Walt Disney’s Storytelling Secrets – Storytelling School

In the second episode of Storytelling School we dive into the techniques of master storyteller, Walt Disney.

Show Notes

Walt Disney used two transformative storytelling techniques:

1. Harnessing deep and fundamental human desires

By tapping into quirky but fundamental human desires (people’s want of flying or desire to talk to animals), Walt Disney was able to share a message that felt personal with the entire world.

  • The desire to be special and admired (princesses, male heros)
  • The desire to have stability in the form of something more (life missions)
  • The desire to play in the unknown (flying, lack of aging, talking to animals)

2. Suspending Reality

By having characters live in alternative realities, Walt Disney was able to tell personal stories about viewers without being invasive.

  • He brought cartoon animation to the masses
  • He built theme parks so that people could experience his made-up reality while still being in reality

1 comment… add one

  • Sanjana Apr 11, 2014

    I wonder why we all look to suspend reality.
    Is everyone leading such a miserable life that they want to get away from it?

    I watched the video, and find it interesting that you’re talking about a same pattern of story-telling being replicated by WD, but I guess it’s not just him, I guess all stories are more exciting when it’s slightly unreal.

    JK Rowling, if you’ve read Harry Potter, puts her characters in an unreal world, but really, they’re dealing with very real problems. Voldemort has the fear of death. He is seen as someone who is evil, but the main reason for him being evil is his lack of ability to love or feel for anyone but himself.
    In Book 2, the young and insecure Ginny writes to a magic book that writes back and it ends up consuming her soul and taking over her (like chat rooms and encounters with weirdos on the internet).

    Then there’s the dementor, which I think is my favourite of her creations. A creature that “Muggles” like us can’t see, but can sense. It makes you lose hope, feeds on fear. You can only fight it by thinking of something that makes you happy. True for real life too don’t you think? :)

    Happiness, laughter, love, chocolate… all real, all weapons the characters use to fight a believable evil.

    It’s only Hogwarts, the setting, that’s not real. But that’s what adds intrigue and wonder to the story.
    Wonderful storyteller!

    Okay… long comment! I’ll shut up now! :D

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