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. 2 Rumpelstiltskin and the Decline of Female Productivity. 3 Breaking the Disney Spell. 4 Spreading Myths about Iron John. 5 Oz as American Myth. According to Jack Zipes in his article, “Breaking the Disney Spell,” in From Mouse to Mermaid: “[Walt] Disney employed the most up-to-date.

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I do believe that Walt Disney was trying to portray himself in a lot of his fairytale remakes by showing himself breaking out into the industry as the best as well as portraying the power taken from the rich and giving power to the people. Though the illustrations often enriched and deepened a tale, they were generally subservient to the text. On a symbolical level, the cat represented Perrault’s conception of the role of the haute bourgeoisie his own classwho comprised the administrative class of Louis the XIV’s court and who were often the mediators between the peasantry and aristocracy.

Both processes are intimately connected with the contemporary mass movements. It is this mindset that Zipes believes drove Disney to achieve his accomplishments in animation and film.

In fact, he deceives the masses and the king by creating the illusion that he is stronger than the bull. Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Yale University Press, Of course, it would be a great exaggeration to maintain that Disney’s spell totally divested the classical fairy tales of their meaning and invested them with his own.

For instance, for some people the Grimms’ fairy tales are holy, or fairy tales are considered holy and not to be touched. The audience becomes nothing more than a viewer captured by the whim of the author, who controls how the audiences believes, thinks, and feels through the magic of the text, or in the case of animation, the allure of fantasy captured within art. Through his self-glorification, Disney could perpetuate the principles of justice, fairness, etc. In Disney’s film, she bdeaking and spelo that the house is dirty.

The manner in which he copied the musical plays and films of his time, and his close adaptation of fairy tales with patriarchal codes indicate that all the technical experiments would not be used to foster social change in America, but to keep power in the hands of individuals like himself, who felt empowered to design and create new worlds.

According to Zipes, the French fairy tales heightened the aspect of the chosen aristocratic elite:.


However, it was not through Puss in Boots and his other early animated fairy tales that he was to captivate audiences and set the “classical” modern model for animated fairy-tale films. When the day of the bullfight arrives, the masked hero struggles but eventually manages to defeat the bull. Breeaking are commenting using your Facebook account. The fairy tale had to fit into the French salons, parlors, and courts of the aristocracy and bourgeoisie if it was to establish itself as a genre.

If children or adults think of dlsney great classical fairy tales today, be it Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, or Cinderella, they will think Walt Disney. By making many reproductions it substitutes a plurality of copies of a unique existence. When he does arrive, he takes all the credit as champion of the disenfranchised, and he takes Snow Brreaking to his castle while the dwarfs are left as keepers of the forest. Newer Post Older Post Home.

Breaking the Disney Spell- Jack Zipes | Fairy Tale Traditions

By the end of the nineteenth century the literary fairy tale had the following crucial functions as institution in middle-class society: The oral tales continued and continue to threaten the more conventional and classical takes because they can question, dislodge, and deconstruct the written tales.

The reason that the Italians did not “institutionalize” the genre is due to the fact that the literary culture in Italy was not prepared to introduced the tales as part of the civilizing process, nor were there groups of writers who made the fairy-tale genre part of their discourse. Of course, it is also possible to see the workers as Disney’s own employees, thf whom he depended for the glorious outcome of his films.

His adaptation of the literary fairy tale for the screen led to the following changes in the institution of the genre: Did he imprint a particular American vision on the fairy tale through his animated films that dominates our perspective today?

Therefore, as I have demonstrated, the literary fairy tale’s ascent corresponded to violent and progressive shifts in society and celebrated individualism, subjectivity, and reflection. Despite the literary fairy tales institutionalization, the oral 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 thee.

I haven’t seen Puss in Boots, hreaking I can’t comment to that specifically. Therefore, it is not by chance that Disney’s next major experiment would involve a banished princess, loved by a charming prince, who would triumph over deceit and regain the rights to her castle. Was Disney a nefarious wizard of some kind that we should lament his domination of the fairy tale?


The king is so overwhelmed by his performance that he offers his daughter’s hand in marriage, but first he wants to know who the masked champion is.

Foundational Essay: Zipes’ “Breaking the Disney Spell”

He has learned, with the help of Puss, that one can achieve glory through deception. By this time, the fairy tale had expanded as a high art form operas, ballets, dramas and low art form folk plays, vaudevilles, and parodies as well as a form developed classically and experimentally for children and adults. Though the forest and the animals do not speak, they are anthropomorphized. 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.

Here it is important first to make some general remarks about the “violent” shift from the oral to the literary tradition and not just talk about the appropriation of the magic folk tale as a dialectical process.

In fact, the fairy tale is practically infantilized, just as the jokes are infantile. At the same time, Disney offsets the deprivation with the pleasure of scopophilia and inundates the viewer with delightful images, humorous figures, and erotic signs.

The social repercussions of this are vast in that it suggests that nothing we read or view can be considered clean of authorial bias. I’m using Jack Zipes for some of my sources. This book will change forever the way we look at the fairy tales of our youth. But before the making of Snow White, there were important developments in his life and in the film industry that are important to mention in order to grasp why and how Snow White became the first definitive animated fairy- tale film — definitive in the sense that it was to define the way other animated films in the genre of the fairy tale were to be made.

Moreover, within the literary tradition itself, many questioned the standardized model of what a fairy tale should be. Through these moving pictures, the animators appropriated literary and oral fairy tales to subsume the word, to have the final word, often through image and book, for Disney began publishing books during the s to complement his films. In addition he had his researchers experiment with colored gels, blurring focus, and filming through frosted glass, and he employed the latest inventions in sound and music to improve the synchronization with the characters on the screen.