Walt O’Disney and the Little People: Playing to the Irish-American Diaspora

Publikation: Beiträge in SammelwerkenKapitelbegutachtet


Darby O’Gill and The Little People, Disney’s 1959 live-action Irish-themed family film, features Irish folklore in the shape of leprechauns, banshees and other supernatural figures. The company had their eye firmly on the market of twenty million Irish Americans, and the extensive pre-publicity for this transatlantic ethnotypical film included Walt Disney embracing a diasporic Irish identity by presenting himself as ‘half Irish.’ He also claimed to have deployed actual leprechauns in the film. Through an imagological, cultural discourse analysis lens, this paper examines the paratextual and textual performances and representations of Irishness in Darby O’Gill in the context of Irish-American culture and its popular traditions. It asks why, contrary to Disney’s hopes, it did not enjoy the success of other notable US Irish-themed films of the era, and probes the Irish involvement in and reception of Disney’s ‘Irish’ film.
TitelOn Disney : Deconstructing Images, Tropes and Narratives
HerausgeberUte Dettmar, Ingrid Tomkowiak
Anzahl der Seiten15
ErscheinungsortBerlin, Heidelberg
VerlagJ.B. Metzler
ISBN (Print)978-3-662-64624-3, 978-3-662-64626-7
ISBN (elektronisch)978-3-662-64625-0
PublikationsstatusErschienen - 01.01.2022