The Gospel According to the Simpsons , sets his sights on a larger, yet more elusive target: the Magic Kingdom. As Pinsky"/>

THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO DISNEY: Faith, Trust and Pixie Dust

Mark I. Pinsky, Author, Westminster, Manufactured by . Westminster John Knox $14.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-664-22591-9

Pinsky, Orlando journalist and author of The Gospel According to the Simpsons , sets his sights on a larger, yet more elusive target: the Magic Kingdom. As Pinsky argues, Disney's cultural influence is enormous: "millions of children around the world know much of what they do about the practical application of right and wrong from Disney." The "Disney gospel" is simple enough in outline: believe in yourself, never give up, good will be rewarded and evil punished. Unfortunately, the book bogs down amidst the massive Disney canon; and organizing it in "episode guide" format, rather than thematically, does not help. There are sparkles of marvelous, irreverent wit: "Tinker Bell, it is immediately apparent, has undergone some alterations over the decades, including breast reduction surgery and liposuction on her derriere." But for long stretches, the critical tone turns sober, even snarky, as Pinsky picks off obvious targets such as Snow White's passivity or Mowgli's haircut rather than surfacing the hidden spiritual gems he found so often in The Simpsons . Even considering the variety of Disney creations, he seems torn between admiring "Walt's dream, to communicate lessons to children across cultures," and debunking its "uplifting, family-friendly fare" as "a sentimental notion—naïve at best and disingenuous at worst." Still, readers will be struck by Pinsky's cogent observations about Disney classics. (Aug.)

Reviewed on: 07/12/2004
Release date: 07/01/2004
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