The Idea of Nature in Disney Animation – Now Available in Paperback!

Ashgate is pleased to announce that David Whitley’s The Idea of Nature in Disney Animation: From Snow White to WALL-E is now available in an affordable paperback.

‘In this welcome new and expanded edition of his 2008 book, David Whitley makes a major contribution not only to Disney studies but to film/media studies and to studies of environmental representation. Packed with persuasive close readings, well-researched, and engagingly written, his book offers fresh perspectives on the Disney canon and its place in popular and academic culture.’    Kenneth Kidd, University of Florida

This second edition continues the work of the first in examining the messages conveyed to child viewers about the natural world. David Whitley updates his 2008 book to reflect recent developments in Disney and Disney-Pixar animation such as the apocalyptic tale of earth’s failed ecosystem, WALL-E.

As Whitley has shown, and Disney’s newest films continue to demonstrate, the messages animated films convey about the natural world are of crucial importance to their child viewers.

Beginning with Snow White, the book examines a wide range of Disney’s feature animations, in which images of wild nature are central to the narrative. David Whitley challenges the notion that the sentimentality of the Disney aesthetic necessarily prevents audiences from developing a critical awareness of contested environmental issues.

Contents: Introduction: wild sentiment: the theme of nature in Disney animation; Part 1 Fairy Tale Adaptations: Domesticating nature: Snow White and fairy tale adaptation; Healing the rift: human and animal nature in The Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast. Part 2 The North American Wilderness: Bambi and the idea of conservation; Wilderness and power: conflicts and contested values from Pocahontas to Brother Bear. Part 3 Tropical Environments: The Jungle Book: nature and the politics of identity; Tropical discourse: unstable ecologies in Tarzan, The Lion King and Finding Nemo. Part 4 New Developments: WALL•E: nostalgia and the apocalypse of trash; Conclusion: new directions?; Bibliography; Index.

About the Author: David Whitley is Lecturer in English in the Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge, UK.

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