The Economic Impacts of Black Magic in Disney’s Sleeping Beauty
Abstract: Post-Industrial Americans regard the spinning wheel as a quaint prop of a by-gone age. It is not until we grasp its place at the foundation of textile production in early economies, however, that we realize that Maleficent’s curse and the resultant destruction of spinning wheels was an attack not just on the baby princess Aurora but on the economic fabric of the kingdom itself. The sudden removal of wheel technology for yarn production would cripple if not topple the textile industry of a fourteenth century agrarian economy. Through use of computer modeling we discuss the volume production drop caused by a sudden shift from spinning wheel to drop spindle technology and examine the ramifications on the wool trade, the rise in imports to replace lost domestic capacity and concomitant inflation across the economy , the loss of competitiveness among other regional powers, and the dramatic increase in costs accrued for the exotic textiles displayed in King Stephen’s court.
It’s one thing to anger a malevolent spirit—it’s another entirely to anger a malevolent spirit with a thorough knowledge of textile capacities and the creative curses to bring an entire kingdom’s economy to its knees.