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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At first glance, it would seem that the changes that Disney made were not momentous. Zipes argues that by the end of the nineteenth century, the literary fairy tale had the following crucial functions as institution in middle-class society: The punishment in the Grimms’ tale is more horrifying because she must dance in red-hot iron shoes at Snow White’s wedding.

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. Once Disney realized how successful he was with his formula for feature-length fairy tales, he never abandoned it, and in fact, if one regards the two most recent Disney Studio productions of Beauty and the Beast and Aladdin, Disney’s contemporary animators have continued in his footsteps.

Foundational Essay: Zipes’ “Breaking the Disney Spell”

New American Library, Through these moving pictures, the spsll 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. This loss was a result of the social-industrial transformations at the end of the nineteenth century with the Gemeinschaft community giving way to the Gesellschaft society.

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.

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.

By the turn of the twentieth century, many animators had redefined fairy tales through their interpretations of spsll through imagery. The oral tales continued to be disseminated through communal gatherings of different kinds, but they were also broadcast by radio and gathered in dinsey by folklorists.


This book will change forever the way we look at the fairy tales of our youth. Consequently, she tells the hero that she now has an idea which will help him win the king’s daughter, providing thw he will buy her the boots.

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. The hand with pen or pencil is featured in many animated films in the process of ziles, and it is then transformed in many films into the tails of a cat or dog. Leave a Reply Cancel reply Enter your comment here Images now imposed themselves on the text and formed their own visual meaning in violation of print and the print culture.

Scenes could now be staged and selected specially for risney camera, and the movie maker could control both the material and its arrangement. 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. Their contribution was in many respects like the dwarfs in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs: Here it is important first to make zipds 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.

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.

It introduced notions of elitism and separatism through a select canon of tales geared to children who knew how to read. In some way, he can even be considered their ancestor, for he preserves and carries on many of their benevolent attitudes toward women. In zkpes to the traditional fairy tale, the hero is hreaking a peasant, nor is he dumb.

Breaking the Disney Spell- Jack Zipes | Fairy Tale Traditions

The emphasis in most folk tales was on communal harmony. For all intents and purposes his film reinforces the didactic messages of the Grimms’ tale, and it is only in the technical innovations and designs that he did something startlingly new. At first, the hero does not want puss’s help, nor will he buy her the boots that she sees in a shop window.


Extremely few people could read, and the fairy tale in form and content furthered notions of elitism and separation. The social repercussions of this are vast in that it suggests that nothing we read or view can be considered clean of authorial bias. 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 privatization of fairy tales furthered notions of elitism and separation.

The literary fairy tales tended to exclude the majority of people who could not read while the folk tales were open to everyone.

This site uses cookies. Dsney can take several forms it can be direct or indirect, and more or less camouflaged. Most important in the late nineteenth century was breakung rise of folklore as an institution and of various schools of literary criticism that dealt with fairy tales and folk tales.

Most important in the late nineteenth century was the rise of folklore as an institution and various schools of literary criticism that dealt with fairy tales and folk tales.

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

Was Disney making a statement on behalf of the masses? Email required Address never made public. Behind these plays was the popularity of nineteenth and early twentieth century fairy tale pantomimes at Christmas in England and fairy tale plays in German and America. Though other filmmakers and animators produced remarkable fairy-tale films, Disney managed to gain a cultural stranglehold on the fairy tale, and this stranglehold has even tightened with the recent productions of Beauty and the Beast and Aladdin These tales did not represent communal values but rather the vales of a particular writer.