Prime Time Animation: Television Animation and American Culture

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Carol A. Stabile, Mark Harrison
Psychology Press, 2003 - Performing Arts - 254 pages
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In September 1960 a television show emerged from the mists of prehistoric time to take its place as the mother of all animated sitcoms. The Flintstones spawned dozens of imitations, just as, two decades later, The Simpsons sparked a renaissance of primetime animation. This fascinating book explores the landscape of television animation, from Bedrock to Springfield, and beyond.
The contributors critically examine the key issues and questions, including: How do we explain the animation explosion of the 1960s? Why did it take nearly twenty years following the cancellation of The Flintstones for animation to find its feet again as primetime fare? In addressing these questions, as well as many others, essays examine the relation between earlier, made-for-cinema animated production (such as the Warner Looney Toons shorts) and television-based animation; the role of animation in the economies of broadcast and cable television; and the links between animation production and brand image. Contributors also examine specific programmes like The Powerpuff Girls, Daria, Ren and Stimpy and South Park from the perspective of fans, exploring fan cybercommunities, investigating how ideas of 'class' and 'taste' apply to recent TV animation, and addressing themes such as irony, alienation, and representations of the family.
  

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Contents

Smarter than the average art form Animation in the television era
15
The great saturday morning exile Scheduling cartoons on televisions periphery in the 1960s
33
Redrawing the bottom line
55
The Flintstones to Futurama Networks and prime time animation
74
Synergy nirvana Brand equity television animation and Cartoon Network
89
The digital turn Animation in the age of information technologies
110
Readings
131
Back to the drawing board The family in animated television comedy
133
From Fred and Wilma to Ren and Stimpy What makes a cartoon prime time?
147
We hardly watch that rude crude show Class and taste in The Simpsons
165
Misery chick Irony alienation and animation in MTVs Daria
185
What are those little girls made of? The Powerpuff Girls and consumer culture
205
Oh my god they digitized Kenny Travels in the South Park Cybercommunity V40
220
Index
243
Copyright

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About the author (2003)

Mark Harrison is Professor of Economics at the University of Warwick. He has written a number of books and articles on Russian and comparative economic history, including The Soviet Defence-Industry Complex from Stalin to Khrushchev (2000).

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