Symbolic Relevance Of The Fall In Disney Animation

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Disney Villains Falling to Their Death: An Investigation of the Symbolic Relevance of the Fall in Disney Animation
Born as a supercut of various clips showing Disney villains falling off cliffs and towers, the video essay presented has as objective that of unveiling the repetitiveness of the trope of the fall and investigating its possible meanings. The video is composed of a survey of clips taken from Disney Animation Studios and Disney Pixar’s long animated feature films, spanning from 1937 to 2012. The first example is that of the Evil Queen of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves falling off a cliff during the climax of the film, while the last example features Mother Gothel in Tangled as she falls off the tower where she imprisoned and raised Rapunzel. For the sake of clarity, the clips have been organized
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The very fact that Disney is aware of its own overuse of the trope, as the parodic fall of Yzma and Kronk (Emperor’s New Groove) suggests, shows not only the self-referential nature that myth has reached in postmodern texts, but also that the need to justify and acknowledge a tendency does not automatically determine its end. A few years later, in fact, Disney featured once again falling villains, first in Atlantis (2001) and Treasure Planet (2002) and then in UP (2009) and Tangled (2012). The video essay proposed, thus, is not meant to be an exhaustive montage of every animated villain to ever fall to his/her death, but it is, rather, an attempt to make manifest a tendency that has continued in the Disney way of producing films since the late 1930s. Similarly, the short considerations proposed in this paper want to suggest some possible explanations in order to open the way to a future and more comprehensive analysis of animated narratives and the way mythology is incorporated into media
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