In September 1960 a television show emerged from the mists of prehistoric time to take its place as the mother of all animated sitcoms. The Flintstones spawned dozens of imitations, just as, two decades later, The Simpsons sparked a renaissance of primetime animation. This fascinating book explores the landscape of television animation, from Bedrock to Springfield, and beyond.
The contributors critically examine the key issues and questions, including: How do we explain the animation explosion of the 1960s? Why did it take nearly twenty years following the cancellation of The Flintstones for animation to find its feet again as primetime fare? In addressing these questions, as well as many others, essays examine the relation between earlier, made-for-cinema animated production (such as the Warner Looney Toons shorts) and television-based animation; the role of animation in the economies of broadcast and cable television; and the links between animation production and brand image. Contributors also examine specific programmes like The Powerpuff Girls, Daria, Ren and Stimpy and South Park from the perspective of fans, exploring fan cybercommunities, investigating how ideas of 'class' and 'taste' apply to recent TV animation, and addressing themes such as irony, alienation, and representations of the family.
Table of Contents Acknowledgements List of Images Introduction - Prime Time Animation: An Overview Carol A. Stabile and Mark Harrison Part 1: Institutions: 1. 'Smarter than the Average Art Form': Animation in the Television Era Paul Wells 2. The Great Saturday Morning Exile: Scheduling Cartoons on Television's Periphery in the 1960s Jason Mittell 3. Re-Drawing the Bottom Line Allen Larson 4. Flintstones to Futurama: Networks and Prime Time Animation David T. McMahan and Wendy Hilton-Morrow 5. Synergy Nirvana: Brand Equity, Television Animation, and Cartoon Network Kevin Sandler 6. The Digital Turn: Animation in the Age of Information Technologies Alice Crawford Part 2: Readings: 7. Back to the Drawing Board: The Family in Animated Television Comedy Michael Tueth 8. From Fred and Wilma to Ren and Stimpy: What Makes a Cartoon Prime Time ? Rebecca Farley 9. 'We Hardly Watch that Rude, Crude Show:' Class and Taste in The Simpsons 10. Misery Chick: Irony, Alienation, and Animation in MTV's Daria Kathy Newman 11. 'What Are Those Little Girls Made Of?' The Power Puff Girls and Consumer Culture 12. 'Oh My God, They Digitized Kenny!' Travels in the South Park Cybercommunity V4.0 List of Contributors