• The Edutainer: Walt Disney, Nature Films, and American Understandings of Nature in the Twentieth Century

      Isenberg, Andrew C. (Andrew Christian); Lavelle, Peter B. (Temple University. Libraries, 2015)
      Throughout much of the twentieth century Walt Disney wielded considerable influence in American culture. By identifying and commercially exploiting a strain of environmental thought that sentimentalized and romanticized nature, Walt Disney influenced the attitudes of millions of Americans concerning how they conceptualized environmental issues. The Walt Disney Company’s nature documentaries and their popularity as both entertainment as well as educational material helped disseminate the virtues of conservation within the American mindset. The Disney interpretation of conservation clashed with other post-war environmental understandings of the ethic, as did the company’s consistently inaccurate representations of nature on film. Disney’s particular strain of environmentalism, based on an Edenic appreciation for nature, the belief that to conserve land it must be developed, and practice of moralizing to humans through anthropomorphized depictions of animal behavior, stood out in contrast to other existing post-war environmental mindsets during the controversy surrounded the proposed construction of a vacation resort in Mineral King, California, following Disney’s death.