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Wartime ideology and the American animated cartoon Ting, Elle Kwok-Yin

Abstract

The animated film serves as a means for interrogating the political and social ideologies which influenced its development; features of its construction and aesthetics also gesture towards the historical and psychological factors affecting its production, albeit indirectly. This paper investigates the use of the animated cartoon as a medium for transmitting propaganda in America during the Second World War between the years 1941 and 1945; specifically, it examines the animated cartoon as documentation of homefront psychology in the Second World War, and includes an historical overview of Hollywood animation in addition to a critical analysis of both the cartoon propaganda aesthetic and the psychological factors shaping the design and dissemination of propaganda in entertainment media. The animated cartoon is positioned as a favourable focal point for the re-examination of popular wartime productions as propaganda as well as an entry point for examining presuppositions regarding the efficacy of mass entertainment as a pedagogical tool.

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