Reports

„Humour is not resigned, it is rebellious”, claimed Freud in his text on humour from 1927. Using it, we can undercut, as well as performatively redefine the system of relations in which we find ourselves. In order to make that possible, we have to withdraw symbolic and libidinal investments by which we have legitimated and reproduced that system. When we accomplish that, we no longer perceive that reality and our position in it as fixed, but liable to constant reshaping, and it is humour, in fact, what enables us to see that world, which seems „so dangerous“ as nothing but „a game for children”, which is just worth „making a jest about”.
According to Disney’s conviction, the task of the animated film is not to produce an appropriate mimicry of existing reality, but to offer a specific caricature of life and action. Through these specific modifications, one was not only to represent, but also to recall and activate hidden contents that reside in the public’s unconscious. That fantastic world, the characters that dwell in it, as well as the manner in which Disney had interpreted and formatted them has been for decades the topic of different, often mutually implacable contextualization. Some have praised Disney as the creator of a new form of a total work of art, as the author that has moved the frontiers of visual imagination, while others have seen in Disney nothing but a cynical manipulator of archetypal and folkloric contents, always framed by a peculiar „politics of innocence“. That kind of politics is deployed to legitimize the spectacle of fun as generally acceptable form of escapist fantasies, as well as a handy tool for achieving commercial goals and reproducing of numerous conservative ideological matrices. Also, it soon got clear that the respective frame can be used well for validating articulation of dichotomies such as: innocent/decadent, pure/contaminated, authentic/artificial, and even original/degenerate, as constitutive for a worldview. Disney’s characters frequently remain romantically hybrid, belonging, for instance, both to the human and animal worlds (such as Goofy and Pete), or to the human world and the world of toys (such as Pinocchio), or to the realms of mundane and of the otherworldly (such as the queen/witch in Snow White), but that hybridist quite rarely brings along the full ambivalence of their distinctive features. Good and evil are always separate, and the moralistic and didactic component of the narrative is always present. In fact, the utopia Disney propounds is the utopia of a „frozen society“, which was classified by Guy Debord among the societies whose „definitive structuring excluded change“, so that they are directed by the “absolute conformism in existing social practices“.”

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