Animation: Art and Industry

Animation: Art and Industry

Animation: Art and Industry

Animation: Art and Industry

Synopsis

Animation--Art and Industry is an introductory reader covering a broad range of animation studies topics, focusing on both American and international contexts. It provides information about key individuals in the fields of both independent and experimental animation, and introduces a variety of topics relevant to the critical study of media--censorship, representations of gender and race, and the relationship between popular culture and fine art. Essays span the silent era to the present, include new media such as web animation and gaming, and address animation made using a variety of techniques.

Excerpt

The concept of animation – bringing objects to life – has fascinated humankind since its earliest days. Throughout the years, animated movement has been employed in religious, scientific, educational, and entertainment contexts to explain everything from the spirit world to the mechanics of mundane objects. Some of the most recognizable icons of modern culture have emerged from animated productions, and some of our greatest works of art have been created using multiple frames that have brought still images to life. This book focuses primarily on animation as entertainment and art, with an emphasis on work created for television and theatrical release. It surveys major artists working throughout history in various national contexts. While it touches on digitally created work, the main concern is with classical animation of the 20th century: pioneers, trendsetters, and critically acclaimed individuals and works within the field. It contains writing and interviews by influential historians and practitioners, including both reprints of significant essays (some of them updated) and previously unpublished writing. Topics covered range from aesthetics to business concerns, such as the role of merchandising and censorship in shaping the content of animation. Essays are historical, as well as theoretical, reflecting the spectrum of writing on animation that began appearing in the 1980s. While examples of critical writing produced prior to this decade do exist, one finds that the real blossoming of animation studies literature occurs at the end of the 20th century, in part reflecting the growth of animated imagery in society. Animation has become ubiquitous, flowing from many sources: the Internet, cable television programming (for example, on Nickelodeon, the Disney Channel, Comedy Central, and especially Cartoon Network), television advertising, training materials, gaming, scientific applications, theatrical features, and more. The first half of the book presents essays that overview animation history, aesthetics and theory in a global context. The volume begins with an essay by Cecile Starr, an important pioneer in the realm of fine art animation. Not only did she contribute a seminal book in the field, Experimental Animation (co-authored with Robert Russett), but she distributed and advocated the work of a number of international artists who otherwise might not have been ‘discovered’ by the larger animation community. In her essay, she argues that animation is deserving of more respect within the art community, and hopes for the day when animated productions will be as common within . . .
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