The Mouse and the Myth

Sacred Art and Secular Ritual of Disneyland

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Dorene Koehler
  • Bloomington, IN: 
    Indiana University Press
    , April
     2017.
     180 pages.
     $25.00.
     Paperback.
    ISBN
    9780861967278.
     For other formats: Link to Publisher's Website.

Description

The rituals that bond humanity create our most transcendent and meaningful experiences, especially the sacred rituals of play. Although we may fail to recognize rites of play, they are always present in culture, providing a kind of psychological release for child and adult participants. Disneyland is an example of the kind of metaphorical container necessary for the construction of rituals of play. This work explores the original Disney theme park in Anaheim and challenges the disciplines of mythological studies, religious studies, film studies, and depth psychology to broaden traditional definitions of the kind of cultural apparatus that constitute temple culture and ritual by suggesting that Hollywood’s entertainment industry has developed a platform for mythic ritual. After setting the ritualized “stage”, this book turns to the practices in Disneyland proper, analyzing the patrons’ traditions within the framework of the park and beyond. It explores Disneyland’s spectacles, through selected shows and parades, and concludes with an exploration of the park’s participation in ritual renewal.

About the Author(s)/Editor(s)/Translator(s): 

Dori Koehler holds degrees in mythological studies with emphasis in depth psychology from Pacifica Graduate Institute. Her main area of research is American popular culture, particularly Disney studies. She presents periodically at the Popular Culture Association’s National Conference and the Film and History conference through the University of Wisconsin at Osh Kosh. She also presented at the first Discussing Disney conference held in 2014 through the University of Hull. Her most recent article on Walt Disney as a manifestation of the trickster archetype grew out of that presentation and will be published in a forthcoming collection of essays.

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