Science Fiction Film & Television

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Apocalypse as children’s entertainment

Science Fiction Film & Television (2017), 10, (1), 81–104.

Abstract

This article explores an unusual subset of children’s narrative, the apocalyptic environmentalist text, and argues that such texts perform the perverse ideological work of shifting blame for ecological crisis from its perpetrators (the parents’ generation) to its victims (the child who is now called upon to act). These texts transform the drama of innocence and experience that is paradigmatic of children’s narrative by destroying the child’s innocence through their very transmission, by informing them of a dire crisis they then become obliged to repair. The article’s primary examples are Captain Planet, The Lorax, WALL-E and The Butter Battle Book, only the last of which finds a way to clearly articulate crisis without also shifting blame.

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Author details

Canavan, Gerry