Mickey’s Trailer and Environmental Thought: Disney Cartoons and Countryside

Joe Goddard


The influence of popular cartoons on environmental cognition is explored in this essay through readings of Mickey’s Trailer, a 1938 cartoon directed by Ben Sharpsteen for Walt Disney. Other materials considered include Ford Motor Company’s 1937-38 film coproduced by Wilder Pictures, Glacier International Park, which promotes motor-tourism and automobile ownership, and Ben Sharpsteen’s other work for Walt Disney. The article also examines the ideas of physical and “illusional” zoning in the city, especially the way that they were applied in the mid-twentieth century. Physical zoning involved separating incompatible land uses, whereas illusional zoning entailed seeing what you wanted to see. What does Mickey’s Trailer say about how people can live, and can it inform where people choose to live? The essay muses that appreciations of nature and the environment are influenced by popular culture.

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ISSN: 0044-8060
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