Forgotten Disney

Essays on the Lesser-Known Productions


In stock

About the Book

This work demonstrates that not everything that Disney touched turned to gold. In its first 100 years, the company had major successes that transformed filmmaking and culture, but it also had its share of unfinished projects, unmet expectations, and box-office misses. Some works failed but nevertheless led to other more stunning and lucrative ones; others shed light on periods when the Disney Company was struggling to establish or re-establish its brand. In addition, many Disney properties, popular in their time but lost to modern audiences, emerge as forgotten gems. By exploring the studio’s missteps, this book provides a more complex portrayal of the history of the company than one would gain from a simple recounting of its many hits. With essays by writers from across the globe, it also asserts that what endures or is forgotten varies from person to person, place to place, or generation to generation. What one dismisses, someone else recalls with deep fondness as a magical Disney memory.

About the Author(s)

Kathy Merlock Jackson, a professor of media and communication at Virginia Wesleyan University, teaches courses in media studies and children’s culture. She is the author or editor of thirteen books and former editor of The Journal of American Culture. She has served as past president of both the American Culture Association and the Popular Culture Association.

Carl H. Sederholm is a professor of interdisciplinary humanities at Brigham Young University. He is the editor of The Journal of American Culture and has co-authored or co-edited three books as well as published essays on authors such as Edgar Allan Poe, H. P. Lovecraft, Stephen King, Jonathan Edwards, Lydia Maria Child, and Nathaniel Hawthorne.

Mark I. West is the former chair of the English department at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. He has written or edited nineteen books on children’s literature and culture and is a former president of the Children’s Literature Association.

Bibliographic Details

Edited by Kathy Merlock Jackson, Carl H. Sederholm and Mark I. West
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 262
Bibliographic Info: notes, bibliographes, index
Copyright Date: 2023
pISBN: 978-1-4766-8939-5
eISBN: 978-1-4766-5012-8
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vi
Kathy Merlock Jackson, Carl H. Sederholm, and Mark I. West 1

The Golden Touch (1935): ­Re-Examining the Satirical Merits of Walt Disney’s Alleged Directorial Misfire
Brennan Thomas 5
The Plausible Impossible in Walt Disney’s Thru the Mirror (1936)
Jan Susina 15
Mickey & Co. Enlist: Disney’s World War II Animated Shorts
Paula T. Connolly 22
Victory Through Air Power (1943): How Walt Disney Planned to Win the War
Emily Sullivan 31
Roald Dahl, Walt Disney, and The Gremlins: The Story of an Unfinished Film
Mark I. West 40
A Simple Love Story in the Labyrinth of Time: The Impossible Quest of Destino
Francesca Arnavas 46
Make Mine Music (1946): The Music Program Feature and Its Relevance to Pixar/Disney Shorts
Jacki Fitzpatrick 55
­Anti-Urbanism, Environmental Degradation, and Solastalgia in The Little House (1952)
Hadas Marcus 70
A Whale of a Tale: Disney Theme Park Iterations of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1954)
Carissa Baker 81
Walt Disney’s Tonka (1958): Another Casualty of Little Bighorn?
James Plath 96
Latinos, Morality, and Walt Disney: The Nine Lives of Elfego Baca (abc, 1958–1960)
Sue Matheson 105
Walt Disney Beyond the Barnyard: From Mickey’s Kangaroo (1935) to Nature’s Strangest Creatures (1959)
Derham Groves 115
Disney’s Abandoned Rainbow Road to Oz
Dina Schiff Massachi 124
Walt Disney’s Babes in Toyland (1961): Flawed Forerunner to Better Things
Kathy Merlock Jackson 134
Careful Conservation: The ­Gnome-Mobile (1967) as ­Eco-Fiction
Martin Woodside 147
The Small One (1976) and Its ­Not-So-Small Legacy
Christian Renaut 158
The Unlikely Casting of Bette Davis in Return from Witch Mountain (1978) and The Watcher in the Woods (1980)
Carl H. Sederholm and Kathy Merlock Jackson 165
Horizons: The Future That Never Was and Disney’s Extinct Attractions
Andrew J. Friedenthal 176
From the Bathhouse to the House of Mouse: Bette Midler’s Tenure with Disney
Peter Piatkowski 188
A Financial Fable: The Rise and Fall of Disney Comics, 1990–1993
Peter Cullen Bryan 201
Teacher’s Pet (2004): Looking Askew in the Warped World of Disney
Jonathan Winchell 212
Recalling the Details of Forgotten Disney Theme Park Attractions
Bobby Schweizer 225

Camille McCutcheon 235
About the Contributors 247
Index 251

Book Reviews & Awards

“A revealing look into Disney’s output.”—International Journal of Comic Art