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Title: Disney film genres and adult audiences : a tale of renegotiated relationships
Author: Mason, James Robert
Awarding Body: University of Leeds
Current Institution: University of Leeds
Date of Award: 2017
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Disney films occupy a special place in the viewing habits of children, but their relationships with adult audiences are underappreciated and under-researched. At the same time, many assumptions are made about the concept of a Disney film, which is distinctive enough to warrant being described as a film genre but has not yet been described as such. Using an innovative mixed methods approach, this research investigates the ways in which adult audiences negotiate and renegotiate their relationships with Disney films. To do so, the research first sets about identifying what a Disney film is, and therefore defining a Tangible Disney Genre based on an analysis of Disney’s film output. An output survey analysing data based on 390 Disney films released between 1937 and 2015 allows a more comprehensive understanding of the Disney film than has previously been offered. Following analysis of the tangible film output, attention turns to the audiences of Disney films, from fans to antagonists. Building on previous work by the Global Disney Audiences Project (Wasko et al., 2001), the research employs a sample survey and focus groups to define a Disney genre that is grounded in shared audience perceptions. This Fantasy Disney Genre is based on data drawn from over 3,500 participants. Having established the Tangible and Fantasy Disney Genres, the two concepts are compared alongside evidence drawn from interviews and the autoethnographic experiences of the author to determine the effects of any differences and similarities between the genres. Within the comparisons between the two Disney genres is found the space for adult audiences to (re)negotiate their relationships with Disney films. The outcomes of the research include methodological innovations, an updated and comprehensive examination of Disney audiences, and establishment of Disney genres based on both the Hollywood studio’s tangible film output and the perceptions of adult audiences.
Supervisor: Macdonald, Ian ; Popple, Simon Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available