Sunday, April 18, 2010

Understanding Animation Chapter 5

This chapter discussed the representation in animation; specifically gender and race. The two sections that I found particularly interesting were about the way men and women are portrayed. Under the section called 'Faster than a speeding bullet...' Men and masculinity, Wells uses Popeye and Superman as extreme examples of how masculine men are characterized in animation. It is interesting how similar men and women are represented in the physical sense. Popeye and Superman have exaggerated muscles and inhuman abilities, while characters like Betty Boop had over sized eyelashes and bust lines. While men and women might have been both ridiculously characterize in the physical manner, Wells made an observation about their personalities and morality. Characters like Popeye and Superman were heroes and had very high morals that they stuck to no matter what. They did the right thing despite the consequences and never did anything that questionable or selfish. On the other side, women were often portrayed as "wayward girls and wicked women." They were fickle, immoral, seductresses. They would often serve as distractions to the male heroes, such as Olive Oyl with Popeye. Looking at different animations and comics over the years, it is interesting to see how these representations of gender held true.

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