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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For instance, Disney in his Alice films often employed a cat named Julius, who would take off his tail and use it as stick, weapon, rope, hook, question mark, etc. In fact, he deceives the masses and the king by creating the illusion that he is stronger than the bull. In most of the early animated films, there were few original plots, and the story-lines did not count.

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. 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.

It’s not like there weren’t popular fairy tale films before Disney started adapting them: For instance, in the Grimms’ tale, when Snow White arrives at the cabin, she pleads with the dwarfs to allow her to remain and promises that she will wash the dishes, mend their clothes, and clean the house. It did not matter what story was projected just as long as the images astounded the audience, captured its imagination for a short period of time, and left the people laughing or staring in wonderment.

Was Disney making a statement on behalf of the masses? By September ofafter making two Mickey Mouse shorts, Disney, similar to his masked champion in Puss in Boots, had devised a way to gain revenge on Mintz and other animation studios by producing the first animated cartoon with sound, Steamboat Willie, starring Mickey Mouse.

For instance, for some people the Grimms’ fairy tales are holy, or fairy tales are considered holy and not to be touched. By these films were no longer popular so that he and Ub Iwerks developed Oswald the Lucky Rabbit cartoons that also found favor with audiences.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: I’m currently writing a research paper on fairytales and came across your blog. She returns to life when the prince, who has searched far and wide for her, arrives and bestows a kiss on her lips. Modernity—the setting is obviously the twentieth century, and the modern minds are replacing the ancient.


I haven’t seen Puss in Boots, so I can’t comment to that specifically.

Tales of Faerie: Jack Zipes-Breaking the Disney Spell

In the Grimms’ tale, the dwarfs are anonymous and play a humble role. Their hegemony entails possession of the key cultural terms determining what are the right and wrong ways to be a human being. Of all the sipes animators, Disney was the one who truly revolutionalized the fairy tale as institution through the cinema.

Indeed, because it was born out of alienation, the literary fairy tale fostered a search for new “magical” means to overcome the instrumentalization of the imagination.

It was the phallic means to induce action and conceive a way out of a predicament.

Foundational Essay: Zipes’ “Breaking the Disney Spell”

In contrast, the oral tales had themes and characters that were readily recognizable and reflected common wish-fulfillments. 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.

Anonymous May 7, at 1: Citing Crafton, Zipes points out those early animators before Disney made themselves a part of their animations, risney appearing as characters in their animations. Yet, primitive though it was, the order of the scenes did form a coherent, logical, and progressive continuity. Then she uses a hypnotic machine to defeat the bull and another fairly new invention, the automobile, to escape the king.

These tales did not represent communal values but rather the vales of beeaking particular writer. The purpose of the early animated films was to make audiences awestruck and to celebrate the magical talents of the animator as demigod. 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. According to Zipes, Disney made the following zipe.

The privatization of fairy tales furthered notions of elitism and separation.

This article cites the famous quote by Woody Allen in Annie Hall: Of course, one had to know the dialect in which they were told. According to Zipes, Disney made the following changes: Technique takes precedence over the story, and the story is used to celebrate the technician and his means.

In general, the animator, Disney, projects the enjoyable fairy tale of his life through his own images, and he realizes through animated stills his basic oedipal dream that he was to play out time breakung again in most of his fairy-tale films. However, it was not a total loss, for industrialization brought about greater comfort, sophistication, and literacy and new kinds of communication in public institutions.


His dieney step after sound was color, and in he signed spepl exclusive contract with Technicolor and began producing his Silly Symphony Cartoons in color. Indeed, only the well-to-do could purchase the books and read them. This can take breakinv forms it zipea be direct or indirect, and more or less camouflaged. In contrast to the traditional fairy tale, the hero is not a peasant, nor is he dumb.

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: In the case of folk tales, they were gradually categorized as legends, myths, fables, comical anecdotes, and, of course, fairy tales. Animation is trickery — trick films — for still images are made to seem as if they move through automatization.

As producer of the fairy-tale films and major owner of the Disney studios, he wanted to figure in the film dieney sought, as Crafton has noted, to create a more indelible means of self-figuration. When the gigantic king discovers that the young man is wooing his daughter, he kicks him out of the palace, followed by puss. 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.

Breaking the Disney Spell- Jack Zipes | Fairy Tale Traditions

So, she convinces the animals to help her make the cottage tidy so that the dwarfs will perhaps let her stay there. Disney did not especially care whether one knew the original Perrault text of Puss in Dianey or some other popular version.

Did he imprint a particular American vision on the fairy tale through his animated films that dominates our perspective today? Whatever the type may have been, the voice of the narrator was fisney.

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:. These tails then act as the productive force or artist’s instrument throughout the film. They were not the initiators of the literary fairy-tale beaking in Europe. Disney wants the world cleaned up, and the pastel colors with their sharply drawn ink lines create images of cleanliness, just as each sequence reflects a clearly conceived and pre-ordained destiny for all the characters in the film.