I occasionally wonder how globalization would impact the Smurfs.
To their credit, they organized their society around an enlightened despot who encouraged diversification within the proletariat and judiciously diffused internal strife by encouraging everyone to smurf unto others as you would have them smurf unto you. In addition, the presence of a powerful external threat to unite them contributed to their stability, as did their obvious shared genetics ancestry. This model can lead to powerful economic dynamism were they to choose to export their good and services to other nations, such as the Snorks or Biskitts.
Of course, we can only speculate. Smurf society collapsed into obscurity, crippled by FCC regulations mandating "educational" programming, driving local affiliates to cut back on their Smurf-related correspondents and in favor of the Bayside High School journalism class. It's entirely possible that the Smurfs could have overcome the obvious gender inequalities to dominate the mushroom region of the forest and be a world leader in "blue" technologies.
Which brings me, belatedly, to my point. I cannot see how today's aspirants to animated economic leadership have the resources, organization, or focus to survive. I've done a preliminary analysis of some of the more prominent ones described in my child's literature or in the helpful documentaries found on Noggin, and my findings are not promising:
Ponyville: Ponyville has been perplexing me since I first discovered it during one of Serendipity's butterfly hunts. A verdant land, it has all the obvious hallmarks of a pre-industrial society. It's easy to romanticize such halcyon places, with their babbling brooks and rainbow berry bushes. But in reality such places are rarely as magical as they seem.
The economy of Ponyville appears to lack any form of formal currency. Pony's are often seen at the Cotton Candy Cafe or Twist 'n Style Petal Parlour gossiping and sharing mutual admiration at how great their friendships are, yet the services provided are never paid for. In fact, emotional support seems to be the only form of currency accepted by these Pony's. This begs the question of how these goods and services are manufactured and maintained, as to my knowledge emotional support is less effective than comprehensive health care and competitive wages to an organized labor force.
My suspicion is that this is actually a feudal society in which serfs are kept conveniently out of site while the matriarchal aristocracy spends its days attending extravagant pony parties at Celebration Castle. This is further upheld by recent news reports that Wysteria named every pony in Ponyville a princess, further strengthening their control of the nations major institutions, presumably at the expense of the masses. One can only hope that such bald abuse of power does not lead to future civilian unrest...or worse.
Dora's Forest: The forest where Dora's parent let her play--unsupervised, with a monkey--seems to have some surprising advantages. Thanks to a healthy investment in infrastructure, roads are well laid-out and easy to read on a map, although they have a reputation for poor signage at forks in the road or when approaching hazards such as Crocodile Lake or King Crab's sandcastle. The economy is stable enough to permit specialization of it's multilingual workforce in anything from transportation to gardening. Natural resources are plentiful, and the recent unveiling of a "robot house" has showcased it's adoption of new technologies. But things are not always what they seem.
A more thorough analysis of Dora's forest quickly exposes the sort of instability which plagued Tarzan and led to the eventual economic decline of Bedrock once the Great Gazoo arrived. The lack of an effective security force has resulted into a number of unique magical objects routinely falling into the wrong hands. The resulting collateral damage--including the environmental cleanup of the mermaid kingdom and the re-population of the Snowy Forest--cost several million golden coins, severely curtailing the Coney Island ice cream budget. The titular head of the government's opposition party has been accused of theft and corruption, yet remains a powerful voice in daily life. And the proximity to an environmentally-protected rain forest is a bureaucratic headache for construction companies and pharmaceutical firms wishing to capitalize on the abundant resources within.
It remains to be seen whether Dora's Forest can overcome these obstacles, let alone maintain the high standard of living enjoyed by its citizens. A government spokesman, reached at his office under a bridge, admitted that he needs help to "solve my riddle."
Disneyworld: In a recent coup, a cabal of princesses took control of government offices and local media outlets and promptly instituted a jewelry- and fairy-based economy. This experiment has many of the characteristics of Lenin's GOELRO plan, but as was the case in 1920 it is likely that a more totalitarian regime would be necessary to ensure it's execution. As history has taught us, it is far more likely that political dissidents will either flee to the neighboring, more independent Pixar-dominated territories or find themselves in gulags.
Maisy's Town: Several economists have suggested that Maisy Mouse and her elbowless cohorts are on the cusp of the same sort of economic revolution experienced in South Korea during the 1990's. However, I see tremendous flaws in such arguments. Numerous examples of incompetence abound, including frequent job-swapping between unskilled workers (e.g. traffic problems caused by Charlie's misuse of a crane, medical malpractice caused when Maisy and Tallulah bumped into each other while treating Panda). The complete absence of perspective or hard lines in any of their products or services gives them limited value, as does their over-dependence on primary colors. Even Cyril, the cabinet minister who has shown to be talented in both plate-spinning and maraca-shaking, has shown a proclivity to scare himself in the mirror when wearing his lion mask. Without a new regime, there is little chance that anything more than the occasional batch of cookies will ever be exported.
Of course, any analysis and prediction will be limited by the data available, and future developments may have an unexpected positive impact on the nations described above. Few economists foresaw the rise of the Looney Tunes empire, driven largely by the willingness of its population to take any job available, from bull-fighter to opera conductor to astronaut, to propel forward their aggressive economic agenda.
Such examples are more often the exception than the rule, however. For every economic success story, there are five more which ended tragically.