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Children’s Films as Transmediations of the Anthropocene
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Department of Languages. (IMS)
2016 (English)In: Transmediatons! Communications across Media Borders: Abstracts. Linnaeus University, Växjö, Sweden, October 13-15, 2016, Linnaeus University , 2016, 72-73 p.Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

As has been stated (Gaard 2009 and 2011), children’s literature and films have “tremendous potential for communicating messages about ecosocial justice, community empowerment, and strategies for ecodefence” (Gaard 2011:47). But, Gaard claims, this potential is not really used as it could. The examples she chooses to illustrate this failure are, among other, two recent American children’s films where the Anthropocene has a major role: Happy Feet (2006) and Wall-E (2008). Gaard finds, in her criticism, that both these films typically follow a certain traditional narrative trajectory “of heterosexual romance” in order to tell stories about the consequences of global warming. Typically too, claims Gaard, there is a happy ending, and a naïve trust in technical progress and a naïve belief that “simply learning the facts about environmental devastation is sufficient to inspire action” (Gaard 2011:48). As in adult American (Hollywood) films, Gaard concludes, it is apparent that fiction does not keep the pace with the developments in science and politics about the Anthropocene. In this paper, I will have a second look at one of the films discussed by Gaard, namely Wall-E, in order to see how the discourse on the Anthropocene is transmediated and used. I will compare this to another children’s film, also animated, but from a totally different cultural context: Hayao Miyazaki’s Ponyo (2008), from Japanese Studio Ghibli. I will especially concentrate on the narrative structure to see if the happy ending, the naïve trust in technical progress and the traditional heterosexual romance are at work in the same ways. Finally, I will compare these films with a more scientific publication for children: the Geological Society’s resources pack on the Anthropocene.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linnaeus University , 2016. 72-73 p.
Keyword [en]
Anthropocene, Transmediations
National Category
General Literature Studies
Research subject
Humanities, Comparative literature
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-57420OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-57420DiVA: diva2:1037499
Conference
Transmediatons! Communications across Media Borders. Linnaeus University, Växjö, Sweden, October 13-15, 2016
Projects
Transmediating the Anthropocene
Available from: 2016-10-16 Created: 2016-10-16 Last updated: 2017-01-18Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf