great “magic” of the Disney spell is that he animated the fairy tale only to transfix audiences JACK ZIPES. Breaking the Disney Spellt. It was not once upon a. According to Jack Zipes in his article, “Breaking the Disney Spell,” in From Mouse to Mermaid: “[Walt] Disney employed the most up-to-date. Zipes argues that through his use of innovative technologies, ingenuity, and his own “American” grit, Walt Disney appropriated European fairy.

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The purpose of the early animated films was to make audiences awestruck and to spelp the magical talents of the animator as demigod. Such male framing drives women to frustration and some women to the point of madness. This change did not happen overnight, but it did foster discrimination among writers and their audiences almost immediately so that distinct genres were recognized and approved for certain occasions and functions within polite society or cultivated circles of readers.

Fairy Tale as Myth/myth as Fairy Tale – Jack Zipes – Google Books

The man’s spell over the fairy tale seems to live on even after his death. Classic French Fairy Tales, Trs. Literature and the History of Violence New Dksney As long as one controls the images and machines one can reign supreme, just as the hero is safe as long as he is disguised.

The celebration of the phallus in the film was indicative of the nature of production in animation studios of the time. Was Disney a nefarious wizard of some kind that we should lament his domination of the fairy tale?

Leave a Reply Cancel reply Enter your comment here At first, the hero does not want puss’s sepll, nor will he buy her the boots that she sees in a shop window. In Disney’s film, she arrives and notices that the house is dirty. The author creates meaning and then manipulates it to affect the audience in the way that best satisfies their wishes, or that best addresses the needs of their agenda.

Foundational Essay: Zipes’ “Breaking the Disney Spell”

After Disney had made several Laugh-O-Gram fairy-tale films, all ironic and modern interpretations of the classical versions, he moved to Hollywood in and was successful in producing 56 Alice films, which involved a young pubescent girl in different adventures beraking cartoon characters.


During the major action of the film, he, like Disney, is lurking in the background and waiting for the proper time to make himself known.

It did not matter what story was projected just as long as the images astounded the audience, captured its imagination for a short period, and left the people laughing or staring breakong wonderment. With the rise of literacy and the invention of the printing press in the 15th century, the oral tradition of storytelling underwent an immense revolution.

It is here, Zipes contends, where Walt Disney and other animators arrived to appropriate our traditional understanding of fairy hreaking.

Fairy tales were first told by gifted tellers and were based on rituals intended to endow meaning to the daily lives of members of a tribe. The witches are not only agents of evil but represent erotic and subversive forces that are more appealing both for the artists who drew them and the audiences.

Merritt makes the interesting point that “Disney’s Snow White is an adaptation of a children’s play Disney saw it as a silent movie during his adolescence still much performed today, written by a male Broadway producer under a female pseudonym; this play was an adaptation of a play for immigrant children from the tenements of lower East Side New York; and that play, in turn, was a translation and adaptation of a German play for children by a prolific writer of children’s comedies and fairy tale drama.

The hand with pen or pencil is featured in many animated films in the process of creation, and it is then transformed in many films into the tails of a cat or dog. New American Library, This book will change forever the way we look at the fairy tales of our youth.

The great “magic” of the Disney spell is that he animated the fairy tale only to transfix audiences and divert their potential utopian dreams and hopes through the false promises of the images he cast upon the screen.

However, to understand Disney’s importance as designer and director of fairy-tale films that set a particular pattern and model as the film industry developed, it does make sense to elaborate on Crafton’s notions of self-figuration, for it provides an important clue for grasping the further development of the fairy tale as animated film or film in general.

For instance, the voice in fairy- tale films is at first effaced so that the image totally dominates the screen, and the words or narrative voice can only speak through the designs of the animator who, in the case of Walt Disney, has signed his name prominently on the screen.


A narrator or narrators told tales to bring members of a group or tribe closer together and to provide them with a sense of mission, a telos. Then they go to the movies together and see a film with Rudolph Vaselino, a reference to the famous Rudolph Valentino, as a bullfighter that spurs the imagination of Puss.

The social repercussions of this are vast in that it suggests that nothing we read or view can be considered clean of authorial bias. From a philological standpoint, the literary fairy tale elevated the oral tale through the standard practice of printing and setting grammatical rules in “high French” or “high German. Images now imposed themselves on the dizney and formed their own visual meaning in violation of print and the print culture.

By institutionalizing the fairy tale, writers and publishers disregarded the forms and concerns of the underprivileged and illiterate, and established spelll standards of taste, production, and reception through the discourse of the fairy tale.

It is not the object of critique to “disdain” or “condemn” Disney for reappropriating the Grimms’ tradition to glorify the great designer, but to understand those cultural and psychological forces that led him map out his narrative strategies in fairy-tale animation. As the ruler of his fantasy world, Disney controlled the message, creating an indelible means of self-figuration by labeling himself as the sole owner of the product, and, therefore, the message.

The prince appears at the very beginning of the film on a white horse and sings a song of love and devotion to Snow White. If we recall Sandra Gilbert and Susan Gubar’s stimulating analysis in their book, The Madwoman 14 in the Attic, the film follows the classic “sexist” narrative about the framing of women’s lives through a male discourse.

Here one would have to mention the series of color thd books edited by Andrew Lang in Great Britain.