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Who Killed the Seven Dwarves?

  • Date Submitted: 01/28/2010 12:28 AM
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Has Disneyfication destroyed the traditional folk tale and damaged children’s illustrated literature?

By Richard Neil Thomas

Art & Design BA Hons.



3. Introduction

4. The Death of the Seven Dwarves

5. Folk Tales

6. Rant #1

7. Input ~ Laurence Anholt writes...

8. Beauty and the Beast

9. Cartoons, Capitalism, Commerce and Conjecture

13. Walter Elias Disney

18. Forum

21. I Relent

22. Sycophant

24. Rant #2

26. Tex Avery

27. Cutting Edge and Contemporary with Typographical Twists

31. Conclusion

33. Bibliography / Reference


Having decided to produce a children’s book as part of my Degree course, I initially considered writing a contemporary version of one of the old folk or fairy tales, possibly a story by Hans Christian Andersen or a tale collected by the Brothers Grimm. I narrowed my selections and decided tentatively on a reworking of the classic folk tale ‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs’. I immediately tried to blank all thoughts of ‘Happy’, ‘Dopey’, ‘Sneezey’, ‘Bashful’, ‘Sleepy’, ‘Grumpy’ and ‘Doc’, but this proved harder than expected. How do you go about renaming, individualising and illustrating characters that are so firmly ensconced in the memories of children all over the world? Disney’s monopolising of the fairy/folk tale genre and mass marketing of the characters as toys appeared to limit my options of adapting the ‘Snow White’ story to...

a. Mocking the Disney version in the tale itself.


b. Radically departing from the original story and imagery.

...both of which seemed quite appealing.

I finally decided on a subtle combination of both options, but resolved to look further into Disney’s domination and desecration of folk tales, myths, fables and classic children’s...


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