Demonising Disney is nothing new. Disney films have long been synonymous with a certain conservative, patriarchal, heterosexual ideology, occupying a centre-stage position at the heart of the evil empire.
Deconstructing Disney takes issue with knee-jerk polarities, overturning classical oppositions and recognising that, just as the Disney ‘text’ has changed, so too must the terms of critical engagement. This book is a sharply focused deconstruction of the political culture — and the cultural politics — of the Disney canon in the years since the emergence of the so-called New World Order.
Eleanor Byrne and Martin McQuillan offer a critical encounter with Disney which alternates between readings of individual texts and wider thematic concerns such as race, gender and sexuality, the broader context of American contemporary culture, and the global ambitions and insularity of the last great superpower. The movies discussed include The Little Mermaid, The Lion King, Pocohontas, Snow White, Bedknobs and Broomsticks, Dumbo, Peter Pan, The Jungle Book, Hercules and Mulan.
Eleanor Byrne is a Lecturer in post-Colonial Literature at University College Worcester and writes on aspects of culture and postcoloniality.
Martin McQuillan teaches in the Department of Literature at Staffordshire University. His first book, Post Theory, was published in 1998. He is a founding member, with Helene Cixous, of EPOPEA: the project initiated to defend the rights of cultural producers in Europe.