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19 July, 2013

Peck on Pugh/Aronstein, eds., The Disney Middle Ages


Russell Peck recently reviewed Tison Pugh and Susan Aronstein, eds. The Disney Middle Ages: A Fairy Tale and Fantasy Past. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012:

This collection of fourteen essays provides a balanced and often quite witty assessment of Disney’s films, TV shows, marketing strategies, theme parks, personal philosophies, pedagogy, social and political practices of Walt Disney and his Corporate Legacy. My remarks on the volume are descriptive. My goal is to give readers a detailed sense of the book’s contents, particularly ideas they might wish to pick up on to develop ideas of their own. Although the essays are sometimes marked by familiar criticism pertaining to Disney’s conservative rightwing politics, inherent racism, and gender biases, the authors do make considerable effort to appreciate the artistry and technical skills of Disney’s work, with thoughtful allowances for the integrity of the nostalgic vision of Disney fantasies and their imperialistic global messages. The collection speaks well to a scholarly audience, while, at the same time, addressing intelligently a broader audience that includes virtually anyone who has ever seen a Disney movie or TV program or been to a theme park — that is, about everyone who has grown up in America or elsewhere. The bibliography is excellent. READ THE FULL REVIEW HERE.