Generally neglected for their rhetorical power, animated cartoons provide a treasure chest of provocative and comic gems that teach about the seven deadly sins. After a brief history of parables and fables, icons and visual communication, this book explores each of the seven deadly sins as represented in short animated films from Disney, Pixar, the Warner Brothers, and international animators. Terry Lindvall argues that attending to the tropes of the cartoons leads to exemplary and revelatory discoveries, to seeing more of what pride, envy, wrath, sloth, avarice, gluttony, and lust mean across cultures and historical eras.
Terry Lindvall is C. S. Lewis Chair of Communication and Christian Thought at Virginia Wesleyan University.
Introduction: A Brief Pedagogy of Parables
Part I: Aesthetic Roots
Chapter One: Parables and Fables
Chapter Two: Emergence of the Visual Parable
Part II: Dead Branches
Chapter Three: Sin, Judgment, and Blindness
Chapter Four: Pride (Superbia of the Peacock)
Chapter Five: Envy (Invidia or the Wolf)
Chapter Six: Wrath (Ira or the Lion)
Chapter Seven: Sloth (Acedia or the Ass)
Chapter Eight: Avarice (Avaricia or the Camel)
Chapter Nine: Gluttony (Gula or the Swine)
Chapter Ten: Lust (Luxuria or the Goat)
Part III: Spiritual Fruit
Chapter Eleven: Virtues and Redemption
What do Kierkegaard, The Three Little Pigs, Betty Boop, The Big Snit and Dante, all have in common? More than you might think, suggests Terry Lindvall in his book, Animated Parables. Lindvall, a leading historian of culture/film and religion, has crafted a compelling and witty argument focusing on the parabolic value of short, animated films and cartoons. These small visual stories teach their viewers— disorienting preconceptions, arousing curiosity, and provoking fresh meanings and actions. I laughed and learned as story after story about vice and virtue were recounted.
Terry Lindvall's research is impeccable--and a delight to read. Who wouldn't want to spend an afternoon chuckling about animation and the Seven Deadly Sins? Not just a book for specialists, its examples are placed in a broad cultural and historical context. The links that Dr. Lindvall forges provide valuable connections for the field of animation studies as a whole. Put this one on your reading list!