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Feasting Our EyesFood Films and Cultural Identity in the United States$
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Laura Lindenfeld and Fabio Parasecoli

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780231172516

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231172516.001.0001

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When Weirdos Stir the Pot

When Weirdos Stir the Pot

Cooking Identity in Animated Movies

(p.147) 5 When Weirdos Stir the Pot
Feasting Our Eyes

Laura Lindenfeld

Fabio Parasecoli

Columbia University Press

Explores recent animated films that embrace the idea that belonging to a community does not require conformity to social expectations, but rather builds on the protagonist’s individuality and seeming queerness. In box office hits like Ratatouille (Bird, 2007), Kung Fu Panda (Osborn and Stevenson, 2008), and Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs (Lord and Miller, 2009), and in the lesser known Bee Movie (Hickner and Smith. 2007), The Tale of Desperaux (Fell and Stevenhagen, 2008), character development connects closely with food, which becomes the instrument of the heroes’ redemption even when it would initially appear to be the very cause of their social isolation. This raises the question: What models of acceptable adulthood – in terms of gender, class, ethnicity, and body image - does the interaction with food present to viewers, in particular children, who are arguably among the main marketing targets of these productions? Although cooking is still often culturally framed as an element of the domestic and feminine sphere, in these films food is not domestic or related to care work, and as such appears as more culturally acceptable for males.

Keywords:   Animated Films, Children, Sexuality, Food Marketing, Domestic Sphere, Masculinity

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