]

  10. I’ve read several excellent stuff here. Definitely price bookmarking for revisiting. I surprise how so much effort you set to make this kind of wonderful informative site.

Leave a Reply