In this lively work, Jack Zipes explores the historical rise of the literary fairy tale as genre in the late seventeenth century and 3 Breaking the Disney Spell. 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.

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However, before discussing Disney’s particular relationship to the fairy-tale tradition, disnry is important to consider the conditions of early animation in America and role of the animator in general, for all this has a bearing on Disney’s productive relationship with the fairy tale.

Classic French Fairy Tales, Trs. Disney faced bankruptcy because he refused to capitulate to the exploitative conditions that Mintz set for the distribution and production of Disney’s films.

Tales of Faerie: Jack Zipes-Breaking the Disney Spell

Unlike the oral tradition, the literary tale was written down to be read in private, although, in some cases, spelll fairy tales were read aloud in parlors. By making many reproductions it substitutes a plurality of copies of a unique existence.

But I don’t see any reason why Disney hreaking be condemned for appropriating a fairy tale and breaming it his own. In Disney’s early work with fairy tales in Kansas City, he had a wry and irreverent attitude toward the classical narratives, and there was a strong suggestion in the manner in which he and Iwerks re-wrote and filmed the tales that they were “revolutionaries,” the new boys on the block, who were about to introduce innovative methods of animation into the film industry and speak for the outcasts.

Moreover, within the literary tradition itself, there were numerous writers such as Charles Dickens, George MacDonald, Lewis Carroll, Oscar Wilde, and Edith Nesbit, who questioned the standardized model of what a fairy tale should be. At the same time, the hero’s black cat, a female, is having a romance with jac royal white cat, who is the king’s chauffeur.

In contrast to the traditional fairy tale, the hero is not a peasant, nor is he dumb. Posted by Kristin at 1: When he does arrive, he takes all the credit as beraking of the disenfranchised, and he takes Snow White to his castle while the dwarfs are left as keepers of the forest.


He has learned, with the help of Puss, that one can achieve glory through deception. He did not use a magic wand or demonic powers. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was to bring together all the personal strands of Disney’s own story disnfy the destinies of desperate Americans, who sought hope and solidarity in their fight for beaking during the Depression of the s.

As Richard Schickel has perceptively remarked, Disney “could make something his own, all right, but that process nearly always robbed the work at hand of its uniqueness, of its soul, if you will.

While the literary fairy tale was being institutionalized at the end of the seventeenth century and beginning of the eighteenth century in France, the oral tradition did not disappear, nor was it subsumed by the new literary genre. Showing little reverence for literary tradition, Disney focused less of maintaining the integrity of the original text and focused more attention on displaying his innovative and technological accomplishments. This establishment through the violation of the oral practices was the great revolution and transformation of the fairy tale.

There is no doubt that Disney retained key ideological features of the Grimms’ fairy tale that reinforce nineteenth-century patriarchal notions which Disney shared with the Grimms. The dwarfs are hardworking and rich miners. Click here to sign up. 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.

On the other hand, many writers would parody, mock, question, and undermine the classical literary tradition and produce original and subversive tales that were part and parcel of the institution itself. Lewis Jacobs, 2nd Ed. 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.

This privatization violated the communal aspects of the folk tale, but the very printing of a fairy tale was already a violation since it was based on separation of social classes.

You are commenting using your WordPress. This is not to argue that the literary fairy tale as institution became one in which the imagination was totally domesticated. 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.


From this point on, Disney became known for introducing all kinds of new inventions and improving animation so that animated films became almost as realistic as films with live actors and natural settings. It is the repetition of Disney’s infantile quest — the core of American mythology — that enabled him to strike a chord in American viewers from the s to the present. Though it was also told, the fact that the fairy tale was printed and in a book with pictures gave it more legitimacy and enduring value than an oral tale that disappeared soon after it was told.

The oral tales continued and continue to threaten the more conventional and classical takes because they can question, dislodge, and deconstruct the written tales.

Foundational Essay: Zipes’ “Breaking the Disney Spell”

His next step after jacl was color, and in he signed an exclusive contract with Technicolor and began producing his Silly Symphony Cartoons in color. However, it was not a total loss, for industrialization brought about greater comfort, sophistication, and literacy and new kinds of communication in public institutions. Indeed, only the well-to-do could purchase the books and read them. Its social significance, dlsney in its most positive form, is inconceivable without its destructive, cathartic aspect, that is, the liquidation of the traditional value of the cultural heritage.

Breaking the Disney Spell by Cassie Beckman on Prezi

Email required Address never made public. He also made his films personal, allowing them to echo his breaikng sentiments on national issues. To a certain degree, Disney identified so closely with the fairy tales he appropriated that it is no wonder his name virtually became synonymous with the genre of the fairy tale itself.

MIT Press,p. Indeed, because it was born out of alienation, the literary fairy tale fostered a search for new “magical” means to zzipes the instrumentalization of the imagination. I grew up on Disney movies too!

What is good for Disney is good for the world, and what is good in a Disney fairy tale is good in the rest of the world. By simplifying this complex semiotically in black and white drawings and making fun of it so that it had a common appeal, Disney also touched on other themes: Account Options Sign in.