Bruce, Douglas: "Notes toward a rhetoric of animation. The Road Runner as cultural critique." In: Critical Studies in Media Communication 18.2 (2001), S. 229–245.
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|Resource type: Journal Article
BibTeX citation key: Bruce2001
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Keywords: Animation, Myth, Randformen des Comics, Rhetoric, Social criticism, USA, Violence
Collection: Critical Studies in Media Communication
Recent studies have suggested the need to broaden our approaches to violence in children’s programming. This paper uses the violence of “The Road Runner” cartoon series as a starting point for a mythico-rhetorical analysis of the message system contained in the cartoon. It explores how the animated short re-enacts the myth of Sisyphus in the context of the post-World War II technological boom in the United States. Technology is the source of most of the violence in the cartoon, and the violence is created by failures of technology. The use of a “children’s” medium to critique our reliance on technology offers substantial freedom to the animator, and, in turn, to the viewer and the critic. Examination of “The Road Runner” yields insights into the meanings of cartoon violence, into how media reproduce mythic structures, and into the potentially rich message systems of children’s media.
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