Literary Analysis in Star Wars and the Realm of Disney+ – Junior High
“We love the Disney+ channel. Princesses! Superheroes! Space battles! What’s more, we can use these to learn literary analysis with symbolism, rhyme, rhythm, figures of speech and much more.” ~Prof. Valerie
In English class, we learn rhetorical devices, metafiction, symbolism, and so much more. Analyzing poetry teaches us rhyme and rhythm. With lots of practice in great literature, we can identify themes and motifs, allegory and allusion. For this class, we’ll practice all these skills, but apply them to fun popular works, all found on the Disney+ channel.
Frozen and Moana have a great deal of symbolism as they blend music and art. Clever diction and wordplay appear throughout Disney, especially in Encanto and Mary Poppins. The Mandalorian offers allusions to many genres. Superheroes delve into the unconscious and face their Jungian shadows, though none as much as Darth Vader. The Princess and the Frog is a feminist deconstruction, as is Maleficent. For decades, The Simpsons has modeled satire, metafiction, and irony. It’s also possible to write academic essays on these concepts. We’ll watch the musicals on our own and then study them together, mastering literary analysis within the pop culture world.
What to expect in the Required section in the classroom each week:
- Assignments to practice terms
- Weekly assigned Disney+ video watching for homework
What to expect in the Highly Suggested & Optional sections in the classroom each week:
- Curated resources, including websites & videos, are provided to excite learners and to add depth to the subject matter.
- Additional lessons and resources to help students get more out of the lessons and research literary terms
What to expect during the weekly webinar:
- Weekly webinars are 50 minutes long. Webinars are recorded and are available for students with schedule conflicts.
- In-class analysis of film content as well as lessons on analysis and literary devices and how to find them in all forms of literature.
- Active Participation (via the microphone and chat) is encouraged in online class discussions and also during lectures.
Before taking this course, students should be able to:
- Read at a solid 4th-grade level or above.
- Type fluently.
- Write a paragraph independently.
Students should be willing to:
- Have an interest in learning more about the Disney/Marvel/Star Wars universe.
- Actively participate (via the microphone) in the class discussion.
- Encourage class discussion by adding their questions/ideas in the chat window during the webinar.
- Respond with positive and encouraging comments on their classmates’ posts in the classroom forums.
Required books & materials:
- Disney+ Subscription for:
- Note: Some of these films are rated PG, with the violence associated with Maleficent, Star Wars, and Into the Spiderverse.
- The Book of Life
- Robin Hood
- The Princess Bride
- Ever After
- Inside Out
- Little Mermaid
- Mulan (cartoon)
- Muppet Movie 1979
- Turning Red
- Forces of Destiny
- Marvel Rising