The Galaxy Is Rated G

Essays on Children’s Science Fiction Film and Television

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About the Book

Through spaceships, aliens, ray guns and other familiar trappings, science fiction uses the future (and sometimes the past) to comment on current social, cultural and political ideologies; the same is true of science fiction in children’s film and television.
This collection of essays analyzes the confluences of science fiction and children’s visual media, covering such cultural icons as Flash Gordon, the Jetsons and Star Wars, as well as more contemporary fare like the films Wall-E, Monsters vs. Aliens and Toy Story. Collectively, the essays discover, applaud and critique the hidden—and not-so-hidden—messages presented on our children’s film and TV screens.

About the Author(s)

R.C. Neighbors holds degrees in psychology, English and film from the University of Arkansas, Northeastern State University and Hollins University. He currently serves as a Lecturer at the Texas A&M Higher Education Center at McAllen, Texas.
Sandy Rankin is a visiting assistant professor at the University of Central Arkansas. Her publications include poetry, fiction, and essays in such periodicals as Journal of Popular Culture.

Bibliographic Details

Edited by R.C. Neighbors and Sandy Rankin
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 292
Bibliographic Info: notes, bibliographies, index
Copyright Date: 2011
pISBN: 978-0-7864-5875-2
eISBN: 978-0-7864-8801-8
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Introduction. Horizons of Possibility: What We Point to When We Say Science Fiction for Children      1
SANDY RANKIN AND R.C. NEIGHBORS

PART 1. D IS FOR DEVIANCE
ONE. Monsters Among Us: Construction of the Deviant Body in Monsters, Inc. and Lilo & Stitch      15
ELIZABETH LEIGH SCHERMAN
TWO. Susan Murphy, Ginormica, and Gloria Steinem: Feminist Consciousness-Raising as Science Fiction in Monsters vs. Aliens      31
HOLLY HASSEL
THREE. Performing Gender, Performing Romance: Pixar’s WALL-E      53
CAROL A. BERNARD
FOUR. Last in Space: The “Black” Hole in Children’s Science Fiction Film      64
DEBBIE C. OLSON
FIVE. A Few Beasts Hissed: Buzz Lightyear and the Refusal to Believe      83
DANIEL KENNEFICK

PART 2. S IS FOR STRUCTURES OF POWER
SIX. Forward to the Past: Anti-Fascist Allegory and “Blitz Spirit” Revisionism in Daleks’ Invasion Earth 2150 A.D.      97
DANIEL O’BRIEN
SEVEN. The Search for a “More Civilized Age,” or the Failure of Utopian Desire in the Star Wars Franchise      111
R.C. NEIGHBORS
EIGHT. Inexplicable Utterances: Social Power and Pluralistic Discourse in Transformers      123
JACQUELINE WIEGARD
NINE. “Population: Us”: Nostalgia for a Future that Never Was (Not Yet) in The Iron Giant      138
SANDY RANKIN
TEN. Doctor Who: A Very British Alien      161
J.P.C. BROWN

PART 3. F IS FOR FUTURE SHOCK
ELEVEN. No Future Shock Here: The Jetsons, Happy Tech, and the Patriarchy      183
BRIAN COWLISHAW
TWELVE. “No One’s Lazy in LazyTown”: The Making of Active Citizens in Preschool Television      195
LYNN WHITAKER
THIRTEEN. Flash Gordon: Remembering a Childhood Hero (Past, Present, Future)      217
PATRICK D. ENRIGHT
FOURTEEN. Toys, a T-Rex, and Trouble: Cautionary Tales of Time Travel in Children’s Film      228
KRISTINE LARSEN
FIFTEEN. “Manmade Mess”: The Critical Dystopia of WALL-E      248
ALEXANDER CHARLES OLIVER HALL
SIXTEEN. A Bumbling Bag of Ball Bearings: Lost in Space and the Space Race      262
JONATHAN COHN

About the Contributors      279
Index      283