The Animated Bestiary: Animals, Cartoons, and Culture

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Rutgers University Press, Nov 28, 2008 - Social Science - 236 pages
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Cartoonists and animators have given animals human characteristics for so long that audiences are now accustomed to seeing Bugs Bunny singing opera and Mickey Mouse walking his dog Pluto.

The Animated Bestiary critically evaluates the depiction of animals in cartoons and animation more generally. Paul Wells argues that artists use animals to engage with issues that would be more difficult to address directly because of political, religious, or social taboos. Consequently, and principally through anthropomorphism, animation uses animals to play out a performance of gender, sex and sexuality, racial and national traits, and shifting identity, often challenging how we think about ourselves.

Wells draws on a wide range of examples, from the original King Kongto Nick Park's Chicken Run to Disney cartoons¨such as Tarzan, The Jungle Book, and Brother Bear¨to reflect on people by looking at the ways in which they respond to animals in cartoons and films.

 

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Contents

The Kong Trick
1
The Bear Who Wasnt Bestial Ambivalence
26
Of Mice and Men What Do Animals Mean?
60
I Dont Care What You Say Im Cold Anthropomorphism Practice Narrative
93
Which Came First the Chicken or the Egg? Performance Philosophy Tradition
135
Creature Comforted Animal Politics Animated Memory
175
Bibliography
203
Filmography
207
Index
211
About the Author
225
Copyright

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About the author (2008)

Paul Wells is the director of animation in the Animation Academy at Loughborough University. He is the author of several books, including Animation and America(Rutgers University Press), Understanding Animation, and Fundamentals of Animation.

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