Stereotyping through Humour in Animated Movies: A Multimodal Analysis
Keywords:Stereotyping, Animated Movies, Multimodal Humour, Race, Shrek, The princess and the Frog, Zootopia, Moana
Stereotyping pervades across cultures and is carried out through several ways including media, social practices, and behaviours. Animated movies are one of the popular modes wherein humour acts as an effective discourse vehicle to represent and negotiate certain stereotypical tags associated with race, gender, and social class. There are contending claims about whether animated movies have been purged off the prevalent stereotypical biases, but the contention remains unsubstantiated. Therefore, this study aimed at examining the humour genre of animated movies with a view to figuring out whether the stereotyping associated with race has either been eliminated or reduced with the passage of time. Four popular animated movies, namely, Shrek (2001), The Princess and the Frog (2009), Zootopia (2016) and Moana (2016) were analysed using textual analysis. The data collection was based on the General Theory of Verbal Humour (GTVH) presented by Attardo (2001) with some extensions proposed by Tsakona (2013). The notions of Script Opposition and Target Knowledge Resources (KR's) of GTVH have been treated as the selection criteria of humour incidences. Those humour incidences which portray positive or negative aspects of established beliefs have been analysed. The study identified verbal and non-verbal modes of humour employed in the selected animated movies, communicating certain positive and negative stereotypes. Results suggested that multimodal humour served to perpetuate as well as fade and neutralise negative and positive facets of existing tags associated with white, black, and Polynesian races. The analysis suggested mixed stereotypes, however, the striking pattern observed in the data analysis over the period manifested a considerable progress in promoting positive stereotypes of race particularly black and Polynesians.
Key terms: , , , , , , Zootopia, Moana.