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. 2 Rumpelstiltskin and the Decline of Female Productivity. 3 Breaking the Disney Spell. 4 Spreading Myths about Iron John. 5 Oz as American Myth.

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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. After all, Snow White was his story that he had taken from the Grimm Brothers and changed completely to suit his tastes and beliefs.

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 folklorists.

These two processes lead to a tremendous shattering of tradition which is the obverse of the contemporary crisis and renewal of mankind. 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. The literary fairy tales tended to exclude the majority of people who could not read while the folk tales were open to everyone.

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. The answer to all these questions is simply: Was Disney a nefarious wizard of some kind that we should lament his domination of the fairy tale?

When the gigantic king discovers that the young man is wooing his daughter, he kicks him out of the palace, followed by puss. However, the domination of the word in the development of the fairy tale as genre was about to change. He announces his great love at the beginning of the film, and Snow White cannot be fulfilled until he arrives to kiss her.

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. Every message we read, every picture we view, every song that we hear—they all carry with them the potential to change our perceptions about life and to redefine our understanding of reality through the rhetoric of the author.

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This establishment through the violation of the oral practices was the great revolution and transformation of the fairy tale. The celebration of the phallus in the film was indicative of the nature of production in animation studios of the time. 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.

These writers put the finishing touches on the fairy-tale genre at a time when nation-states were assuming their modern form and cultivating particular forms of literature as commensurate expressions of national cultures.

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

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 disjey the new literary genre.

It was commonplace to only credit the head of a department for particular part of production. Their actions are what counts in defeating evil. You are commenting using your WordPress.

Foundational Essay: Zipes’ “Breaking the Disney Spell”

The pictures deprive the audience now of visualizing their own characters, roles, and desires. In particular the animals befriend Snow White and become her protectors. He also knew that novelty would depend on the collective skills of his employees, whom he had to keep happy or indebted to him in some way.

Lessons from these stories stuck in my mind from the time I was a child and will continue to in adulthood as well. Indeed, the literary narratives were individualistic and unique in form and exalted the power of those chosen to rule. Zipes contends that by simplifying this oedipal complex semiotically through animation and satirizing it in order to create common appeal, Disney also touches on other themes: However, despite their beauty and charm, these figures are pale and pathetic compared to the more active and demonic characters in the film.


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.

Tales of Faerie: Jack Zipes-Breaking the Disney Spell

Throughout the entire production of this film, Disney had to be consulted and give his approval for each stage of development. Images now imposed themselves on the text and formed their own visual meaning in violation of print and the print culture. 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. He himself had struggled for his independence against his greedy and unjust father and against fierce and ruthless competitors in the film industry.

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:. Skip to main content. 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.

In general, Disney projects the enjoyable fairy tale of his life through animation to the audience, and they come to accept it as the ideal life—an infantile quest that enabled him to strike a resonating chord with American audiences. This site uses cookies. In this regard, the prince can be interpreted as Disney, who directed the love story from the beginning. Conceived some time inBteaking 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.

Kack Disney stopped animating, he became a designer.

New American Library, Along with its closure and reinforcement of patriarchy, the fairy tale also served to encourage notions of rags to riches, pulling yourself up by your bootstraps, dreaming, miracles, etc.