The Enchanted Screen: The Unknown History of Fairy-Tale Films

The Enchanted Screen: The Unknown History of Fairy-Tale Films

by Jack Zipes
     
 

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The Enchanted Screen: The Unknown History of Fairy-Tale Films offers readers a long overdue, comprehensive look at the rich history of fairy tales and their influence on film, complete with the inclusion of an extensive filmography compiled by the author.  With this book, Jack Zipes not only looks at the extensive, illustrious life of fairy

Overview

The Enchanted Screen: The Unknown History of Fairy-Tale Films offers readers a long overdue, comprehensive look at the rich history of fairy tales and their influence on film, complete with the inclusion of an extensive filmography compiled by the author.  With this book, Jack Zipes not only looks at the extensive, illustrious life of fairy tales and cinema, but he also reminds us that, decades before Walt Disney made his mark on the genre, fairy tales were central to the birth of cinema as a medium, as they offered cheap, copyright-free material that could easily engage audiences not only though their familiarity but also through their dazzling special effects.
 
Since the story of fairy tales on film stretches far beyond Disney, this book, therefore, discusses a broad range of films silent, English and non-English, animation, live-action, puppetry, woodcut, montage (Jim Henson), cartoon, and digital. Zipes, thus, gives his readers an in depth look into the special relationship between fairy tales and cinema, and guides us through this vast array of films by tracing the adaptations of major fairy tales like "Little Red Riding Hood," "Cinderella," "Snow White," "Peter Pan," and many more, from their earliest cinematic appearances to today.
 
Full of insight into some of our most beloved films and stories, and boldly illustrated with numerous film stills, The Enchanted Screen, is essential reading for film buffs and fans of the fairy tale alike.
  

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Jack Zipes takes us beyond Disney and DreamWorks to the many films that draw on fairy-tale sorcery for their cinematic power. With fierce analytic energy, encyclopedic inclusiveness, and imaginative verve, he enlivens an expansive history that reaches back to Georges Méliès's enchantments and ends with the complex grotesqueries of Pan's Labyrinth and Little Otik." Maria Tatar, Harvard University

"The Enchanted Screen is a labor of love and a major work of scholarship, encyclopedic in reach and rich in sustained and detailed thinking. The ‘unknown history’ of fairy-tale film is lucky to have found such a skilled and dedicated narrator." Stephen Benson, University of East Anglia Norwich

"Last year, Zipes (emer., Univ. of Minnesota) contributed a foreword for Fairy Tale Films: Visions of Ambiguity (CH, Mar'11, 48-3760), a delightful collection edited by Pauline Greenhill and Sidney Eve Matrix. This year, Zipes presents an extensive, well-organized study of fairy tales in the film genre. Zipes's knowledge of films from a wide variety of cultures is admirable. In the silent era, fairy tales provided filmmakers worthy material free of copyright expense. From the 1930s on, the film industry was able to put old wine into new bottles with both color and sound, a la Walt Disney and filmmakers in other parts of the world. Taking a fresh approach to major films, Zipes avoides the heavy use of jargon and instead offers clear, direct commentary on the films themselves and their oral and literary sources ... Zipes gives the reader 10 pages of endnotes, 12 pages of bibliography, 38 pages of filmography, and a thorough index--all in fine print. The influence of this book will extend for decades. Summing Up: Essential. All readers."
CHOICE, June 2011 (R. Blackwood, City Colleges of Chicago)

"The true achievement of this book is its astute, perceptive, and thought-provoking discussion ... This intellectually stimulating book should be informative and enjoyable for a wide range of readers. At once a satisfying read and a valuable reference source, this is a solid and worthwhile scholarly effort." Mihaela Mihailova, Yale University (The Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television, 2011)

"The subtitle of the book is The Unknown History of Fairy-Tale Films; what Zipes has done in this book, as he has done in all his work, is to make that history known."
-Children's Literature Association Quarterly

"This colossal book offers a thorough and yet whimsical overview of the foundational role of fairy tales in filmmaking. Zipes, with his usual acerbic wit and inspiring expertise, takes readers on a journey through the historical facets of fairy-tale films, ranging from major studio productions to little-known art pieces. While the scope of Zipes' research and the acuity of his analysis alone are breathtaking, the passion with which Zipes writes about this subject impressed me deeply. The themes to which Zipes returns again and again in his interpretations - home, the uncanny, the family - provide powerful explanatory frames that help make his case that "most fairy-tale films have deep roots in oral and literary tales and re-create them with great imaginative and artistic power" (xi). Indeed, Zipes demonstrates this point and in so doing, provides the rest of us (fairy-tale scholars, film scholars, and scholars in adjacent disciplines) with an essential companion for research, teaching, and entertainment." Jeana Jorgensen, Journal of Folklore Research

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780415990622
Publisher:
Taylor & Francis
Publication date:
12/16/2010
Pages:
456
Product dimensions:
6.90(w) x 10.10(h) x 1.00(d)

Meet the Author

Jack Zipes is Professor Emeritus of German and Comparative Literature at the University of Minnesota. An acclaimed translator and scholar of children's literature and culture, his most recent books include Relentless Progress: The Reconfiguration of Children's Literature, Fairy Tales, and Storytelling; The Collected Sicilian Folk and Fairy Tales of Giuseppe Pitré; Why Fairy Tales Stick; Hans Christian Andersen: The Misunderstood Storyteller, Beautiful Angiola; and The Robber with the Witch's Head, all published by Routledge.

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