Taking as its theoretical framework Sergei Eisenstein’s writings on Walt Disney, as well as recent studies of corporeal transformation in moving image animation, this article explores the link between bodily and political transformation through the role of cartoon animals in the mass mobilized, machine war of World War II. The repercussions of the hypothetical images and scenarios that Walt Disney Productions employed reveal the absurdity and ease of transformation not only between life and death but also between seemingly disparate political ideologies. By approaching the contradictions at play in the visual and political ideology of World War II propaganda and wartime entertainment, and offering a pre-cinematic genealogy of animal caricature, the author explores the shifting manifestations of animality and humanity presented in the Disney brand’s wartime scenarios.
Cooper, Timothy PA
animation and ideology biopolitics caricature Disney Donald Duck Eisenstein pre-cinema transformation visual anthropology