â€œThe Walt Disney Company is a powerful economic and cultural phenomenon known throughout the United States and the world as a provider of family entertainment (Maltin, 1, 308). Its media and entertainment holdings establish it as a central communicator in contemporary life. As such, it provides many of the first narratives children use to learn about the worldâ€? (Ward, 1). Disney has always been family oriented making it one of the main attractions of reading something Disney. They always have an innocent feeling to their stories, which makes it more appealing for children. But in Vietnamese fairytales a family oriented story may be somewhat gory or violent. â€œThe stories from Vietnam tell us about their culture, their beliefs, and their determination throughout timeâ€? (Ly, 1). The 1950 version of â€œCinderellaâ€?, written by Walter Disney and adapted by Campbell Grant, has some differences and similarities to the Vietnamese â€œTam and Camâ€?, by Vo Van Thang and Jim Larsen. They differ in their violent content in their stories but similarly have a great deal of magic included and also both have prevalent characters to help them find their way.
Being a Disney tale â€œCinderellaâ€? was not a very violent story. â€œOur analysis of morality in entertainment is limited and stylized at present. Violence in the media is a major concern, and we research it relentlessly. But our treatments are typically moralistic and academically superficialâ€? (Christians, foreward). In Disney it is â€œmoralâ€? to not use violence and it is also what is culturally acceptable. In Vietnam it is culturally significant to present the violence how it is and it is told to children in this same way. â€œThe stories came about as a means of escaping their everyday lives and a way to live out their dream worldsâ€? (Ly, 1). Tam was the good sister and Cam was the evil stepsister who took orders from her evil stepmother. Tam finally had one last chance to get back at them both for the misery they put her through, and she took her chance. â€œWhen Cam was in the hole Tam ordered the servants to pour in the boiling water, and so her stepsister met her death. Tam had the body made into mam, a rich sauce, and sent it to her stepmother, saying that it was a present from her daughter. Each day the woman ate some of the mam with her meals, always c...
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...ish bones in four jars later in the story the four jars become all the ingredients Tam needed to attend the Kingâ€™s festival. The Buddha not only shows her the path to her destiny but also shows her how ordinary, not so beautiful things can become, â€œreincarnateâ€? into extraordinary things.
â€œCinderellaâ€? and â€œTam and Camâ€? are so much alike especially using the workings of magic throughout these tales and also differ in the way that these stories use violence to represent their cultures. Their hope comes from these characters that help them on their paths for Cinderella it was her fairy godmother who created magic and for Tam it was a Buddha who hinted her to create magic reincarnation.
Disney, Walter E. Cinderella. Walt Disney's Cinderella.
Comp. Campbell Grant. N.p.: n.p., 1950. 516-517
Ly, Hugh H. Vietnamese Children's Stories. 17 July 2003.
Pacific University. 1 Apr. 2005
Van Thang, Vo. Jim Larson. Tam and Cam. Tam and Cam (Vietnam). N.p.: n.p., 1993.
Ward, Annalee R. Clifford G. Christians. Mouse Morality: The Rhetoric of Disney Animated
Film. Austin, TX: University Of Texas P, 2002
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