Learning from Mickey, Donald and Walt: Essays on Disney's Edutainment Films

Learning from Mickey, Donald and Walt: Essays on Disney's Edutainment Films

by A. Bowdoin Van Riper (Editor)


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Throughout its long and colorful history, Walt Disney Studios has produced scores of films designed to educate moviegoers as well as entertain them. These productions range from the True-Life Adventures nature documentaries and such depictions of cutting-edge technology as Man in Space and Our Friend the Atom, to wartime propaganda shorts (Education for Death), public-health films (VD Attack Plan) and coverage of exotic cultures (The Ama Girls, Blue Men of Morocco). Even Disney’s dramatic recreations of historical events (Ten Who Dared, Invincible) have had their share of educational value. Each of the essays in this volume focuses on a different type of Disney “edutainment” film. Together they provide the first comprehensive look at Walt Disney’s ongoing mission to inform and enlighten his worldwide audience.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780786459575
Publisher: McFarland & Company, Incorporated Publishers
Publication date: 02/08/2011
Pages: 274
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.70(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

A. Bowdoin Van Riper is a historian specializing in depictions of science and technology in popular culture. He is the reference librarian at the Martha's Vineyard Museum, and is the author or editor of a wide range of volumes, ranging from science to science fiction to horror.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

Introduction A. Bowdoin Van Riper 1

Section I War and Propaganda

1 The Canadian Shorts: Establishing Disney's Wartime Style Bella Honess Roe 15

2 "Desiring the Disney Technique": Chronicle of a Contracted Military Training Film Douglas A. Cunningham 27

3 Cartoons will Win the War: World War II Propaganda Shorts Richard J. Leskosky 40

4 Cartoon Combat: World War II, Alexander de Seversky, and Victory Through Air Power John D. Thomas 63

Section II Science, Technology, Mathematics and Medicine

5 The Promise of Things to Come: Disneyland and the Wonders of Technology, 1954-58 A. Bowdoin Van Riper 84

6 A Nation on Wheels: Films about Cars and Driving, 1948-1970 A. Bowdoin Van Riper 103

7 "A Journey Through the Wonderland of Mathematics": Donald in Mathmagic Land Martin F. Norden 113

8 Paging Doctor Disney: Health Education Films, 1922-1973 Bob Cruz, Jr. 127

Section III Nature

9 "Nature is the Dramatist": Documentary, Entertainment, and the World According to the True-Life Adventures Eddy von Mueller 145

10 Sex, Love, and Death: True-Life Fantasies Ronald Tobias 164

11 It is a Small World, After All: Earth and the Disneyfication of Planet Earth Eddy von Mueller 173

Section IV Times, Places and People

12 A Past to Make us Proud: U. S. History According to Disney Marianne Holdzkom 183

13 Reviving the American Dream: The World of Sports Katharine Bonzel 201

14 Beyond the Ratoncito: Disney's Idea of Latin America Bernice Nuhfer-Halten 209

15 Locating the Magic Kingdom: Spectacle and Similarity in People and Places Cynthia J. Miller 221

16 America's Salesman: The USA in Circarama Sarah Nilsen 237

About the Contributors 255

Index 259

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