Film Notes – Magic and Religion

20 Oct No Comments

Film Notes

Magic and Religion (Aug. 13)

Religion in Disney is regarded as an influential and a crucial part of the society. Conspicuously, Christianity is perceived as an important aspect of saving humanity from the torments of hell. Additionally, magic is perceived as an old pagan tradition, which is treated with utmost intolerance among Christians. On the other hand, science plays an important role in illustrating the supremacy of knowledge over strength when Merlin intervenes and treat Arthur, thereby, defeating Mim’s magic that employs trickery. In fact, Merlin transforms into a fictional germ through his scientific skill and infect Mim with chickenpox, leading her to bed rest for several weeks.

  • According to Pinsky, what segment in Fantasia (1940) has “the most clear moral message”? What is the message? (Pinsky 34).
  • The segment on sorcerer’s apprentice entails the clearest moral message, especially for children. The lesson encompasses the importance of people to obey their superiors, execute their duties, and to shun trifling with the cosmos until they are ready (Pinsky, 2004).
  • What is the most explicitly religious segment in Fantasia? (Pinsky 37).
  • In Fantasia, the finale at the Moussoursky’s night of Bald Mountain combined with Schubert’s Ave Maria depicts the most explicitly religious segment. This finale is actually perceived as a struggle between the profane and the sacred (Pinsky, 2004).
  • According to Bruce David Forbes, who is the “high priest” of the Disney religion? (Pinsky 35).
  • According to Bruce David Forbes, since Mickey possessed a wand and a hat from the Sorcerer’s Apprentice, he functioned as the high priest of Disney’s religion (Pinsky, 2004).
  • Describe Disney’s “revisionary medievalism,” marking the past as a “fantasy of potential” (Labbie 98).
  • Revisionary medievalism in Fantasia (2000) follows the same sequence as in Fantasia (1940), but the importance of the pattern is affected by the difference in content. Fantasia 2000 go back to the creation story to captivate the pattern in a perspective of narratives dedicated to ecological awareness and conservation of environmental (Labbie, 2012).
  • What is the name of the Sorcerer in Disney’s adaptation of “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice”? Why is this significant? (Labbie 99-100).
  • The name of the Sorcerer is referred to as Yen-Sid, meaning Disney in reverse because he reflects Disney’s power (Labbie, 2012). Disney is considered as the chief sorcerer who guides creation.
  • What are some of the typical distinction between religion and magic? (Versnel 178-179).
  • The distinctions between religion and science are primarily based on intention, attitude, action, and social or moral evaluation. Magic is used to achieve stable, and often personal goals, while religion is not basically purpose-driven and encompass all societal matters. Also, magic is primarily scheming and man is both the creator and executor of procedures he commands with the help of knowledge he possesses. On the other hand, religion treat man as dependent upon powers beyond his sphere of influence. In addition, magic is distinguished by the concentration directed towards the technical side of exploitation, and accuracy of method, while religion is based on admission of intended impacts of prayers, private oracles, or votive. The outcomes are never attached to a professional specialist. Further, magic is largely perceived as anti-social, immoral, and deviant, while religion plays a positive social function, and is perceived as cohesive and solidarizing (Versnel, 1991).
  • How has magic been used as “an instrument of social disqualification?” (Versnel 182).
  • Magic has been used as a tool of social rejections through the procedure of reclassification that tainted magic as an accumulation of wavering and fraudulent credence and exercises (Versnel, 1991).
  • Describe Frazer’s tripartite distinction between science, religion, and magic (Versnel 177-178).
  • In Frazer’s tripartite distinction, science was defined as knowledge that is literally or potentially verifiable by research, while religion and magic belonged to the category of dogmatic knowledge, and their truth was asserted without connection with any empirical verification. However, religion is intrinsically and essentially unverifiable, whereas magic is not (Versnel, 1991).
  • What are other formulations for the relationship between religion and magic? (Versnel 181).
  • There is a noticeable tendency to single out manipulative coercive versus emotion supplicatory attitude as the fundamental distinction between magic and religion. Magic has been defended or refuted by all theoreticians on the basis of its correctness, relevance, applicability, general validity, ethnocentricity, and similarity or dissimilarity with religion (Versnel, 1991).
  • What is Stark’s definition of science? Supernatural? Religion?
  • Science is defined as the method used in orderly endeavors to elaborate nature and is regularly subject to adjustments and correctness through methodical scrutiny. On the other hand, supernatural is referred to as the forces beyond nature, which can dangle, modify, or disregard physical forces. Further, religion entails elaborations of existence grounded in paranormal presumptions, and use of assertions about the essence of the supernatural and about the ideal elucidation (Stark, 2001).
  • What did Durkheim mean when he said, “There is no Church of magic”? (Stark 114).
  • Between the magician and all people who seek assistance from him, there are no long-lasting connections that pronounce them as part of a single moral body as opposed to the connections that link the members that show regard to the same god or similar cult. Importantly, the magician has a clientele, but not a Church (Stark, 2001).
  • What types of questions do religions typically engage? (Stark 110).
  • Religion typically engages on numerous types of questions: Does life have a purpose? Why are we here? What can we hope? Why do we suffer? Does justice exist?
  • Is death the? (Stark, 2001). It also seeks to provide explanations: Why does this happen? How did things come to be?
  • What is the relationship between “religion” and “magic” for André Pierre? (Cosentino xxii).
  • The Vodou religion is perceived as the first religion on earth. Vodou created the world in an act regarded as magic. Therefore, magic is closely associated with religion. In fact, God is regarded as the first magician through his creations (Cosentino, 1995).
  • What is the place of religion in Disney’s The Sword in the Stone (1963)?
  • What is the place of science in the film?
  • What is the place of magic?



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