This article demonstrates how scholars can undertake a sociocultural reading of youth films without positioning youth/youth culture as the central focus. Drawing on Stephanie Hemelryk Donald, Emma Wilson, and Sarah Wright’s contemplation of the child as a national avatar, this article suggests that like the child, the adolescent becomes a site to address national concerns and positionings. I explore how the adolescent becomes interlinked with discourses of nation-building and myth-making, and I argue that the transitory nature of the adolescent facilitates narratives about nations in flux. In support of these assertions, this essay analyzes Disney’s Moana in relation to the Obama era and his presidential rhetoric on foreign policy. In so doing, it contributes to the long-standing work on genre cinema and US ideology by offering a framework to link youth cinema to political moments.
"Youth Films and the Nation: Imagining Obama’s US Foreign Policy in Disney’s Moana,"
Narrative Culture: Vol. 8:
1, Article 8.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.wayne.edu/narrative/vol8/iss1/8