by George Rodosthenous
The Disney Musical: Critical Approaches on Stage and Screen is the first critical treatment of the corporation's hugely successful musicals both on screen and on the stage. Its 13 articles open up a new territory in the critical discussion of the Disney mega-musical, its gender, sexual and racial politics, outreach work and impact of stage, film and television adaptations. Covering early 20th century works such as the first full-length feature film Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937), to The Lion King - Broadway's highest grossing production in history, and Frozen (2013), this edited collection offers a diverse range of theoretical engagements that will appeal to readers of film and media studies, musical theatre, cultural studies, and theatre and performance.
The volume is divided into three sections to provide a contextual analysis of Disney's most famous musicals:
· DISNEY MUSICALS: ON FILM
· DISNEY ADAPTATIONS: ON STAGE AND BEYOND
· DISNEY MUSICALS: GENDER AND RACE
The first section employs film theory, semiotics and film music analysis to explore the animated works and their links to the musical theatre genre. The second section addresses various stage versions and considers Disney's outreach activities, cultural value and productions outside the Broadway theatrical arena. The final section focuses on issues of gender and race portraying representations of race, hetero-normativity, masculinity and femininity in Newsies, Frozen, High School Musical, Aladdin and The Jungle Book.
The various chapters address these three aspects of the Disney Musical and offer new critical readings of a vast range of important works from the Disney musical cannon including Enchanted, Mary Poppins, Hunchback of Notre Dame, The Lion King and versions of musicals for television in the early 1990s and 2000s. The critical readings are detailed, open-minded and come to surprising conclusions about the nature of the Disney Musical and its impact.