Activity: Participating in or organising an event types › Participation in conference
Panel chair and convener: "Animating Cultural Values: Disney and Pixar" Paper Title: The Cultural Value of Nostalgia in the Animated Fairy Tale: Disney’s The Princess and the Frog. Nostalgia in The Princess and the Frog (2009), both at the level of form and text, will be the focus of this paper. As Disney’s first animated film featuring an African American heroine, its depiction of race has attracted much critical and academic attention. However, its specific medium and genre, a 2D animated fairy-tale, has been comparatively overlooked. Building on Jason Sperb’s work on the wave of nostalgia for obsolete technologies in contemporary digital cinema, I argue that nostalgia is the key impulse behind The Princess and the Frog’s aesthetic and generic approach, which directly impacts on the cultural values foregrounded in the film. Its use of and homage to traditional hand-drawn animation shapes its reworking of the “classic” Disney fairy tale. The values associated with this genre, such as the idealization of romance and the imperative of heteronormativity, were rendered old-fashioned by overtly parodic films such as Shrek (2001). Combining a genre-sensitive perspective with a focus on the animated form, my analysis of nostalgia in The Princess and the Frog investigates how this animated fairy-tale reworks what Jack Zipes describes as the “Disney formula” and its cultural values for the contemporary audience.