Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Disney's Folly

Nice to think that Walt Disney was once a maverick, bucking commericial trends with great animated features like Snow White and FantasiaDisney's Folly was the moniker of Snow White and Seven Dwarfs when it first appeared in 1937.  It was his brother Roy who dubbed the film, saying there was no market for animated feature films.  Looks like Walt got the last laugh.   Maybe Grumpy was Roy?

Hard to believe it was so long ago.  Here's the original trailer


  1. Can't remember how many times I've seen that old classic when I was a little kid.

    Over the years I came to realize that it had many political implications. For example, it took place during the Great Depression when so many people were out of work or when others worked incredibly long hours at little wages. People were being taught to accept such bad circumstances by the song "Hi Ho, It's Off to Work I Go". And when one got depressed over bad conditions, they were taught to just "Whistle While You Work".

    Feel bad about things today? Disney would tell you to break out in a dance and sing to yourself or in a group. Small consolation for sure. But then, there was the story of "When You Wish Upon A Star" which would provide the ultimate solution to whatever ails you. Or so Disney thought.

    Such dreaminess!

  2. I was actually surprised to see the date on that -- I assumed it came out when I was a kid. But then I suppose my daughter thinks the same thing.

    Interesting when put in its social context! Disney was one of the worst conservatives around.

    If I had to choose, though, and could actually get into a movie house, I'd prefer the Busby Berkeley antidote.

  3. Disney, racist:

    There have been reports in the past that Disney was friends with Nazi Leni Reifenstahl and worked for a Hollywood producer with known Nazi sympathy. Don't know how true these reports are, that is if they have any truth at all. But the allegations of racism do seem to have much truth considering how stereotypical those characterizations above all are.

  4. Trip, most movies at the time tended to "accentuate the positive," although you might look at it from the socialist perspective of the seven dwarfs supplanting the nasty evil robber baron in the queen ; )

  5. Gotta credit Disney for also making animism acceptable. Imagine - people communicating and interacting with animals! From what I recall in his movies, there was no talk of religion. Instead, people were involved with super naturalism, magic, fairies and elves - all as guardian angels in the effort to overcome evil. I imagine that if it wasn't for his right wing politics, the modern day television evangelists would be roundly attacking Disney for the paganism in his cartoons and movies.

  6. "Walt Disney's work is the most omni-appealing I've ever come across. In terms of material, Disney's pictures are pure ecstasy bearing all the traits of ecstasy (the immersion of self in nature and animals, etc.). Their comicality lies in the fact that the process of ecstasy is represented as an object: literalized, formalized." -- Sergei Eisenstein