Dorene KoehlerThe Mouse and The Myth

    Book Title: The Mouse and The Myth: Sacred Art & Secular Ritual of Disneyland
    Publisher: John Libbey Publishing
    Year Published: 2017
    Pacifica Program: Myth / Depth Psychology
    Graduation Year:

    The Mouse and The Myth: Sacred Art & Secular Ritual of Disneyland

    Rituals mark significant moments in our lives―perhaps none more significant than moments of lightheartedness, joy, and play. The rituals that bond humanity create our most transcendent experiences and meaningful memories. Rituals of play are among the most sacred of any of the rites in which humanity may engage. Although we may fail to recognize rituals of play, they are always present in culture, providing a kind of psychological release for their participants, child and adult alike. Ritual is central to storytelling. Story and practice are symbiotic. Their relationship reflects the vitality of the soul. Disneyland is an example of the kind of container necessary for the construction of rituals of play. This work explores the original Disney theme park in Anaheim as a temple cult. It challenges the disciplines of mythological studies, religious studies, film studies, and depth psychology to broaden traditional definitions of the kind of cultural apparatus that constitute temple culture and ritual. It does so by suggesting that Hollywood’s entertainment industry has developed a platform for mythic ritual. After setting the ritualized “stage”, this book turns to the practices in Disneyland proper, analyzing the patron’s traditions within the framework of the park and beyond. It explores Disneyland’s spectacles, through selected shows and parades, and concludes with an exploration of the park’s participation in ritual renewal.

    About Dorene Koehler

    I am a cultural mythologist and scholar of American popular culture. I teach Humanities at Southern New Hampshire UniversityI also teach Classical Mythology, Disney History, and Shakespeare to children online through the Gifted Home Schooler Forum. My latest article on Walt Disney as a manifestation of the trickster archetype will be published in a forthcoming collection of essays through John Libbey Publishing. I live in Santa Barbara with my husband and our cocker spaniel.

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