Pp. 140-167 (28)
Kerry H. Robinson and Kate Crawford
In her essay ‘Pixarvolt—Animation and Revolt’ (2007), Judith Jack Halberstam
argues that certain films in the canon of contemporary animated features offer us visions of
powerfully transformed worlds. In such films as Over the Hedge and Finding Nemo,
traditional normative structures are displaced in acts of revolution and transformation.
These narrative themes, in Halberstam’s view, are rarely given such centrality in films
explicitly made for adults. The recent box office success of Pixar’s Wall-E attests to the
continued popularity of animated children’s films amongst adults, a phenomenon which is
cited in the popular media as a disturbing threat to ‘real’ adulthood. This chapter analyses
how adulthood as a cultural category has been ordered according to the spatial and temporal
scheduling of labour and reproduction, and assesses whether ‘Pixarvolt’ films represent a
challenge to these schema. By building on Halberstam’s idea of ‘queer time’ as an
alternative to the heteronormative frameworks of adulthood (Halberstam, 2005) and Rosi
Braidotti’s work on nomadic becoming (2006), this chapter maps out the evolving
imaginaries of adulthood in late modernity. Peter Bansel provides a response to this chapter.
Animation, Pixarvolt, adulthood, Braidotti, heteronormative, alternative,
temporality, media, labour, reproduction, transformation.
University of Western Sydney., University of New South Wales.