Animated Mischief

Essays on Subversiveness in Cartoons Since 1987


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About the Book

Over the last century, the medium of animation has served as an expression of childhood as well as a method of subverting the expectations of what society has promised for the future. Separated into three parts, this work assembles various explorations of taste, culture and passion through animation.
Section I features essays that outline the historical changes in art and society that gave rise to an outsider culture that found a home in animation. In the second section, essays examine the practical use of animation as a voice for the underserved. Finally, in Section III, essays analyze the ways in which animation has reshaped the acceptance of outsider status to embrace otherness. Featuring everything from feature-length films to self-produced YouTube videos, the essays in this text reflect a shared love of animation and its unique ability to comment on society and culture.

About the Author(s)

Brian N. Duchaney serves as the director of Military & Veteran Student Services and teaches part-time in the departments of English and Communication Studies at Bridgewater State University in Massachusetts.

David S. Silverman is an educator and media historian with more than twenty years in the classroom across the Midwest. He has also helped to plan a number of conferences on both the national and international stage, and currently resides in the Kansas City area.

Bibliographic Details

Edited by Brian N. Duchaney and David S. Silverman
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 256
Bibliographic Info: notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2023
pISBN: 978-1-4766-6397-5
eISBN: 978-1-4766-4870-5
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Brian N. Duchaney and David S. Silverman 1
Part I: Historical Constructs and the Rise of Subversiveness
Saturday Morning Trojan Mouse: The Origin of the ­­Creator-Driven Television Cartoon
Lev Cantoral and Tyler Solon Williams 11
Capitalization in a ­­Half-Shell: Multimedia, ­­Cross-Demographic Marketing of Animated and Comic Content from Mickey to Michelangelo
Jared Bahir Browsh 32
“Someone’s coming! Act natural”: Visions of Animated Childhood in 1990s America
Jane Batkin 54
Part II: Rethinking American Culture Through Social Challenges
Rocko’s Modern Life and the Pains of Early Adulting
Adrián García 77
Shrek and the Art of Subversion
Chandrama Basu 93
“Once again, the day is saved”: How the Subversive Feminism of The Powerpuff Girls Permanently Changed Television Animation
David Perlmutter 112
We Need to Talk About The Lego Movie! Social Commentary and Consumer Culture in the ­­LEGO-verse
Sasha Dilan Krugman 125
Part III: Modern America and the Transformation of Social Order
“This is me now!” Gene’s Gender Play in Bob’s Burgers
Dan Abitz 147
Giving Cinderella a Girlfriend: Queerness and Subversion in Non/Disney Fan Videos
Danielle Hart 167
“Who are you? Who am I!?” The Raunchy Identity Moratorium in Netflix’s Big Mouth
Marcus Mallard 186
Daria: Still Standing on Our Necks, Then and Now
David S. Silverman 207
Bibliography 225
About the Contributors 237
Index 239

Book Reviews & Awards

  • “A succinct and well-written introduction to the cultural utility of animated cartoons”—Philip L. Simpson, Eastern Florida State College