Animating Culture: Hollywood Cartoons from the Sound Era (Communications, Media, and Culture Series)

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9780813519494: Animating Culture: Hollywood Cartoons from the Sound Era (Communications, Media, and Culture Series)
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Long considered "children's entertainment" by audiences and popular media, Hollywood animation has received little serious attention. Eric Smoodin's Animating Culture  is the first and only book to thoroughly analyze the animated short film. 

Usually running about seven or eight minutes, cartoons were made by major Hollywood studios––such as MGM, Warner Bros., and Disney––and shown at movie theaters along with a newsreel and a feature-length film. Smoodin explores animated shorta and the system that mass-produced them. How were cartoons exhibited in theaters? How did they tell their stories? Who did they tell them to? What did they say about race, class, and gender? How were cartoons related to the feature films they accompanied on the evening's bill of fare?  What were the social functions of cartoon stars like Donald Duck and Minnie Mouse?

Smoodin argues that cartoons appealed to a wide audience––not just children––and did indeed contribute to public debate about political matters. He examines issues often ignored in discussions of animated film––issues such as social control in the U.S. army's "Private Snafu" cartoons, and sexuality and race in the "sites" of Betty Boop's body and the cartoon harem. Smoodin's analysis of the multiple discourses embedded in a variety of cartoons reveals the complex and sometimes contradictory ways that animation dealt with class relations, labor, imperialism, and censorship. His discussion of Disney and the Disney Studio's close ties with the U.S. government forces us to rethink the place of the cartoon in political and cultural life. Smoodin reveals the complex relationship between cartoons and the Hollywood studio system, and between cartoons and their audiences.

 

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About the Author:

Eric Smoodin is an assistant professor of English at American University in Washington, D.C.

From Kirkus Reviews:

A crisply written academic investigation of the politics of the Hollywood cartoon from roughly 1930 to 1960. Smoodin (English/American University) uses ``politics'' in the fashionably extended sense to cover such diverse topics as the construction of female sexuality in Betty Boop; the place of cartoon shorts in the design of entertainment programs that also included newsreels, live short subjects, and feature films; the use, for a military audience, of cartoon heroes like Private Snafu ``to make any one person's discontent seem aberrant, and to create consensus about U.S. goals during wartime''; the mass media's noncoverage of the 1941 strike at the Disney studio; and the FBI's championing of Walt Disney as an emissary for America even as it was investigating him for possible un-American activities. At times, the range of topics gives the book an air of a miscellany of essays, but its central premise is clear: Cartoons do not simply reflect popular social taste or impose an ideological consensus on their audience but operate within a constantly changing series of social, economic, and political frames. Despite a few comically abrupt descents into academic jargon (``The shift in production...from Betty Boop to Gabby demonstrates the epistemological shift throughout the 30s and early 40s in discourses about the body''), Smoodin generally deploys the insights of recent textual and political film theory without sinking into incoherence. Only his chapter on the politics of programming--in which there turns out to be a political agenda behind every possible relation, including no relation, between cartoon shorts and the features they introduce-- is disappointing. Persuasive support for Smoodin's claim that cartoons--precisely because they are so anonymous and interchangeable compared to the potential masterworks of the Hollywood studios--offer an unrivaled field to study the shifting fields of force in the entertainment industry. (Thirty b&w illustrations) -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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Book Description Rutgers University Press, United States, 1993. Paperback. Condition: New. New.. Language: English . Brand New Book. Long considered children s entertainment by audiences and popular media, Hollywood animation has received little serious attention. Eric Smoodin s Animating Culture is the first and only book to thoroughly analyze the animated short film. Usually running about seven or eight minutes, cartoons were made by major Hollywood studios--such as MGM, Warner Bros., and Disney--and shown at movie theaters along with a newsreel and a feature-length film. Smoodin explores animated shorta and the system that mass-produced them. How were cartoons exhibited in theaters? How did they tell their stories? Who did they tell them to? What did they say about race, class, and gender? How were cartoons related to the feature films they accompanied on the evening s bill of fare? What were the social functions of cartoon stars like Donald Duck and Minnie Mouse?Smoodin argues that cartoons appealed to a wide audience--not just children--and did indeed contribute to public debate about political matters. He examines issues often ignored in discussions of animated film--issues such as social control in the U.S. army s Private Snafu cartoons, and sexuality and race in the sites of Betty Boop s body and the cartoon harem. Smoodin s analysis of the multiple discourses embedded in a variety of cartoons reveals the complex and sometimes contradictory ways that animation dealt with class relations, labor, imperialism, and censorship. His discussion of Disney and the Disney Studio s close ties with the U.S. government forces us to rethink the place of the cartoon in political and cultural life. Smoodin reveals the complex relationship between cartoons and the Hollywood studio system, and between cartoons and their audiences. Seller Inventory # AAC9780813519494

