It’s common knowledge that the books, myths and historical events that Hollywood draws inspiration from are always better and more interesting than the films that are based on them. We’ve grown up hearing that old platitude, “The book is better.” It’s a platitude, because it is true more often than not. And when you see a movie based on a book, a myth or some historical event, Hollywood always gets something wrong.
It could be a work of absolute fiction, and Hollywood will do its best to capture the essence of the story, without telling the whole story.
But one has to understand that most of the historical facts, or sections of the original work that is ignored is irrelevant to the stories that the filmmaker is trying to tell. No one takes that principle and bends it to their will like Disney. Disney does it their way, no matter what the story is. Some fairy tales and myths fit into their formula nicely. But if it doesn’t…If that story is a square peg, and their family-friendly formula is a round hole, they will take the square peg, put it on top of that round hole, and drive it in with a sledgehammer, and whatever’s left lying around that didn’t make into that round hole… That’s why I created this podcast, to talk about what Disney left out, forgot to mention, changed and some might say subverted to tell a Disney-style story.
This is not an effort to bash on Disney. If you came to hear me make fun of Disney, what evil, corrupt, corporate liars they all are, you’re going to be bored by this. You’ve come to the wrong podcast. Go elsewhere for that. And try not to be so uptight, have a bran muffin or something. This is a podcast for Disney fans to hear the real stories, shake our heads, to smile and go, wow, I never knew that. Sometimes you’ll be telling yourself; wow that is an amusing and informative factiod. Sometimes you’ll be all like… “oh bother,” “that really happened”?
I’m going to tentatively space podcast episodes out on a monthly basis, and there’s no promises there. I have many fires in the iron. I am a storyteller myself, an aspiring author, I work for a music education charity, The Rising Star Music Fund and I am helping raise a son. Reading and research takes time, writing the episode takes time, recording and editing it takes time, so you’ll have to be patient with me.
This podcast is intended to be a family-friendly podcast. Some of you know me… Some of you know my other Disney podcast, The DLRage Podcast, where I am not the cool cucumber you have before you now. That Podcast is admittedly not for everybody. But I want everybody to hear these Story Origins, so if you’re expecting a DLRage style Story Origins episode…sorry. Now on DLRage and other podcasts I have already told 4 Disney Story Origins, Mulan, Aladdin, The Little Mermaid and Tangled. If you’re a new listener to all of this, I would advise you not to worry about those, because down the road I am going to rerecord brand new versions of those story origins for this new format.
All of that that said, I can’t be held responsible for the story origins themselves. Some of them are more violent than parents are comfortable with, some of them have more sexuality, some of them are darker, and scarier. You may want to listen to the show, and retell the story origin your way, which by the way is what Disney does.
Disney thinks a story is good, worth telling to young people, and they want to tell it without scarring them for life. No parent can blame them. You want to call it a money-grab, fine, on some level it is, but I want my kid to be entertained, and I trust Disney implicitly to do that in a way that won’t negatively influence or impact him.
But, you’d be amazed at the things you can learn, amazed by the lengths Disney goes to, to make some stories work for their style of family entertainment. Just by opening a book, putting a few keystrokes into google, you can learn the heritage and history of these stories and get the real story. If you don’t have time or nary the inclination, then once again, I say to you, welcome to The Disney Story Origins Podcast.
~Paul J. Hale