Take a magic carpet ride through Disney’s wonderful world of films and entertainment experiences, and discover the wisdom within its most popular and enduring stories just in time for Frozen 2
Philosophy begins in wonder, and there’s no question that Disney’s immersive worlds and iconic characters have enchanted generations of children and adults alike, inviting us to escape the mundane into a world of fantasy, imagination, and infinite possibility. In Disney and Philosophy, essays from thirty-two deep-thinking Disneyphiles chart a course through the philosophical world of Disney, tapping into the minds of the great sages of the ages—Plato, Aristotle, Confucius, Descartes, and Goofy—to explore universal questions of freedom, personal identity, morality, family, and friendship:
- Can Sleeping Beauty know that she’s not dreaming?
- Does turning our emotions and memories “inside out” tell us who we are?
- What can Toy Story and Wall-E teach us about being human?
- Is hakuna matata really such a problem-free philosophy?
If you’ve ever asked who you are, what is right, or what your purpose is, Disney and Philosophy will spark your curiosity and imagination with a whole new world of unexpected insight into the Magic Kingdom.
Table of Contents
THE WONDERFUL WORLDVIEW OF DISNEY
1 Media, Mind, and the Magic Kingdom
2 A Philosophy of Wonder: Narrative, Meaning, and Disney's Animation
3 Liberty Square in the Shadow of Cinderella’s Castle: Hierarchy and Equality in Disney’s Theme Parks
Timothy Dale and Joseph Foy
4 Alienation, Consumption, and Flourishing at Walt Disney World
"THE SEAWEED IS ALWAYS GREENER IN SOMEBODY ELSE'S LAKE"
5 Confucianism, the Clash of Cultures, and Mulan
George A. Dunn
6 Hidden Mickeys and the Hiddenness of God
Robert K. Garcia and Timothy Pickavance
7 "Everyone Can be Super": Syndrome's Decree, Zen Buddhism, and Disney's Art of Imagineering
8 Understanding Ursula: Evil and Theodicy in The Little Mermaid
Benjamin H. Arbour and David J. Rodriguez
"YOUR IDENTITY IS YOUR MOST VALUABLE POSSESSION"
9 Saving Mr. Banks, Reclaiming Our Childhood, and Remembering Who We Are
Mark Linville and Shawn White
10 Knowing Who You Are: Existence Precedes Essence in Moana
William J. Devlin, Bridgewater State University
11 Inside Disney’s Inside Out
12 How to Convince Sleeping Beauty She’s Not Dreaming
Chad A. McIntosh
13 Wall-E and Eve: Disney's Intelligent Machines
14 "Never Say Goodbye": Death and the Meaning of Life in Disney's World
"YOU CAN BE ANYONE YOU WANT TO BE"
15 To Be or not to Be The Lion King
Megan S. Lloyd
16 Breaking the Spell: Beauty and the Beast and Plato’s Prisoner
Nathan and Leilani Mueller
17 Thawing Frozen Hearts: Sacrifice, Social Constructs, and the Nature of True Love
18 “Our Fate Lives Within Us": Character and Choice in Brave
Louis Colombo and Steve Jones
19 Freeing Woody: Toy Story and True Freedom
"I'LL BE SHOOTING FOR MY OWN HAND"
20 From Cinderella to Princess Merida: Disney's Feminist Transformation
21 Accommodating Dory, but Disempowering Dopey? Dilemmas of Disability from Snow White to Finding Dory
22 "Always a Team, Always United": Disney’s Philosophy of the Family
23 “Everyone is Special, Dash”: Tolerance and Inclusion in a World of Incredible Differences
"ALWAYS LET YOUR CONSCIENCE BE YOUR GUIDE"
24 "Handed Down from Goof to Goof": What Goofy Can Teach us about Becoming Good
Robert M. Mentyka
25 The Beauty of the Beasts: Disney’s Monstrous Aesthetics
26 Kuzco’s Moral Journey in The Emperor’s New Groove
Dean A. Kowalski
27 “Let Slip the (Donald) Ducks of War!” or, Ethical Considerations about Disney’s War Propaganda
Tuomas W. Manninen
28 Is There Any Utopia in Zootopia?
Alexander Christian and Frauke Albersmeier
29 Wall-E, the Environment, and Our Duties to Future GenerationsJ. Edward Hackett