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Animating child activism: Environmentalism and class politics in Ghibli’s Princess Mononoke (1997) and Fox’s Fern Gully (1992)

Smith, Michelle J. and Parsons, Elizabeth 2012, Animating child activism: Environmentalism and class politics in Ghibli’s Princess Mononoke (1997) and Fox’s Fern Gully (1992), Continuum:journal of media and cultural studies, vol. 26, no. 1, pp. 25-37.

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Title Animating child activism: Environmentalism and class politics in Ghibli’s Princess Mononoke (1997) and Fox’s Fern Gully (1992)
Author(s) Smith, Michelle J.
Parsons, Elizabeth
Journal name Continuum:journal of media and cultural studies
Volume number 26
Issue number 1
Start page 25
End page 37
Total pages 15
Publisher Routledge
Place of publication London, England.
Publication date 2012
ISSN 1030-4312
1469-3666
Keyword(s) environmentalism
film
childhood
femininity
ecocriticism
Summary  Informed by ecocriticism, this article conducts a comparative examination of two contemporary animated children’s films, Princess Mononoke (1997) and Fern Gully (1992). While both films advocate for the prevention of deforestation, they are, to varying degrees, antithetical to environmentalism. Both films reject the principles of deep ecology in displacing responsibility for environmental destruction on to ‘supernatural’ forces and exhibit anthropocentric concern for the survival of humans. We argue that these films constitute divergent methodological approaches for environmental consciousness-raising in children’s entertainment. The western world production demonstrates marked conservatism in its depiction of identity politics and ‘cute’ feminization of nature, while Hayao Miyazaki’s film renders nature sublime and invokes complex socio-cultural differences. Against FernGully’s ‘othering’ of working-class and queer characters, we posit that Princess Mononoke is decidedly queer, anti-binary and ideologically bi-partisan and, in accord with the underlying principle of environmental justice, asks child audiences to consider compassion for the poor in association with care for nature.
Language eng
Field of Research 190201 Cinema Studies
200205 Culture, Gender, Sexuality
Socio Economic Objective 970120 Expanding Knowledge in Language, Communication and Culture
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2012, Taylor & Francis
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30053429

Document type: Journal Article
Collection: School of Communication and Creative Arts
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Created: Wed, 03 Jul 2013, 17:41:23 EST by Michelle Smith

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