Episode 12

Welcome to Leadership on Stage and Screen Lecture Podcast, Episode Twelve.

Revisionism and Storytelling

We’ve talked before about the power of adaptations, of modifying an original story to a new form or of altering a story to tell something new. We’ve talked about the importance of decolonizing the plays of a dead white playwright who was wealthy enough to buy his way into the gentry…

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  1. You mention how Disney is starting to break out of their “heteronormative” shell and starting to retell stories such as Maleficent. What other strategies and themes do you think Disney could use to revise their stories to continue this trend for future generations? What important revisionist ideas have they not touched on yet or done enough to integrate into their stories?

  2. What other Disney movies have been changed from the original Brother’s Grimm version as Cinderella was? Do you think that the Disney version of Cinderella is justified in leaving out the part about cutting off their heels and toes in an effort to make the shoe fit? Isn’t that an important lesson to show young girls that they should not be changing their appearance to please a man? I’m having trouble really seeing how the Disney version would be a revisionist story because I kinda of think you learn less, but that is just my personal opinion.

  3. At what point do you stop revising a story? There is a lot of power in retelling stories to be more inclusive, or more representative of reality, but when do you leave, for example, the story of Cinderella behind?

  4. Where is the line between revisionism and censorship? I think there’s too much crossover in the intent of the action, so I’m really not sure how to differentiate them.

  5. I always find it fascinating how dark and violent the original Grimm fairy tales were compared to their more recent Disney-fied revisions. However, are there any examples of fairy tales that actually became darker overtime, or is this generally not the case at all?

  6. This touches on other student’s question, but how do you revise a story and make it your own without being accused of simply stealing someone else’s original idea? Is it just about giving credit?

  7. I had the same question as Katherine. At what point does adaptation become revision? Does it take changing significant plot points or the ending, or is it a wholesale reimagining of the entire original story and characters?

  8. How much of revisionism is based on the times. For example, the way we would revise a story like Cinderella today would be much different from the way in which others may have done so 20 years ago. Does this issue of time sensitivity take away from the power of revisionist stories over time?

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