Babes in Tomorrowland: Walt Disney and the Making of the American Child, 1930-1960
Nicholas SammondISBN: 0822334631;
Linking Margaret Mead to the Mickey Mouse Club and behaviorism to Bambi, Nicholas Sammond traces a path back to the early-twentieth-century sources of ?the normal American child.? He locates the origins of this hypothetical child in the interplay between developmental science and popular media. In the process, he shows that the relationship between the media and the child has long been much more symbiotic than arguments that the child is irrevocably shaped by the media it consumes would lead one to believe. Focusing on the products of the Walt Disney company, Sammond demonstrates that without a vision of a normal American child and the belief that movies and television either helped or hindered its development, Disney might never have found its market niche as the paragon of family entertainment. At the same time, without media producers such as Disney, representations of the ideal child would not have circulated as freely in American popular culture. In vivid detail,...