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Richard Brian Davis 
Disney and Philosophy 
Truth, Trust, and a Little Bit of Pixie Dust

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Cover of Richard Brian Davis: Disney and Philosophy (ePUB)
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

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.
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Table of Content

Contributors: ‘It’s a Whole Family of Supers’ ix

Acknowledgments: It takes People to Make a Dream Reality xvii

Introduction: Philosophy Begins in Wonder xix

Part I ‘The Seaweed is Always Greener in Somebody Else’s Lake’ 1

1 Unruly Ariel: Not Born but Made a Woman 3
Megan S. Lloyd

2 ‘True to Your Heart’: Honor and Authenticity in Mulan 11
George A. Dunn

3 Zen and the Art of Imagineering: Disney’s Escapism Versus Buddhism’s Liberation 25
Steve Bein

4 Hidden Mickeys and the Hiddenness of God 35
Robert K. Garcia and Timothy Pickavance

Part II ‘I’ll be Shooting for My Own Hand’ 45

5 ‘Everyone’s Special Dash’: Tolerance and Conformity in a World of Incredible Differences 47
Richard B. Davis

6 Accommodating Dory, but Disempowering Dopey? Dilemmas of Disability from Snow White to Finding Dory 59
Kevin Mintz

7 From Snow White to Moana: Understanding Disney’s Feminist Transformation 71
Edwardo Pérez

8 ‘Always a Team, Always United’: Disney’s Philosophy of the Family 81
Kody Cooper

Part III ‘Your Identity is your Most Valuable Possession’ 93

9 How to Convince Sleeping Beauty She’s Not Dreaming 95
C. A. Mc Intosh

10 Knowing Who you Are: Existence Precedes Essence in Moana 107
William J. Devlin

11 Saving Mr. Banks: Reclaiming Our Childhood, Remembering Who We Are 119
Mark D. Linville and Shawn White

12 WALL·E and EVE: Disney’s Intelligent Machines 129
Timothy Brown

13 Inside Disney’s Inside Out 137
Ellen Miller

Part IV ‘You Can Be Anyone You Want To Be’ 145

14 To Be or Not to Be … the Lion King: Existentialism in Disney and Shakespeare 147
Megan S. Lloyd

15 True Freedom in Toy Story, or You Are a Child’s Plaything! 157
Armond Boudreaux

16 ‘Our Fate Lives Within Us’: Character and Choice in Brave 167
Louis Colombo and Steve Jones

17 Breaking the Spell: Beauty and the Beast and Plato’s Prisoner 177
Nathan Mueller and Leilani Mueller

18 True Love in Frozen 185
Jamey Heit

Part V ‘Always Let Your Conscience Be Your Guide’ 193

19 Mencius Spins The Emperor’s New Groove 195
Dean A. Kowalski

20 ‘Handed Down from Goof to Goof’: What Goofy Can Teach Us About Becoming Good 207
Robert M. Mentyka

21 ‘Let Slip the (Donald) Ducks of War!’: Ethical Considerations About Disney’s War Propaganda 217
Tuomas W. Manninen

22 WALL·E, the Environment, and Our Duties to Future Generations 227
J. Edward Hackett

23 Is There Any Utopia in Zootopia? 235
Frauke Albersmeier and Alexander Christian

Part VI The Wonderful Worldview of Disney 245

24 How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Disney: Marx and Marcuse at Disney World 247
Elizabeth Butterfield

25 Colonizing the Geography of the Imagination: Media, Mind, and the Magic Kingdom 259
Read Mercer Schuchardt

26 ‘We’re All Gonna Die’: Death and the Cycle of Life in Disney 271
Jessica Miller

27 Liberty Square in the Shadow of Cinderella’s Castle: Political Philosophy in Disney’s Theme Parks 283
Timothy Dale and Joseph Foy

Index 293

About the author

RICHARD B. DAVIS is Professor of Philosophy at Tyndale University in Canada. He is the author or editor of four books, including Alice in Wonderland and Philosophy (Wiley Blackwell, 2009) and 24 and Philosophy (Wiley Blackwell, 2007). He has published over thirty book chapters or articles, and specializes in metaphysics and epistemology.

To learn more about the Blackwell Philosophy and Pop Culture series, visit
Language English ● Format EPUB ● Pages 336 ● ISBN 9781119538356 ● File size 0.7 MB ● Editor Richard Brian Davis ● Publisher John Wiley & Sons ● Published 2019 ● Downloadable 24 months ● Currency EUR ● ID 7282382 ● Copy protection Adobe DRM
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