Authored by: Ann Schmiesing

The Routledge Companion to Media and Fairy-Tale Cultures

Print publication date:  April  2018
Online publication date:  March  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138946156
eBook ISBN: 9781315670997
Adobe ISBN:


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Several news articles and blog postings have interpreted Elsa’s ice-making super-ability in Disney’s Frozen (2013) as, or as akin to, a disability. After surveying scholarship on disability in fairy tales, this chapter uses these media interpretations of Frozen as a vehicle through which to explore key issues in the (lack of) depiction of disability in mainstream fairy-tale films. In so doing, it probes thematic similarities between the Grimm tale “The Maiden Without Hands” and Frozen with respect to (dis)ability and utilizes disability studies theory to consider overarching issues in representations of disability and super-ability in fairy-tale media.

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