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From Mouse to Mermaid: The Politics of Film, Gender, and Culture

13 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0253209788
ISBN-10: 0253209781
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"... a wealth of local insights into many specific Disney projects, from their animated classics up to and including their work produced and distributed under their various other corporate names ..." - American Quarterly "The Disney book with a difference! ...These tightly structured and passionately but thoughtfully argued points should provoke lively debate..." - Brave New World

About the Author

ELIZABETH BELL is Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication at the Unviersity of South Florida.

LYNDA HAAS is Assistant Professor in the Writing Program at Ithaca College.

LAURA SELLS is a doctoral student in the Department of Communication at the University of South Florida.

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Best Books of the Month
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 280 pages
  • Publisher: Indiana University Press (November 1, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0253209781
  • ISBN-13: 978-0253209788
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.8 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #122,738 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By "disneychick" on November 21, 2000
Format: Paperback
Perhaps the most important contribution to Disney Studies this book offers is an accessibility that, at the same time, offers a serious reconsideration of Disney films. Disney, for these scholars, is not above serious consideration and critique. In considering Disney worthy of study, the authors pay Disney a sincere (if backhanded and misunderstood) compliment. Rather than dismissing Disney as "just for children," they collectively question Disney's products and examine their influence.
In this collection of essays, the editors have managed to compile a broad range of materials that critique Disney in the spirit of critique, meaning a thoughtful and serious investigation. As the title suggests, much of the work here is interested in gender, but questions of race and ethnicity are also asked, as well as issues of power and identity. Although these are fairly heady topics, many of the essays are lively and engaging. For those just beginning to study Disney seriously, the works of Jack Zipes and Henry Giroux are recommended. For work on the animated films, the contributions of the editors (Bell, Haas, and Sells) are thought-provoking as well. All the essays, in fact, offer food for thought, whether one is in agreement with the authors or not.
People who think, "But it's just a cartoon," may not enjoy this challenge to reconsider Disney's films for their cultural impact. Then again, these very same people might be the most rewarded by such a collection. It is recommended for educators wishing to introduce critical thinking into a college classroom using Disney films, scholars working in Disney Studies, and Disney enthusiasts keeping abreast on writings on Disney.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This text includes an excellent selection of semiotic and cultural studies analyses of Disney movies, including feminist analyses. I like the variety--some are oppositional readings, some negotiated readings to show that some progressive features can be found. One of my favorite essays included is the study of Pretty Woman through the black female gaze and how it develops the analysis of the subtext. I find the text very helpful for my Popular Culture and Gender Construction course (which explores the intersections of gender, race, class and other markers of identity in a variety of areas of popular culture). The introduction establishes key ideas about the value of the critical study of popular culture in depth and emphasizes the power Disney holds.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By amyislikewoah on December 4, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I had to order this book for my EWS class. Honestly, I thought this would be another one of those boring books I had to torture myself to read; that is, just by judging by the cover. As I was reading it, I found myself to be enjoying this book quite a lot. I agreed to a lot of the points made in the articles and I really do hope that EWS professors would choose this book for the class. Lesson learned? Don't judge a book by its cover.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Remery on June 7, 2011
Format: Paperback
I forget how I came upon this book, but I was bracing myself for a dry, in-depth, long-winded textbook. For being a light reader, the book was a pleasant surprise of interesting and engaging material. I'm not an avid Disney fan, but I do enjoy their movies, as well as other children's films. In turn, it always made me wonder in what ways their tales affected my views and others growing up.

This wonderful collection of essays and critiques answered most of those questions, while providing even more food for thought. The format made it easy to use, allowing the reader to pick and choose topics and certain movies as they desired. At parts, some of it was a little dry, but overall, the information is helpful and fun to learn. And finally, it was intriguing to get insight into the 'not so squeaky clean' workings of Disney's success and culture and how it influenced and reflected society.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Academic s*** from the heyday of political correctness. Every 3rd sentence contains the word 'hegemony.' It's about the Disney empire but it's mostly about grad students sucking the air out of the room. Blechh.
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By JustPeachy on May 30, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This was a very interesting read. It helps you to watch movies with a critical eye, rather than just for pure entertainment. I read this for a class that I was taking, but I really enjoyed it.
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By Carrie Moore on May 14, 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Very intriguing book. I purchased this book for a class in Deconstructing and Analyzing Children's Media. I will keep it because it's a great read!!
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From Mouse to Mermaid: The Politics of Film, Gender, and Culture
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