Animating the War: The First World War and Children's Cartoons in America

This article examines the changes that animation underwent in its relation to and depictions of the First World War during the war and in the following decade, during which time American animators' approach to the conflict changed from one of trepidation regarding references to wartime violence to one of enthusiastically recasting that violence in fantastical forms. An analysis of these changes is key to understanding animation's shifting use of the fundamental tension in the medium between realism and fantasy and helps to reframe the form's evolving relationship to the world of children during the early twentieth century.