From its Magic Kingdom theme parks to its udderless cows, the Walt Disney Company has successfully maintained itself as the brand name of conservative American family values. But the Walt Disney Company has also had a long and complex relationship to the gay and lesbian community that is only now becoming visible.
In Tinker Belles and Evil Queens, Sean Griffin traces the evolution of this interaction between the company and gay communities, from the 1930s use of Mickey Mouse as a code phrase for gay to the 1990s "Gay Nights" at the Magic Kingdom. Armed with first-person accounts from Disney audiences, Griffin demonstrates how Disney animation, live-action films, television series, theme parks, and merchandise provide varied motifs and characteristics that readily lend themselves to use by gay culture. But Griffin delves further to explore the role of gays and lesbians within the company, through an examination of the background of early studio personnel, an account of sexual activism within the firm, and the story of the company's own concrete efforts to give recognition to gay voices and desires.
The first book to address the history of the gay community and Disney, Tinker Belles and Evil Queens broadly examines the ambiguous legacy of how modern consumerism and advertising have affected the ways lesbians and gay men have expressed their sexuality. Disney itself is shown as sensitive to gay and lesbian audiences, while exploiting those same audiences as a niche market with strong buying power. Finally, Griffin demonstrates how queer audiences have co-opted Disney products for themselves-and in turn how Disney's corporate strategies have influenced our very definitions of sexuality.
|Publisher:||New York University Press|
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.72(d)|
About the Author
Sean Griffin teaches film and media at the University of California at Santa Cruz. Previously, he produced television advertisements at New Wave Productions for Disney's theatrical features.
Table of Contents
|Introduction: Whose Prince Is It, Anyway?||ix|
|1||Mickey's Monastery: Sexuality and the "Disney Mystique"||3|
|2||"Mickey Mouse--Always Gay!": Reading Disney Queerly during Walt's Reign||48|
|3||Finding a Place in the Kingdom: Homosexuality at Disney during the Eisner Era||93|
|4||"Part of Your World": Reading Disney Queerly in the Eisner Era||133|
|5||"You've Never Had a Friend Like Me": Target Marketing Disney to a Gay Community||182|
|Epilogue: The Circle of Life||215|
|About the Author||292|
What People are Saying About This
Presents Disney culture-so often thought of as a bastion of mainstream, heterosexual family values-in a fascinating and illuminating new light. Tinker Belles and Evil Queens is sharp and rigorously researched work. A veritable alternative history of Disney.
151;Dana Polan, University of Southern California
"In this sprightly analysis of classical and contemporary Disney fare, queer theorist Griffin breaks new ground in media and cultural studies while outdoing right-wing politicians and fundamentalists who see homosexuality everywhere. . . Griffin is careful in building his argument that Disney images have been enormously influenced by gay culture and in showing how gay culture has, in turn, claimed and appropriated those images."
"Presents Disney culture-so often thought of as a bastion of mainstream, heterosexual family values-in a fascinating and illuminating new light. Tinker Belles and Evil Queens is sharp and rigorously researched work. A veritable alternative history of Disney."
-Dana Polan,University of Southern California
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Tinker is cool. She is sweat. She helps every other faiery with stuff that they are having trouble with. What is not to love about tinker bell she tought me how to make stuff and how to travel and how to belive that some people are mean and most are nice so come on get this book and be taught.
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