PHILLIPS, MEAGANName: Meagan Phillips
Title of Project: 
Animating Animals: Exploring Anthropomorphism in Animated Children’s Films
Advisor: Alan Braddock
Honors Department: Interdisciplinary Studies

My goal is to explore how anthropomorphism – in this case, attributing human qualities to nonhuman entities – impacts our understanding of nonhuman animals in animated children’s films such as Bambi and The Lion King. Does giving a lion the ability to speak make viewers empathize more with the lion? Or does that anthropomorphism turn the lion into a mere stand-in for a human character?

Hometown: Williamsburg, Virginia
Hobbies: I enjoy spending time with my cats, hiking and birdwatching, painting, reading and writing novels, and learning new vegan recipes with my partner (we joke that if our career plans don’t pan out, we’ll open our own vegan minimal waste cat cafe/animal sanctuary with an organic garden).
Fun Fact: I watched Disney’s Robin Hood so many times when I was little that the tape broke. Watching the same Disney movie two or three times a day for over a week was not unusual for me.

 

Follow Meagan’s research on the W&M Honors Fellowships blog!