Animating Culture: Hollywood Cartoons from the Sound Era / Edition 1

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Overview

Long considered "children's entertainment" by audiences and popular media, Hollywood's animation has received little serious attention. Eric Smoodin's Animating Culture is the first book to thoroughly analyze the animated short film.

Smoodin argues that cartoons appealed to a wide audience--not just children--and did indeed contribute to public debate about political matters. He examines issues often ignored in discussions of animated film--issues such as social control in the U.S. army's "Private Snafu" cartoons, and sexuality and race in the "sites" of Betty Boop's body and the cartoon harem. His analysis of the multiple discourses embedded in a variety of cartoons reveals the complex and sometimes contradictory ways that animation dealt with class relations, labor, imperialism, and censorship. His discussion of Disney and the Disney Studio's close ties with the U.S. government forces us to rethink the place of the cartoon in political and cultural life. Smoodin reveals the complex relationship between cartoons and the Hollywood studio system, and between cartoons and their audiences.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780813519494
  • Publisher: Rutgers University Press
  • Publication date: 5/1/1993
  • Series: Communications, Media, and Culture Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 240
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.54 (d)

Meet the Author

Eric Smoodin is an assistant professor of English at American University in Washington, D.C.
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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Preface
Acknowledgments
Introduction: Hollywood Animation and Social Control 1
1 Studio Strategies: Sexuality, the Law, and Corporate Competition 7
2 Heading the Film Bill: Features, Cartoons, and the First-Run Theater 44
3 The Disappearance of Dissent: Government Propaganda and the Military Film Bill 71
4 The Popular Press Views Cartoons: Shaping Public Opinion While Creating Walt Disney 96
5 Disney Diplomacy: The Links between Culture, Commerce, and Government Policy 136
Afterword 186
Notes 191
Bibliography 201
Index 207
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