Disney Corporation

Authored by: Lynda Haas , Shaina Trapedo

The Routledge Companion to Media and Fairy-Tale Cultures

Print publication date:  April  2018
Online publication date:  March  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138946156
eBook ISBN: 9781315670997
Adobe ISBN:


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The Walt Disney Company is responsible for Western culture’s basic perceptions about the fairy tale—the company borrows, appropriates, and revises the tales and then, with global distribution channels in every conceivable medium, makes their versions pervasive. This chapter analyzes the Disney brand’s impact on the form and Western culture, beginning with one of the first “Silly Symphonies” based on Three Little Pigs (1933) and then moving through their successive release of animated feature-length films into the twenty-first century. The studio’s early projects based on tales from the Brothers Grimm and Charles Perrault such as Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937), Cinderella (1950), and Sleeping Beauty (1959) helped crystallize the animated feature film as a genre and inaugurated a merchandising dream come true: the “Disney Princess” franchise. While providing rich production history and analytically focusing on the modernization of the princess characters/figures, we demonstrate how Disney continues to reimagine the fairy tale while maintaining its role as culture’s magic mirror.

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