A recurring element in this shift away from postmodernism in the children’s cartoon is a new focus on environmental catastrophe, which in turn places a premium on digimodernist aesthetic traits. Blue Sky’s Ice Age (2002) had already touched on the rapacity of humans and their destructive relationship to their natural habitat, while its sequel deploys the end of its eponymous epoch to make “global warming” the backcloth to its story. DreamWorks’ Over the Hedge (2006) evokes, very ambiguously, the harmful impact on the environment of relentless human consumerism and exploitation of natural resources. The effect of these issues on such films is seen most clearly in Animal Logic’s Happy Feet (2006), which moves from long scenes where penguins formation-dance to rock songs (oddly reminiscent of Baz Luhrmann’s postmodern Moulin Rouge) to an earnest Tolkien-style quest to repair the ecological damage done to their Antarctic home. A watershed occurs when the hero renounces his knowingly ironic buddies for his weighty and grave destiny. Fox’s The Simpsons Movie (2007) struggles with the same subject. Back in 1998, in the TV episode “Trash of the Titans”, Matt Groening’s team had treated it with breathtaking black-comedic brilliance but, if the political problem had not evolved in the interim, a cultural mood change was apparent. The film’s overhanging seriousness is leavened by only the occasional gag; Homer’s oafishness, once the essence of knowing irony, is by now just obnoxious; and the once lacerating manipulation of allusion and parody seems almost extinct.
The extract traces the decline in the influence of postmodernism. Kirby argues that this is primarily due to the increasing prevalence of technology, both in its effect on the environment and its effect on daily life; I certainly agree with this, since not only do I obsessively check my phone, I also know that the lithium in its battery was dangerously mined in Western China, and manufactured using coal-generated electricity.
The author is trying to identify that postmodernism is gone and that we are now in a new era. He is trying to connect this change to the movies that were around when this book was published.
This also shows how the characteristics of postmodernism which might of worked in 1998 for the television episode “Trash of the Titans” which was on The Simpsons did not work as successfully when The Simpsons Movie was made this shows that not everything that goes from the small screen to the large screen is successful also vice versa. And it appears that even the eminent sociologist and philosopher Jean Baudrillard was also asking the question What comes after postmodernism?
The author says that postmodernism has become increasingly marginalised and has coined the name “Digimodernism” which is a name comprising both the technical mode with the use of fingers and thumbs. Digimodernism looks at the diverse cultural landscape including television and the cinema, but since this was written it should include things such as YouTube and Netflix.
He highlights the changes in attitude to authority, truth and legitimation in our digitally dependent society and he compares them to the changes that went on in the postmodern period and what is now the new period that is merging the postmodern period.
These changes in society have affected the way in which we watch television which was our main interaction with cartoons and a family activity. With the changes in peoples interaction and communication with each other is it the time for a new set of cartoons to be viewed on the primetime slots.
Kirby, A. (2009). Digimodernism: How New Technologies Dismantle the Postmodern and Reconfigure Our Culture. 1st ed. New York: Continuum, pp.17-18.