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Delving behind Disney

We all see these stories, some of us know he didn't write them, others may not...

There are already plenty of posts about his saccharine dreams approach and sanitising and sexism etc

Some of that has a relevance, but it misses one key point.

The creation of popular stories accessible to children of all ages and told in a way that they will hopefully then question for more, is the exact point of Disney then and even now...

Without his pure genius and patience to bring old tales alive with modern magic and music and voices enlivening the plots I think we'd have a less happy world. Even the music/songs he's used alone are worth cherishing, certainly from 1937 to 1967 when he died...

Maybe the more modern versions are a little more cashing in on the marketing as opposed to the telling of great stories, but they always hit a mark with young minds and I would much rather have Disney than McDonalds telling me anything.

There is a need to then see further and discover more, but that comes with age and a desire to actually find out, the Grimms were the masters of reinvention and they were held in highest esteem, they borrowed from Perrault who in turn will have sat with Mdme D'Aulnoy and others in Salons in France at the end of the 1600s suave-ing up stories with pomp.

A whole century back we go to Italy and find it is as Grimm, very suggestive and sorcery abounds, Basile and Straparola started the mechanism off and perhaps owe a little to Dante too.

Then we really go back to ancient wisdom, some from medieval Manuscripts like the Rutland Psalter and Ye Xian and Tam an Cam from the East and the delightful Arabian Nights motif from the Middle East, here we also get the epics of Shahnameh and Gilgamesh.

But, as always we rely on the narrator to be truthful, not much was written down, it was Oral... and before that it was painted in caves...

20,000 years ago women and men in Northern Spain and Southern France did the stories we should look at and work from, they were the cautioneers and elaborators, it meant more then, what it means now we see move, then we perhaps sat and stayed warm and listened.

Interestingly in every continent there are similar stories, they just use different names and animals that they knew to tell the stories...

This is juts a snap shot to whet appetites, I'm working on a 1 hour talk for 6th March at 7pm in The Atkinson on Lord Street.

It can be expanded and retold for other venues, one day I hope it sits alongside Zipes, Warner and Garner and Carter in some way as a look at the past to tell us what we need to know now... 'Once Upon a Time when we still believed in fairies, we either feared them or went to them, will we ever have a happy Disneylike fairytale ending?'