Wednesday, November 30, 2005

C.S Lewis on Walt Disney

Or "How Journalism Works."

"Lewis himself loved "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" when he saw the Disney cartoon in 1939."
The Independent

"Lewis was repulsed by almost all aspects of popular culture, from Disney to Jazz."
The Times

"But about Snow-White...I thought it almost inconcievably good and bad -- I mean, I didn't know that one human being could be so good and bad. The worst thing of all was the vulgarity of the dwarfs and the winking dove at the beginning, and the next worst the faces of the dwarfs. Dwarfs ougth to be ugly, of course, but not in that way. And the dwarfs jazz party was pretty bad. I suppose it never occurred to the poor boob that you could give them any other kind of music. But all the terrifying bits were good, and the animals really most moving: and the use of shadows (of dwarfs and vultures) was real genius. What might have come of it if the man had been educated -- or even brought up in a decent society"
C.S Lewis


dt said...

I can't remember if it was in PREFACE TO PARADISE LOST or EXPERIMENT IN CRITICISM or where, that Lewis talked about 'good unoriginality' and used Snow White as an example. Something about the Wicked Queen looking like we always knew she would look, but never hoped to see her so well drawn.

Not about Snow White, but talking about a line from iirc Lucan (in STUDIES IN WORDS), something about a goddess's rites from which even a male mouse fled, conscious of his masculinity -- Lewis called this an image worthy of Disney.

dt said...

PS. He also said nice things about Disney's 'good originality' in iirc making the helpful animals' eyes look at first like the eyes of monsters.