The Sonic Playpen: Sound Design and Technology in Pixar’s Animated Shorts

William Whittington

in The Oxford Handbook of Sound Studies

Published in print December 2011 | ISBN: 9780195388947
Published online November 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

The Sonic Playpen: Sound Design and Technology in Pixar’s Animated Shorts

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This article deals with the nuances of sound design and management in Pixar's animated shorts. It begins with discussing the concept, and emergence, of animation in films and sound design's role in the era of digital animation. It then explores technological innovation and animation in transition, dealing with sound design in Pixar studio style. Using a variety of theoretical perspectives from digital culture, sound studies, and traditional film studies, this article argues that as the techniques of computer generated animation developed at Pixar, sound design became an integral aspect of this new mode of storytelling and overall filmic design. Finally, it suggests that if the roles of the animator and the sound designer merge, this could offer the potential of not only a significant shift in Pixar's house style but also a realignment of the cultural reception and expectations related to sound and image design in the digital age.

Keywords: sound design; Pixar's animated shorts; digital animation; Pixar studio style; animator; sound designer

Article.  9972 words. 

Subjects: Music ; Sound Studies ; Applied Music

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