Animation and America

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Animation and America


Paul Wells

Date published:



New Brunswick, N.J.:Rutgers University Press

ISBN: 0813531594 (cloth), 0813531608 (paper), 0813531608, 0813531608 (pbk), 0813531594


The author looks afresh at animation, discussing the distinctiveness of the cartoon form, as well as myriad other types of animation production. Insisting upon the “modernity” of the genre, the author examines its importance as a barometer of the social conditions in which it is made and which it reflects.

As a seriously overlooked aspect of American culture, Wells looks into the anarchic depictions of Looney Tunes characters, the Disney studio, Simpsons cartoons later on and analyzes the social and political role that seemingly childish “cartoons” can play in shaping social consciousness through acclaim and recognition. 

The book is not a standard history of animation in America, but rather uses animation as a way of discussing social and political change. The author concentrates on the ways in which the form continues to grow, experiment, and remain subversive, and, increasingly, gaining acclaim and recognition. The author proves that animation occupies an important position in representing both the outcomes and impacts of new technologies and it also has laid the foundations for a new understanding of social and artistic practices.


  • Wells , Paul . Animation and America . Rutgers University Press , 2002 . 192 . Print.

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