Animated film is one of the principal aesthetic forms through which modern societies engage with the agency of nonhumans and objects. Beyond their particular themes or characters, animated films rely as a matter of principle on setting objects in motion; this principle has close affinities with environmentalist perspectives that attribute value, animatedness, and agency to the natural world. Such affinities emerge even in nonenvironmentalist animated films in the United States, Western Europe, and Japan.
Plasmatic Nature: Environmentalism and Animated Film
Ursula K. Heise is a professor in the Department of English and the Institute of the Environment and Sustainability at the University of California, Los Angeles, and a 2011 Guggenheim fellow. Her books include Sense of Place and Sense of Planet: The Environmental Imagination of the Global (2008) and Nach der Natur: Das Artensterben und die moderne Kultur (After Nature: Species Extinction and Modern Culture; 2010). She is currently finishing a book called “Where the Wild Things Used to Be: Narrative, Database, and Endangered Species.”
Ursula K. Heise; Plasmatic Nature: Environmentalism and Animated Film. Public Culture 1 May 2014; 26 (2 (73)): 301–318. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/08992363-2392075
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