Animating Difference: Race, Gender, and Sexuality in Contemporary Films for Children (Perspectives on a Multiracial America)

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9780742560826: Animating Difference: Race, Gender, and Sexuality in Contemporary Films for Children (Perspectives on a Multiracial America)
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Animating Difference studies the way race, ethnicity, sexuality, and gender are portrayed in recent animated films from 1990 through the present. Ranging from Aladdin to Toy Story to Up, these popular films are key media through which children (and adults) learn about the world and how to behave. While racial and gender stereotypes may not be as obvious as they may have been in films of decades past, they often continue to convey troubling messages and stereotypes in subtle and surprising ways.

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About the Author:

C. Richard King is professor of comparative ethnic studies and chair of the department at Washington State University. He is the author of several books, including Team Sprits (2001 CHOICE Outstanding Award Winner) and Beyond the Cheers. Carmen R. Lugo-Lugo is associate professor of comparative ethnic studies at Washington State University and the author of a number of articles on the representation of Latinos and other marginalized groups in contemporary popular culture. Mary K. Bloodsworth-Lugo is professor of comparative ethnic studies at Washington State University and the author of In-Between Bodies and a number of articles on sexuality and popular culture.

Review:

Animated films have increasingly become not only a major source of entertainment in American society but also a vast and complex mode of education. Animating Difference is one of the best books we have to enlighten, critique, and engage animated films through the intricate interplay of politics, education and entertainment. This is beautifully written and an immensely important book and should be read by everyone concerned about how we learn, watch, engage, and invest in our understanding of ourselves and others. (Henry Giroux, Pennsylvania State University, author of The Mouse That Roared)

Animating Difference stands out among analyses of animated films for children, expanding the focus beyond Disney to the entire genre of contemporary offerings. Highlighting the interplay of race, gender, and sexuality within a neocolonial context, the authors examine the powerful political ideologies and identity constructions that saturate these cultural texts. This important book compels readers to take seriously what is too often disregarded as simply entertainment, contributing to the insidious, normalizing power of these films as 'teaching machines' that perpetuate inequality. (Abby L. Ferber, director, The Matrix Center for the Advancement of Social Equity and Inclusion, University of Colorado)

This important book reflects the complexity of race, gender, and sexuality in American media in general and animated films that target children in particular. This crucially needed, timely, and accessible analysis illuminates the power animated films have to erase, annihilate, or emphasize difference to one of the most vulnerable of audiences―children. The book brings to eye and ear missing voices and faces we all need to see by unpacking them from their metaphorical use. It should be required reading in all media literacy courses. (Debra Merskin, University of Oregon)

This collection broadens a field that promises to grow more fruitful with time.... Recommended (CHOICE)

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