Kylie Caraway (MDes, 2019) publishes article in the Journal of Environmental Communication

Kylie Carawy Headshot

This article examines representation of ecological crises in children’s media. Children’s media constitutes an important area of ecocinema critique due to the particular vulnerability of children to persuasive messaging. Using themes from ecocinema studies, we conduct a textual analysis of two animated motion pictures: Universal Pictures’ The Lorax [(2012). The Lorax. Directed by Chris Renaud. Universal City, CA: Author)] and Pixar’s Wall-E [(2008). Wall-E. Directed by Andrew Stanton. 2008. Emeryville, CA: Author]. We analyze these films in terms of: (1) anthropomorphic representations; (2) displacement of collective aspects of ecological crisis to the level of interpersonal conflict; (3) greenwashing; and (4) narratives of pastoralism and replenishment. We consider how these films discursively constitute ecological conditions, processes, and crises. We examine these representations as indicators of an underlying crisis in capitalism, of a struggle to come to terms with ecological destabilization. Ultimately, we conclude that a more speculative reimagining of the relationship between humans and the natural world is required to stave off the worst effects of global ecological destabilization.