Week 2 Framing Questions

Seminar Texts

  • Carter, Angela. “Animals in the Nursery.” 1976. In Shaking a Leg: Collected Journalism and Writings. 1997. 298-301. London: Chatto & Windus. Print.
  • Disney Studios. The Jungle Book. 1967. 78 min.
  • Kipling, Rudyard. The Jungle Book. 1894. New York, NY: Simon & Brown, 2011. 1-101. Print.
  • Sullivan, Pat and Otto Messmer. Felix Doubles for Darwin. 1924. 11:28 min.
  • Wells, Paul. “Bestial Ambivalance.” The Animated Bestiary. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 2009.  26-59. Print.

Framing Questions (6)

Respond to each of the following questions with a paragraph.

  1. Wells establishes four categories of animal representation (51).  He illustrates these categories with a brief analysis of the character Shere Khan in Disney’s 1967 adaptation of Kipling’s The Jungle Book (1894). Choose another non-human animal character that occurs in both Disney and Kipling’s versions and do a similar analysis of each version of that character. Note that a character may or may not fit into all four categories of representation and that it may be different from one text to another.
  2. Calling to mind Wells’s typology and his analyses of animated texts, especially The Jungle Book and Felix Doubles for Darwin, what are some of the issues and insights that strike you?
  3. Wells writes: “…the language of animation may…provide a point of access for audiences where they have the opportunity to view the animal—and indeed, all other aspects of existence—in a different way…” (35). In what ways do you agree and disagree with this? How do you think animation (as opposed to other modes of representations) uniquely mediates our experience of animals and ourselves?
  4. “The animated animal film is a constant—sometimes highly conscious, oftentimes unconscious—attempt to engage the world on different terms and conditions” (Wells, 35). How do you think Carter would respond to this claim? Use quotes to support your opinion.
  5. What to you are some of the most striking rhetorical and narrative differences—differences in meaning, message, modes of representation, presentation of characters and events—between Kipling’s and Disney’s versions of The Jungle Book?
  6. “All fictional animals are imaginary animals. Adult writers take an unfair advantage of child/beast solidarity to perpetuate animal fables that are really systems of moral instruction” (Carter, 300). Letting this assertion inform your analysis, diagram the moral hierarchy of the characters (human and non-human) in Felix Doubles for Darwin and in both version of The Animal Book. Consider layers of discourse such as gender, race, colonialism, phylogeny, and physical maturity.

Seminar, Week 2: 9:00am, Thursday, April 12.

Formatting Requirements

  • Bring 2 hardcopies to seminar.
  • Number each response (1-6).
  • Name, date, week #, and program title.
  • Number and staple multiple pages.

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