Although some credit the environmental movement of the 1970s, with its profound impact on children's television programs 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, 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, this volume shows how animated features with environmental themes are moneymakers 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, this book offers fresh insights into the changing perceptions of the relationship between humans and the environment and a new understanding of environmental and animated cinema.
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.
List of Illustrations Acknowledgments Introduction: A Foundation for Contemporary Enviro-toons 1. Bambi and Mr. Bug Goes to Town: Nature with or without Us 2. Animal Liberation in the 1940s and 1950s: What Disney Does for the Animal Rights Movement 3. The upa and the Environment: A Modernist Look at Urban Nature 4. Animation and Live Action: A Demonstration of Interdependence? 5. Rankin/Bass Studios, Nature, and the Supernatural: Where Technology Serves and Destroys 6. Disney in the 1960s and 1970s: Blurring Boundaries between Human and Nonhuman Nature 7. Dinosaurs Return: Evolution Outplays Disney's Binaries 8. DreamWorks and Human and Nonhuman Ecology: Escape or Interdependence in Over the Hedge and Bee Movie 9. Pixar and the Case of wall-e: Moving between Environmental Adaptation and Sentimental Nostalgia 10. The Simpsons Movie, Happy Feet, and Avatar: The Continuing Influence of Human, Organismic, Economic, and Chaotic Approaches to Ecology Conclusion: Animation's Movement to Green? Filmography Works Cited Index