Event Title

Americanized Arthurian Animation: Political Propaganda Publications in Children's Cinematic Cartoons

Poster Number

11

Faculty Mentor

Jo Koster, Ph.D.

College

College of Arts and Sciences

Department

Department of English

Location

Rutledge

Start Date

21-4-2017 12:00 PM

Description

The Arthurian tradition begins as a backhanded compliment, and through the course of a multitude of generations to follow, the story expands into a literary titan. Names such as Guenever, Lancelot, and Arthur are names that people are familiar with even if they have not read works by T.H. White, Sir Thomas Malory, or Chretien de Troyes, in part thanks to Walt Disney. Some critics suggest that Walt Disney’s 1963 film The Sword in the Stone has no place in a college-level course because it is childish. This is precisely why it has a valid place in an Arthurian literature or film class; Disney’s rendition of the tale provides a positive message to children while simultaneously sending a far more mature message of understanding social issues to the adult viewers. In this film, T.H. White’s novel, The Sword in the Stone, is adapted to the screen and marketed for a younger audience, encouraging children to embrace good morals and education. This piece also acts as pro-American propaganda during the Cold War shortly after Kennedy’s death. Though possibly coincidental, this Cold War Camelot acts as a social mirror for events occurring and world leaders in power during the time of the film’s release. Regardless of box-office success, this retelling of the story of King Arthur is as equally successful and credible as any other historic text regarding Arthur.

Previously Presented/Performed?

11th Annual Meeting in the Middle, Longwood University, April 2017

Course Assignment

ENGL 307 – Koster

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Apr 21st, 12:00 PM

Americanized Arthurian Animation: Political Propaganda Publications in Children's Cinematic Cartoons

Rutledge

The Arthurian tradition begins as a backhanded compliment, and through the course of a multitude of generations to follow, the story expands into a literary titan. Names such as Guenever, Lancelot, and Arthur are names that people are familiar with even if they have not read works by T.H. White, Sir Thomas Malory, or Chretien de Troyes, in part thanks to Walt Disney. Some critics suggest that Walt Disney’s 1963 film The Sword in the Stone has no place in a college-level course because it is childish. This is precisely why it has a valid place in an Arthurian literature or film class; Disney’s rendition of the tale provides a positive message to children while simultaneously sending a far more mature message of understanding social issues to the adult viewers. In this film, T.H. White’s novel, The Sword in the Stone, is adapted to the screen and marketed for a younger audience, encouraging children to embrace good morals and education. This piece also acts as pro-American propaganda during the Cold War shortly after Kennedy’s death. Though possibly coincidental, this Cold War Camelot acts as a social mirror for events occurring and world leaders in power during the time of the film’s release. Regardless of box-office success, this retelling of the story of King Arthur is as equally successful and credible as any other historic text regarding Arthur.