Disney’s Medievalized Ecologies in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and Sleeping Beauty

  • Kathleen Coyne Kelly
Part of the The New Middle Ages book series (TNMA)


The history of animation and its precursors (including the praxinoscope, the zoetrope, and the flip book) is one in which technology and aesthetics continually influence each other, and in which the available technology produces the aesthetics, the signature look, of a given era. The earliest animations, for example, were driven by a desire to simulate the motions of the human form, but such animations could only do so in limited ways. In the first animated projection, Charles-Émile Reynaud’s Pauvre Pierrot (1892), the focus is on the movements of Pierrot, Arlequin, and Colombine: that these figures moved at all was a wonder for late nineteenth-century audiences. In the first photographed animated projection, Stuart Blackton’s Humorous Phases of Funny Faces (1906), Blackton’s extradiegetic hand animates various people on a blackboard. Despite the caricatured nature of the images, the focus is once again on the human face and body in motion.3


Fairy Tale Multiplane Camera Wild Nature Modern Painter Animated Film 
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© Tison Pugh and Susan Aronstein 2012

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  • Kathleen Coyne Kelly

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