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Disney's Americanization of fairytales

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Heidi Baber

on 22 February 2013

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Transcript of Disney's Americanization of fairytales

of the Marchen (fairy tales) Walt Disney's Americanization Anthropology Psychology Sociology Walt Disney’s cartoon fairy tale films appeal to
adult audiences because of the fantasy aspects
and escape from reality by retelling the original
tales in a more “modern” and socio-anthropologic way. Disney transformed the original “boring” tales and heroines into “‘sparkling [and] alive girl[s]’” including the addition of human weakness to make the heroine more real to adult audiences (Stone 27). Disney counteracts these All-American heroines and heroes with vindictive and purely evil female villain. Why is there a need for the villain to be female? The female villains are the exact opposites of their female heroine counterparts; cold, calculated, ambitious, lacking love and never liked by cute, cuddly animals, dwarfs or good fairies. What is the message Disney sends to his audiences about ambitious women? How has this changed in Western culture (Stone 28-29)? Children are the only humans to still accept the fantastical characters and stories brought forth in fairytales i.e. witches and dragons or that the weak to be treated fairly The focus is the happy ending of the heroine; what she receives for acting out the norm (virtuous behaviour) and having good luck or fortune. For females to strive for a Cinderella happily ever after ending is either unrealistic and/or very dangerous. Most of individuals in society cannot fulfill their fantasy to the letter which will only become
detrimental to a persons psyche;
making them bitter, skeptical, depressed
and leaving them feeling unfulfilled. Adults, just as much as children, have a fascination with the concepts found in fairy tales. Freud disagred with these ideas; he believed there was a correlation between the unconscious mind and fairy tales. Stone argues that fairy tales are multi-layered and more complex than realized at first glance. For children there is a love story and maybe a moral, but for adults the tales are unconsciously symbolic or psychological representations of real life and every day conflict (Stone 33). What is the idea behind the “happy ending”? What does it entail? Freud explored this fascination and explained that socially unacceptable wishes arise without the reading of fairy tales. The ideas, concepts and morals are aimed for children – therefore, it is something adults have already learned and is not useful for
their benefit and progression in life The concept of a female hero conquering and defeating her enemy was unfathomable in mid-twentieth century American culture. Since the original release of Disney’s Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella or Snow White adaptations of these, and other, fairy
tales have depicted a much
stronger female hero. Disney may not have started the idealization of “happily ever after,” but, as Stone argues, he magnified the “dream” and has perpetuated the concept almost to an extreme. The genre of the “love story” and fairy tales can be found in various media forms today. The Americanization of European tales does make the characters and plot more relevant to North American audiences – “demoting” a king to merely a rich man or powerful and successful shop owner or transforming the Beast in Beauty and the Beast into a man wearing fur or a beastly fighter (Stone 30) Why has there been such a dramatic shift of female roles in the entertainment industry? Thesis
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