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Book Description Rutgers University Press, United States, 1993. Paperback. Condition: New. New.. Language: English . Brand New Book. Long considered children s entertainment by audiences and popular media, Hollywood animation has received little serious attention. Eric Smoodin s Animating Culture is the first and only book to thoroughly analyze the animated short film. Usually running about seven or eight minutes, cartoons were made by major Hollywood studios--such as MGM, Warner Bros., and Disney--and shown at movie theaters along with a newsreel and a feature-length film. Smoodin explores animated shorta and the system that mass-produced them. How were cartoons exhibited in theaters? How did they tell their stories? Who did they tell them to? What did they say about race, class, and gender? How were cartoons related to the feature films they accompanied on the evening s bill of fare? What were the social functions of cartoon stars like Donald Duck and Minnie Mouse?Smoodin argues that cartoons appealed to a wide audience--not just children--and did indeed contribute to public debate about political matters. He examines issues often ignored in discussions of animated film--issues such as social control in the U.S. army s Private Snafu cartoons, and sexuality and race in the sites of Betty Boop s body and the cartoon harem. Smoodin s analysis of the multiple discourses embedded in a variety of cartoons reveals the complex and sometimes contradictory ways that animation dealt with class relations, labor, imperialism, and censorship. His discussion of Disney and the Disney Studio s close ties with the U.S. government forces us to rethink the place of the cartoon in political and cultural life. Smoodin reveals the complex relationship between cartoons and the Hollywood studio system, and between cartoons and their audiences. Seller Inventory # AAC9780813519494

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Book Description Rutgers University Press. Paperback. Condition: New. 240 pages. Dimensions: 9.0in. x 6.0in. x 0.6in.Long considered childrens entertainment by audiences and popular media, Hollywood animation has received little serious attention. Eric Smoodins Animating Culture is the first and only book to thoroughly analyze the animated short film. Usually running about seven or eight minutes, cartoons were made by major Hollywood studiossuch as MGM, Warner Bros. , and Disneyand shown at movie theaters along with a newsreel and a feature-length film. Smoodin explores animated shorta and the system that mass-produced them. How were cartoons exhibited in theaters How did they tell their stories Who did they tell them to What did they say about race, class, and gender How were cartoons related to the feature films they accompanied on the evenings bill of fare What were the social functions of cartoon stars like Donald Duck and Minnie MouseSmoodin argues that cartoons appealed to a wide audiencenot just childrenand did indeed contribute to public debate about political matters. He examines issues often ignored in discussions of animated filmissues such as social control in the U. S. armys Private Snafu cartoons, and sexuality and race in the sites of Betty Boops body and the cartoon harem. Smoodins analysis of the multiple discourses embedded in a variety of cartoons reveals the complex and sometimes contradictory ways that animation dealt with class relations, labor, imperialism, and censorship. His discussion of Disney and the Disney Studios close ties with the U. S. government forces us to rethink the place of the cartoon in political and cultural life. Smoodin reveals the complex relationship between cartoons and the Hollywood studio system, and between cartoons and their audiences. This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Paperback. Seller Inventory # 9780813519494

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