Long ago when my children were young, I was reading them the story of Pinocchio in a Walt Disney book. I started telling them about the Italian who had written it so long ago, but couldn’t remember his name. I looked all over that book. Carlo Collodi was not mentioned. It was ‘Walt Disney’s Pinocchio.”
What would it have cost them to give credit to the creator? Were they afraid that people might seek out the original and realize that Disney’s version was a mere shadow of what Collodi had written? How many people today believe that Pinocchio is a Disney creation?
That experience and, later, some reading of Joseph Campbell made me realize that Disney takes the great myths and the great literature and reduces it all to the level of a TV sitcom, removing any deeper meaning or values. What’s left is the literary equivalent of a Twinkie.
I give away surplus children’s books, or donate them to the local thrift shop, to encourage future readers, but Disney books, among others, go into the blue box. I don’t want them falling into the hands of impressionable children.
I confess (halo slips a little, here) that if I come across a collectible Disney book I put it on the internet, justifying this with the idea that someone willing to pay $25 for it, isn’t going to let his kids play with it.