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The Enchanted Screen: The Unknown History of Fairy-Tale Films Paperback – December 15, 2010

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Editorial Reviews


"Jack Zipes takes us beyond Disney and DreamWorks to the many films that draw on fairy-tale sorcery for their cinematic power. With fierce analytic energy, encyclopedic inclusiveness, and imaginative verve, he enlivens an expansive history that reaches back to Georges Méliès's enchantments and ends with the complex grotesqueries of Pan's Labyrinth and Little Otik." Maria Tatar, Harvard University

"The Enchanted Screen is a labor of love and a major work of scholarship, encyclopedic in reach and rich in sustained and detailed thinking. The ‘unknown history’ of fairy-tale film is lucky to have found such a skilled and dedicated narrator." Stephen Benson, University of East Anglia Norwich

"Last year, Zipes (emer., Univ. of Minnesota) contributed a foreword for Fairy Tale Films: Visions of Ambiguity (CH, Mar'11, 48-3760), a delightful collection edited by Pauline Greenhill and Sidney Eve Matrix. This year, Zipes presents an extensive, well-organized study of fairy tales in the film genre. Zipes's knowledge of films from a wide variety of cultures is admirable. In the silent era, fairy tales provided filmmakers worthy material free of copyright expense. From the 1930s on, the film industry was able to put old wine into new bottles with both color and sound, a la Walt Disney and filmmakers in other parts of the world. Taking a fresh approach to major films, Zipes avoides the heavy use of jargon and instead offers clear, direct commentary on the films themselves and their oral and literary sources ... Zipes gives the reader 10 pages of endnotes, 12 pages of bibliography, 38 pages of filmography, and a thorough index--all in fine print. The influence of this book will extend for decades. Summing Up: Essential. All readers."
CHOICE, June 2011 (R. Blackwood, City Colleges of Chicago)

"The true achievement of this book is its astute, perceptive, and thought-provoking discussion ... This intellectually stimulating book should be informative and enjoyable for a wide range of readers. At once a satisfying read and a valuable reference source, this is a solid and worthwhile scholarly effort." Mihaela Mihailova, Yale University (The Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television, 2011)

"The subtitle of the book is The Unknown History of Fairy-Tale Films; what Zipes has done in this book, as he has done in all his work, is to make that history known."
-Children's Literature Association Quarterly

"This colossal book offers a thorough and yet whimsical overview of the foundational role of fairy tales in filmmaking. Zipes, with his usual acerbic wit and inspiring expertise, takes readers on a journey through the historical facets of fairy-tale films, ranging from major studio productions to little-known art pieces. While the scope of Zipes' research and the acuity of his analysis alone are breathtaking, the passion with which Zipes writes about this subject impressed me deeply. The themes to which Zipes returns again and again in his interpretations - home, the uncanny, the family - provide powerful explanatory frames that help make his case that "most fairy-tale films have deep roots in oral and literary tales and re-create them with great imaginative and artistic power" (xi). Indeed, Zipes demonstrates this point and in so doing, provides the rest of us (fairy-tale scholars, film scholars, and scholars in adjacent disciplines) with an essential companion for research, teaching, and entertainment." Jeana Jorgensen, Journal of Folklore Research

About the Author

Jack Zipes is Professor Emeritus of German and Comparative Literature at the University of Minnesota. An acclaimed translator and scholar of children's literature and culture, his most recent books include Relentless Progress: The Reconfiguration of Children's Literature, Fairy Tales, and Storytelling; The Collected Sicilian Folk and Fairy Tales of Giuseppe Pitré; Why Fairy Tales Stick; Hans Christian Andersen: The Misunderstood Storyteller, Beautiful Angiola; and The Robber with the Witch's Head, all published by Routledge.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 456 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge; 1 edition (December 15, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0415990610
  • ISBN-13: 978-0415990615
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.9 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,123,415 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

By M. Pavlik on October 13, 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Zipes is excellent- brilliant analysis, broad coverage
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1 of 57 people found the following review helpful By Alvin on May 23, 2012
Format: Paperback
This book is supposed to provide an analysis of the history of fairy tales that have been adapted to film. Unfortunately, the author fails miserably. Total waste of time and money. I would pass.
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