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New Trends in Children's Literature Research

Twenty-first Century Approaches (2000-2012) from the University of Vigo (Spain)


Edited By Veljka Ruzicka Kenfel

The purpose of this volume is to present the scientific background of the Children’s Literature and Translation research group, which was established in 1992 at the University of Vigo. In 2006 it was awarded the category of Excellence Research Group. The scientific activities of members over the twenty years it has been in existence have contributed to improving and intensifying research into children’s literature in Spain and also to raising its scientific status. The group has strengthened collaboration with other Spanish universities and opened fruitful cooperation with foreign research centres. This book shows some new research lines we are focussing on and reflects current research trends in Children’s Literature in Spanish universities.
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Colour, Costume and Animated Films: Analysis of The Social and Emotional Placement of a Character in Walt Disney’s Films


Celia Vazquez / Alejandro Sierra (Colombian costume designer)

1. Introduction

This article aims at analysing the importance of colour and costume in children’s fiction and their by-products, the animated films. It is an interdisciplinary work that tries to combine literary criticism, based on literary anthropology, with costume design studies, following a methodology based on Goethe’s Theory of Colours. We will draw our attention to costume and colour, a semiotic system through which characters in fiction speak to their readers. We will explore identities expressed by colour and dress that enrich literary characters and our sense of fiction’s historical and social context.

We know that colour and costume have some symbolism and codes attached to them. Nevertheless, colours obtain this symbolism through cultural or religious references, contemporary contexts and these factors are not universal, absolute. Differences may arise from contradictory psychological or cultural meanings, political, historical and linguistic associations and even fashion trends.

We will explore the hidden implications of colour which are present and ready to be shown in Walt Disney’s work for children and we will try to demonstrate that, although the accuracy of Goethe’s theory eventually rendered scientifically irrelevant, he was the first to systematically study the physiological and psychological effects of colour and his idea has been and still is the traditional one when analysing the Psychological effects.

It is the experience of dress and colour what tells us about the context, the emotional and...

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