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That's All Folks?: Ecocritical Readings of American Animated Features

By: Robin L Murray(Author), Joseph K Heumann(Author)

320 pages, 22 illustrations

University of Nebraska Press

Hardback | Dec 2011 | #211438 | ISBN-13: 9780803235120
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NHBS Price: £33.99 $44/€37 approx

About this book

Although some credit the environmental movement of the 1970s, with its profound impact on children's television programmes and movies, for paving the way for later eco-films, the history of environmental expression in animated film reaches much further back in American history, as That's All Folks? makes clear.

Countering the view that the contemporary environmental movement – and the cartoons it influenced – came to life in the 1960s, in That's All Folks? Robin L. Murray and Joseph K. Heumann reveal how environmentalism was already a growing concern in animated films of the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s. From Felix the Cat cartoons to Disney's beloved Bambi to Pixar's Wall-E and James Cameron's Avatar, That's All Folks? shows how animated features with environmental themes are money-makers on multiple levels – particularly as broad-based family entertainment and conveyors of consumer products.

Only Ralph Bakshi's X-rated Fritz the Cat and R-rated Heavy Traffic and Coonskin, with their violent, dystopic representation of urban environments, avoid this total immersion in an anti-environmental consumer market. Showing us enviro-toons in their cultural and historical contexts, That's All Folks? offers fresh insights into the changing perceptions of the relationship between humans and the environment and a new understanding of environmental and animated cinema.

"This volume is a welcome addition to the growing scholarship on ecocriticism and film."
– Paula Willoquet-Maricondi, ISLE


1. Introduction
2. Bambi and Mr. Bug Goes to Town: Nature With or Without Us
3. Animal Liberation in the 1940s and 1950s: What Disney Does for the Animal Rights Movement
4. The UPA and the Environment: A Modernist Look at Urban Nature
5. Animation and Live Action: A Demonstration of Interdependence?
6. Rankin/Bass Studios, Nature, and the Supernatural: Where Technology Serves and Destroys
7. Disney in the 1960s and 1970s: Blurring Boundaries Between Human and Nonhuman Nature
8. Dinosaurs Return: Evolution Outplays Disney's Binaries
9. DreamWorks and Human and Nonhuman Ecology: Escape or Interdependence in Over the Hedge and Bee Movie
10. Pixar and the Case of WALL-E: Moving between Environmental Adaptation and Sentimental Nostalgia
11. The Simpsons Movie, Happy Feet, and Avatar: The Continuing Influence of Human, Organismic, Economic, and Chaotic Approaches to Ecology
12. Conclusion

Works Cited

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Robin L. Murray is a professor of English at Eastern Illinois University. Joseph K. Heumann is a professor emeritus at Eastern Illinois University. They are the coauthors of Ecology and Popular Film: Cinema on the Edge and the forthcoming Film and Everyday Disasters

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