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Disney and Philosophy: Truth, Trust, and a Little Bit of Pixie Dust

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Disney and Philosophy: Truth, Trust, and a Little Bit of Pixie Dust

Richard Brian Davis, William Irwin

ISBN: 978-1-119-53831-8 October 2019 Wiley-Blackwell 304 Pages

Description

Disney’s wonderful world of television, motion pictures, and theme parks is a magical place, where children and adults can escape, imagine, and dream. It’s also a place for philosophical reflection. Indeed, philosophy itself begins in wonder. This book probes the deeper underlying meaning in the Disney universe, ushering us into a Magic Kingdom rich with philosophical life lessons. Tapping into some of the greatest philosophical minds that ever lived—Plato, Aristotle, Confucius, Descartes, and Goofy—Disney and Philosophy explores life’s ultimate questions from inside the world Disney created. As a great British philosopher once said, “A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down.” In that spirit, this book examines the stories of Mulan, Moana, and Merida to see if they are genuinely free to pursue their dreams and create their identities, or if they’re bound by cultures’ expectations. From hakuna matata to the circle of life, we explore the philosophical terrain of The Lion King to discover the courage to become who we are. Beyond the Pride Lands of the savanna, philosophical magic leads us to address such questions as: 

Can turning our emotions Inside Out tell us who we are?

Can true love overcome fear in Frozen?

Can those “Hidden Mickeys” at Disney theme parks tell us about God?

Are Dory and Dopey’s “disabilities” a problem with them or with us?

Is a trip to Disneyland the same thing as true happiness?

Is Ariel a feminist icon?

Can Sleeping Beauty know that she’s not dreaming?

 

PART ONE

            THE WONDERFUL WORLDVIEW OF DISNEY

 

1           Media, Mind, and the Magic Kingdom

            Read Schuchardt

 

2          A Philosophy of Wonder: Narrative, Meaning, and Disney's Animation

            Tyler Shores  

 

3          Liberty Square in the Shadow of Cinderella’s Castle: Hierarchy and Equality in Disney’s   Theme Parks

            Timothy Dale and Joseph Foy

 

4          Alienation, Consumption, and Flourishing at Walt Disney World

            Elizabeth Butterfield

 

PART TWO

            "THE SEAWEED IS ALWAYS GREENER IN SOMEBODY ELSE'S LAKE"

 

5          Confucianism, the Clash of Cultures, and Mulan

            George A. Dunn

 

6          Hidden Mickeys and the Hiddenness of God

            Robert K. Garcia and Timothy Pickavance

 

7          "Everyone Can be Super": Syndrome's Decree, Zen Buddhism, and Disney's Art of Imagineering

            Steve Bein

 

8          Understanding Ursula: Evil and Theodicy in The Little Mermaid

            Benjamin H. Arbour and David J. Rodriguez

 

PART THREE

            "YOUR IDENTITY IS YOUR MOST VALUABLE POSSESSION"

 

9          Saving Mr. Banks, Reclaiming Our Childhood, and Remembering Who We Are

            Mark Linville and Shawn White

 

10        Knowing Who You Are: Existence Precedes Essence in Moana

            William J. Devlin, Bridgewater State University

 

11         Inside Disney’s Inside Out

            Ellen Miller

 

12         How to Convince Sleeping Beauty She’s Not Dreaming

            Chad A. McIntosh

 

13         Wall-E and Eve: Disney's Intelligent Machines

            Timothy Brown

 

14        "Never Say Goodbye": Death and the Meaning of Life in Disney's World

            Jessica Miller

 

PART FOUR

            "YOU CAN BE ANYONE YOU WANT TO BE"

 

15         To Be or not to Be The Lion King

            Megan S. Lloyd

 

16        Breaking the Spell: Beauty and the Beast and Plato’s Prisoner

            Nathan and Leilani Mueller

 

17         Thawing Frozen Hearts: Sacrifice, Social Constructs, and the Nature of True Love

            Jamey Heit

 

18        “Our Fate Lives Within Us": Character and Choice in Brave

            Louis Colombo and Steve Jones

 

19        Freeing Woody: Toy Story and True Freedom

            Armond Boudreaux

 

PART FIVE

            "I'LL BE SHOOTING FOR MY OWN HAND"

 

20        From Cinderella to Princess Merida: Disney's Feminist Transformation

            Edwardo Perez

 

21         Accommodating Dory, but Disempowering Dopey? Dilemmas of Disability from Snow White to Finding Dory

            Kevin Mintz

 

22        "Always a Team, Always United": Disney’s Philosophy of the Family

            Kody Cooper

 

23        “Everyone is Special, Dash”: Tolerance and Inclusion in a World of Incredible Differences

            Richard Davis

 

PART SIX

            "ALWAYS LET YOUR CONSCIENCE BE YOUR GUIDE"

 

24        "Handed Down from Goof to Goof": What Goofy Can Teach us about Becoming Good

            Robert M. Mentyka

 

25        The Beauty of the Beasts: Disney’s Monstrous Aesthetics

            Jennifer Culver

 

26        Kuzco’s Moral Journey in The Emperor’s New Groove

            Dean A. Kowalski

 

27        “Let Slip the (Donald) Ducks of War!” or, Ethical Considerations about Disney’s War                   Propaganda

            Tuomas W. Manninen

 

28        Is There Any Utopia in Zootopia?

            Alexander Christian and Frauke Albersmeier

 

29        Wall-E, the Environment, and Our Duties to Future Generations

            J. Edward Hackett