The Animated Dad

Essays on Father Figures in Cartoon Television

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About the Book

The Homer Simpson-esque stereotype has been a persistent trope in cartoons since programming aimed directly at children and adolescents began. Young viewers are exposed to the incapable and incompetent “hapless father” archetype on a regular basis, causing both boys and girls to expect the bare minimum of fathers while mothers hold the responsibility for all domestic and parenting work. Cartoons rely heavily on toxic stereotypes for ratings, when in fact, healthy representations of fathers are just as successful in maintaining viewership.
Eleven essays, written by scholars from around the world, investigate the topic of fatherhood as it is represented in children’s animated television shows. Main themes that emerge include absent and negligent fathers, single fathers, generational shifts within families, and raising the standard of fathering by creating secure bonds between father and child. The authors uncover problematic fathers, imperfect yet redemptive fathers, and fathers who embody idealized parenting traits through some of our most beloved animated dads. This collection demonstrates the impact that media representations of father figures have on young viewers and argues for better role models.

About the Author(s)

Lorin Shahinian teaches composition courses at Eastern Washington University in Cheney, Washington, while also having a role at the university’s writing center.
Leslie Salas has served as a writing, communications, and humanities instructor at various institutions of higher education for over a decade.

Bibliographic Details

Edited by Lorin Shahinian and Leslie Salas
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Bibliographic Info: notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2023
pISBN: 978-1-4766-8262-4
eISBN: 978-1-4766-5162-0
Imprint: McFarland