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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Here it is important first to make some general remarks about the “violent” zpes from the oral to the literary tradition and not just talk about the appropriation of the magic folk tale as a dialectical process. Conceived some time inSnow White was to take three years to complete, and Disney did not leave one stone upturned in his preparations for the first full-length animated fairy-tale film ever made in history. The purpose of the early animated films was to make audiences awestruck and to celebrate the magical talents of the animator as demigod.

In contrast to the traditional fairy tale, the hero is not a peasant, nor is he dumb. The punishment in the Grimms’ tale is more horrifying because she must dance in red-hot iron shoes at Snow White’s wedding.

By the beginning of the nineteenth century when the Brothers Grimm set about to celebrate German culture through their country’s folk tales, the literary fairy tale had long since been institutionalized, and they, along with Hans Christian Andersen, Collodi, Ludwig Bechstein, and a host of Victorian writers from George MacDonald to Oscar Wilde, assumed different ideological and aesthetic positions within this institutionalization.

The oral tales continued to be disseminated through communal gatherings of different kinds, but they were also broadcast by radio and gathered in books by s;ell.

These tales did not represent communal values but rather the vales of a particular writer. In the Diseny tale, the dwarfs are anonymous and play a humble role. A designing person is often a crafty person who manages to put his schemes into effect by hook or crook. But what does the Disney spell mean? A nreaking way of making moving pictures had been invented.

Zipes contends that by simplifying this spel complex semiotically through animation and satirizing it in order to create common appeal, Disney also touches breakiny other themes:. In the meantime Puss explains to him that she will use a hypnotic machine behind the scenes so he can defeat the bull and win the approval of the king. In contrast, the oral tales had themes and characters that were readily recognizable and reflected common wish-fulfillments. In printed form the fairy tale was property and could be taken by its owner and read by its owner at his or her leisure for escape, consolation, or inspiration.


Under his direction, the films were carefully scripted to project his story or vision of how a story should be related. One of the more interesting aspects of the early animated films is a psychically loaded tension between the artist and the characters he drew, one that is ripe for a Freudian or Lacanian reading, for the artist is always threatening to take away their “lives,” while they, in turn, seek to deprive him of his pen phallus or creative inspiration so that they can control their own lives.

This article cites the famous quote by Woody Allen in Annie Hall: After all, Disney came from a relatively poor family, suffered from the exploitative and stern treatment of an unaffectionate father, was spurned by his early sweetheart, and became a success due to his tenacity, cunning, and courage and his ability to gather talented artists and managers like his brother Roy around him. Neither her father nor her mother are alive, and she is at first depicted as a kind of “Cinderella,” cleaning the castle as a maid in a patched dress.

The next great revolution in the institutionalization of the genre was the film, for the images now imposed themselves on the text and formed their own text in violation of print but also with the help of the print culture.

The Oral and Literary Fairy Tales The evolution of the fairy tale as a literary genre is marked by dialectical appropriation that set the cultural conditions for its institutionalization and its expansion as a mass-mediated form through radio, film, and television.

Whatever the type may have been, the voice of the narrator was known. Democracy—the film is very American in its attitude toward royalty. That is, dinsey of the studios, largely located in New York, had become taylorized and were run by men who joined together under the supervision of the head of the studio to produce the cartoons.

His technical skills and ideological proclivities were so consummate that his signature has obfuscated the names of Charles Perrault, the Brothers Grimm, Hans Christian Andersen, and Collodi.

Foundational Essay: Zipes’ “Breaking the Disney Spell”

The American Film Institute, Animation is trickery — trick films — for still images are made to seem as if they move through automatization. Despite the implications of these themes, Zipes argues that Disney was not acting as a rabble-rouser for social change. 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.

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.


If we recall, Perrault wrote his tale in to reflect upon a cunning cat, whose life is threatened, and who manages to survive by using his brains to trick a king and an ogre. This is one of the reasons that fairy tales were not particularly approved for children. Almost all the early animators were men, and their pens and camera work assume a distinctive phallic function in early animation. Stein and Day, The way Disney movies captivated the audience was magic.

He accomplished this by stamping his signature as owner on the frame with the title of the film and then by having himself embodied in the figure of the prince. According to Zipes, Disney made the following changes: The answer to all these questions is simply: So, she convinces the animals to help her make the cottage tidy so that the dwarfs will perhaps let her stay there.

Breaking the Disney Spell by Cassie Beckman on Prezi

Afterwards he holds Snow White in his arms, and in the final frame, he leads her off on a white horse to his golden castle on a hill. Despite the literary fairy tales institutionalization, the dsney tradition continued to feed writers with material and was now influenced by the literary tradition, such as in the case of the Bibliotheque Bleue, which contained numerous abbreviated and truncated versions of the literary tales.

Storytellers initially shared fairy tales orally, which perpetuated a sense of community and breakng a telosor a sense of mission. The social repercussions of this are vast in that it suggests that nothing we read or view can be considered clean of authorial bias.

He has learned, with the help of Puss, that one can achieve glory through deception. If one looks carefully at the major writers of fairy tales for children who became classical and popular in the 6 nineteenth century, it is clear that they themselves exercised self-censorship and restraint in conceiving and writing down tales for children. Although the plots varied and the themes and characters were altered, the classical fairy tale for children and adults reinforced the patriarchal symbolic order based on rigid notions of sexuality and gender.

They deprive the audience of viewing the production and manipulation, and in the end, audiences can no longer envision a fairy tale for themselves as they can when they read it.

The domestication is related to colonization insofar as the ideas and types are portrayed as models of behavior to be emulated. You are commenting using your Twitter account.