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February 10 2014

50 Disney-Filme, die aus kulturellem Gemeingut schöpfen

Bei Forbes hat dessen Kolumnist Derek Khanna eine Liste von 50 Disney-Filmproduktionen veröffentlicht, die auf gemeinfreie Werke zurückgreifen. Was Disney damit an Einnahmen erwirtschaftet hat, hat er ebenfalls zusammengetragen.

Was auf den ersten Blick vielleicht etwas nach Yet-another-Listicle aussieht, führt die bemerkenswerte Logik des Unternehmens Disney deutlich vor Augen: Zwar greift man seit jeher auf überlieferte Geschichten, Figuren und Werke zurück, hat aber stets zu verhindern gewusst, dass eigene Schöpfungen einmal gemeinfrei werden könnten. Mit Recht trägt die letzte Urheberrechtsverlängerung der USA auch den Spitznamen „Micky Mouse Protection Act“, gehörte Disney doch zu dessen treibenden Kräften.

Ein Auszug der (alphabetisch) ersten zehn Filme:

1. Adventures of Huck Finn (1993) based on Mark Twain’s book (1885)
Revenue = $24.1 million (revenue figures listed where available – based on wikipedia data).

2. Tom and Huck (1995) based on The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain (1876)
Revenue = $23.9 million

3. Aladdin (1992) from a folk tale in One Thousand and One Nights (1706)
Revenue = $504 million

4. Alice in Wonderland (1951) based on Lewis Carroll’s book (1865)
5. Alice in Wonderland (2010) based on Lewis Carroll’s book (1865)
Revenue = $1.02 billion

6. Around the World in 80 Days (2004) based on Jules Verne’s book (1873)
Revenue = $72.2 million

7. Atlantis (2001) from the Legend of Atlantis (Socratic Dialogues “Timaeus” & “Critias” by Plato ~360 BC.)

8. Beauty and the Beast (1991) by G-S Barbot de Villeneuve’s book (1775)
Revenue = $425 million

9. Bug’s Life (1998) from Aesop’s Fables
Revenue = $363.4 million

10. Cinderella (1950) from Charles Perrault’s folk tale (Grimm’s Fairy Tails) (1697)
Revenue = $85 million

Mit seiner Liste macht Khanna ein Argument anschaulich, das er schon in einem Politikpapier (PDF) des konservativen „Republican Study Committee“ (RSC) vertrat. (Das Papier wurde vor allem deshalb bekannt, weil es dem RSC kurz nach Veröffentlichung scheinbar so unangenehm wurde, dass man es zurückzog und Khanna entließ.)

Überlange Schutzfristen, so jedenfalls seine Aussage, schaden der Gesellschaft, weil sie Innovation verhindern und das Gegenteil von dem bewirken, was die US-Gründungsväter mit einem zeitlich begrenzten Schutz bezweckten. Ein Argument, dass etwa Lewis Hyde in seinem Buch „Common As Air“ schon ausführlich entfaltet hat.

Disney: „Eine der größten Diebstähle der Geschichte“

Politik müsse aber nicht an einem einzigen, sondern an zehn Disneys interessiert sein, schreibt Khanna. Doch dass eines Tages jemand auf Disney-Schöpfungen zurückgreifen könnte, wie es Disney seinerzeit mit den Geschichten von Lewis Caroll, Grimms Märchen oder Jules Verne tat, sei kaum noch vorstellbar. Mit der jetzt bereits von einigen geforderten nächsten Verlängerung der Schutzfristen – 2020 würde „Steamboat Willie“ sonst in die Gemeinfreiheit entlassen – werde es nahezu unmöglich.

Khannas Fazit folgerichtig:

If in the vernacular of the content industry, taking other people’s work without paying for it is always stealing, then the Disney Corporation is responsible for one of the greatest thefts in world history.

Korrekturen und Ergänzungen zu seiner Sammlung nimmt Khanna via Twitter und Medium entgegen.

Wie auch Disney-Produktionen sich selbst stets aufs Neue zitieren und wiederholen, zeigt übrigens sehr anschaulich der Zusammenschnitt „Ressemblance entre Disney“:

August 23 2011

Moving art: the magic of animation

From Bernini to Bridget Riley, artists have long brought art to life. But the animator's art is unique – innocent, imaginative and fun

Animation, when you think about it, is a very strange art. The invention of cinema in the late 19th century made it possible to show apparently moving, lifelike photographs of real people. But it was also used from the very beginning, as Watch Me Move – a summer exhibition of animated films and art at London's Barbican – reveals, to make drawings and models come to life.

Bringing a statue to life is an ancient dream, embodied in the myth of Pygmalion. It was said that this Greek sculptor literally "animated" one of his statues: it lived. Less luridly, such artists as Bernini and Rubens infuse their (static) statues and paintings with stupendous effects of dynamism. Bridget Riley's paintings do the same thing inside your head, inducing an illusion of movement.

There are fascinating, profound issues in the way animated movies work, and how they relate to high art both past and present – but the Barbican exhibition does not explore them, at least not in a conventional way. It does not weigh down the visitor with an opening gallery on the psychology of vision. Instead, it plunges you into a vast collection of moving images. Very early films by the Lumière brothers show near art films by William Kentridge and the Brothers Quay. There are forgotten Czech masterpieces, clips from South Park, the Disney classics ... It is great fun for adults and children alike, although one or two exhibits need parental caution (such as South Park).

There are some props and stills, too. My favourite thing here is not a film clip. It is a real treasure: the original model for one of the skeleton warriors in Ray Harryhausen's masterpiece of stop-motion animation, Jason and the Argonauts.

Animation can be all things to all people. Adult TV cartoons have revealed the ironic satirical power of the medium. But perhaps the most beautiful aspect of cartoons and stop-go special effects in the 20th century was the reinvention of the fairytale. In an age of science and reason, animators such as Harryhausen brought the world of magic and fable to life in entirely new ways. Powerful moments from Walt Disney's fairytale features are shown in the exhibition, as well as one of Harryhausen's early fairytale films.

Harryhausen has filmed Greek myths and yet he always gives them a quality of nursery fable and folkloric simplicity – as they surely possessed for children in ancient Greece. There are few films as fun to watch as his fabulous tales. And there are few modern achievements as innocent, imaginative and joyous as the animator's art.


guardian.co.uk © Guardian News & Media Limited 2011 | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds


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