Disney’s 1934 “The Goddess of Spring” tells the tale of Persephone and Hades
The Goddess of Spring was part of the Silly Symphony animated shorts that Walt Disney Productions did in the 1930s. Each film was an animated accompaniment to a piece of music and they were each designed as experiments in different animation techniques, processes, and character development. The Goddess of Spring was one of Disney’s first animation of human characters.
The Goddess of Spring was basically the experimental workshop for Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. It tells the story of the Goddess of Spring being kidnapped by Hades (here depicted as the operatic Mephistopheles) and her eventual return above ground, and thus, the return of Spring.
Persephone (Proserpina in Roman mythology), the Goddess of Spring, lives in a beautiful garden of eternal spring. She is greeted by dancing flowers and fairies who stand by her throne and defend her when Hades (Pluto in Roman mythology), the God of the Underworld, comes to take her away. He plans to make her his queen in the Underworld, where she is crowned by Hades and welcomed by a choir of devils. Meanwhile, above ground, the creatures suffer a rough winter and mourn the absence of their goddess.
In the Underworld, the Goddess of Spring weeps. Hades shows concern for her unhappiness, and offers anything to make her happy; they reach the agreement that she will spend six months above ground and six below, resulting in the four seasons. She is allowed to return to her world, thawing the snow and ending the winter.
Welcome home, Goddess. Over this long winter, we missed you more than ever.
[H/t Pam Grossman]
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March 23, 2021 at 11:53AM