Walt Disney’s Dumbo: A Myth of Modernity

136 Pages Posted: 22 Jan 2020 Last revised: 21 Jul 2022

Date Written: September 12, 2012


Dumbo is Walt Disney's myth of modernity, a film in which he uses a story about infant-mother separation as a vehicle for assimilating modern technology and management structure to the evolved mechanisms of the human mind. This paper considers psychoanalytic and evolutionary psychology, examines the structure of scapegoating as a means of social contral, considers parallels with the story of Genesis, the role of machines and animals in the modern world, the interplay of nature and culture, the distinction between animals that talk and those that don't, and features extensive descriptive an analytic work on the film, with many frame grabs.

Keywords: Disney, animation, cartoon, evolutionary psychology, narrative, cognition, myth, scapegoating, modernity

Suggested Citation

Benzon, William L., Walt Disney’s Dumbo: A Myth of Modernity (September 12, 2012). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2145649 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2145649

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