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A Reader in Animation Studies

A Reader in Animation Studies

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A Reader in Animation Studies

Edited by: Jayne Pilling

Publication date: 1997
Total pages: 283 + xviii
ISBN: 1 86462 000 5
Price: £ 17.50


A Reader in Animation Studies reflects a growing interest in animation as a medium that spans a far wider range of films than that of cartoons for children. Animation has emerged from its previously marginalised status both in terms of growing adult audiences for the heterogeneous range of films that come under the heading ‘animation’ and in terms of providing a corpus of work deserving serious academic analysis and study.

The serious study of popular culture has provided fertile ground for the development of sophisticated forms of critical commentary, and cartoons – both from the classic Hollywood era and from more contemporary feature films and television series – offer a rich field for detailed investigation and analysis. An even greater richness is provided by the growing Western appetite for Japanese anime. At the same time, animation has provided the stimulus for a wide range of analyses drawing from the traditions and theoretical engagements of many other disciplines, including film, television and media studies, art history and criticism, feminism and gender studies. All these fileds and modes of analysis are reflected in A Reader in Animation Studies, which also engages with the long tradition of art-animation – particularly in Eastern and Western Europe – which prompt different critical responses. A Reader in Animation Studies also engages with the fascinating issues about the very definition of animation raised with the fairly recent development of the use of computer technologies.

An indispensable tool for academics, researchers and students of film, television, media, art and cultural studies as well as offering a fascinating account for the general reader of this massively popular field of media entertainment.


The Society for Animation Studies: A brief history, by Harvey Deneroff

Introduction, by Jayne Pilling

New technologies

1 What is animation and who needs to know? An essay on definitions, by Philip Kelly Denslow
2 ‘Reality’ effects in computer animation, by Lev Manovich
3 Second-order realism and post-modern aesthetics in computer animation, by Andy Darley

Text and context: Analyses of individual films

4 The Quay brothers’ The Epic of Gilgamesh and the ‘metaphysics of obscenity’, by Steve Weiner
5 Narrative strategies for resistance and protest in Eastern European animation, by William Moritz
6 Putting themselves in the pictures: Images of women in the work of Joanna Quinn, Candy Guard and Alison de Vere, by Sandra Law
7 An analysis of Susan Pitt’s Asparagus and Joanna Priestley’s All My Relations, by Sharon Couzin
8 Clay animation comes out of the inkwell: The Fleischer brothers and clay animation, by Michael Frierson
9 Bartosch’s The Idea, by William Moritz
10 Norman McLaren and Jules Engel: Post-modernists, by William Moritz
11 Disney, Warner Bros. and Japanese animation, by Luca Raffaelli

Contemporary cartoons and cultural studies

12 The thief of Buena Vista: Disney’s Aladdin and Orientalism, by Leslie Felperin
13 Animatophilia, cultural production and corporate interests: The case of Ren & Stimpy, by Mark Langer

Theoretical approaches

14 Francis Bacon and Walt Disney revisited, by Simon Pummell
15 Body consciousness in the films of Jan Svankmajer, by Paul Wells
16 Eisenstein and Stokes on Disney: Film animation and omnipotence, by Michael O’ Pray
17 Towards a post-modern animated discourse: Bakhtin, intertextuality and the cartoon carnival, by Terrance R. Lindvall and J. Matthew Melton

(Rewriting) history

18 Restoring the aesthetics of early abstract films, by William Moritz
19 Resistance and subversion in animated films of the Nazi era: The case of Hans Fischerkoesen, by William Moritz
20 European influences on early Disney feature films, by Robin Allan
21 Norm Ferguson and the Latin American films of Walt Disney, by J.B. Kaufman


Jane Pilling is a freelance film programmer, sometime journalist and translator, who also writes and teaches on film and animation, currently at the Royal College of Art in London.

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