Interpreting and Experiencing Disney (Book)

Mediating the Mouse

Edited by Priscilla Hobbs

The name 'Disney' is synonymous with its expansive franchises, from princesses to theme parks. The power of the Disney brand is its role as a cultural influencer across multiple generations across the globe. This collection of essays takes a look at Disney beyond its behemoth corporate presents and into the threads of the Disney experience. b/w illus.


Ever since the premiere for the first Mickey Mouse cartoon in 1928, Disney has played a central role in American popular culture, which has progressively expanded to involve a global market. The company positioned itself to have a central role in family entertainment, and many of its offerings – from films to consumable products – have deeply embedded themselves into not only the imaginations of children and adults, but also into the threads of many of our life experiences. It is difficult to go through life without encountering a Disney product. Because of this, fans of Disney build connections with their favourite characters and franchises, some of which are fuelled further by Disney’s marketing practice. Other fans have developed a near-cult-like approach to their love of Disney, equating the products with religious icons and visits to their theme parks with pilgrimages. This volume looks beyond the films and shows, products and places, into the very heart of the Disney phenomenon: the fan response that drives the corporation’s massive marketing machine, and how the corporate response has shaped the fan experience. The interconnectedness between Disney and its fans highlights a deep relationship that merits further exploration and understanding, proving that the imagination and dreams at the very heart of the human experience can also wear mouse ears.

Priscilla Hobbs, Ph.D., researches primarily Disney and American studies, with special emphasis on Disneyland. She is the author of the book, Walt's Utopia: Disneyland and American Mythmaking, about Disneyland and the Cold War. She is currently an Associate Dean at Southern New Hampshire University. 


Part 1: Interpreting Disney

Abbreviating Mickey Mouse: The Art of Remediation in Disney Cartoons

‘You Grow Up to Be A Duck Fan In Your Mother’s Womb': The Bond Between Finnish People And Donald Duck

Toad, Alice, and Peter: From England to Disneyland and Back Again

Egalitarian or Stereotypical?: Gender Representation in Disney Feature Fairy tales of the Twenty-First Century

Father Still Knows Best: Exploring the Construction of Traditional Masculinity as Depicted in Portrayals of Fatherhood in Disney Princess Movies

Poisoned Apples: Womanhood in Disney’s Snow Whit

A Rhetoric of Classism and Reading Cultures in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast

Part 2: Experiencing Disney

‘Our Cartoon City Upon a Hill’: Disneyland, Disney World, and American Identity

Can Small World Ever Be Politically Correct?

Reading the Disney Princess Attractions: Narrative Adaptation, Immersion, and Control in the Magic Kingdom’s Expanded Fantasyland

Online Brand Communities: A Case Study of Disney

I’m Disney Bound: Costuming as Psycho-Spiritual Practice

A Journey From Girl to Womanhood: The Influence of Disney Princess Fashion on the Female Gender

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