Your cart is empty.
Animating the Victorians - Disney's Literary History

Animating the Victorians

Disney's Literary History

By Patrick C. Fleming
Series: Children's Literature Association Series

Hardcover : 9781496855374, 224 pages, 12 b&w illustrations, February 2025
Paperback : 9781496855381, 224 pages, 12 b&w illustrations, February 2025
Expected to ship: 2025-02-17
Expected to ship: 2025-02-17

A thorough study of the many links between the Golden Age of children's literature and a global storytelling powerhouse


Many Disney films adapt works from the Victorian period, which is often called the Golden Age of children’s literature. Animating the Victorians: Disney’s Literary History explores Disney’s adaptations of Victorian texts like Alice in Wonderland, Oliver Twist, Treasure Island, Peter Pan, and the tales of Hans Christian Andersen. Author Patrick C. Fleming traces those adaptations from initial concept to theatrical release and beyond to the sequels, consumer products, and theme park attractions that make up a Disney franchise. During the production process, which often extended over decades, Disney’s writers engaged not just with the texts themselves but with the contexts in which they were written, their authors’ biographies, and intervening adaptations. To reveal that process, Fleming draws on preproduction reports, press releases, and unfinished drafts, including materials in the Walt Disney Company Archives, some of which have not yet been discussed in print.

But the relationship between Disney and the Victorians goes beyond adaptations. Walt Disney himself had a similar career to the Victorian author-entrepreneur Charles Dickens. Linking the Disney Princess franchise to Victorian ideologies shows how gender and sexuality are constantly being renegotiated. Disney’s animated musicals, theme parks, copyright practices, and even marketing campaigns depend on cultural assumptions, legal frameworks, and media technologies that emerged in nineteenth-century England. Moreover, Disney’s adaptations influence modern students and scholars of the Victorian period. By applying scholarship in Victorian studies to a global company, Fleming shows how institutions mediate our understanding of the past and demonstrates the continued relevance of literary studies in a corporate media age.