Chapter

Animation and Digital Culture

Paul Wells

in American Thought and Culture in the 21st Century

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print October 2008 | ISBN: 9780748626014
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748670673 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3366/edinburgh/9780748626014.003.0019
Animation and Digital Culture

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In this chapter, Paul Wells argues that the literal and metaphorical developments of animation in the twenty-first century allow ‘virtual histories’ to be constructed from the subjective and relative contexts of the contemporary period. He examines special effects in animations and controversial works such as Edouard Salieri’s short film Flesh (2006), which juxtaposes images of the 9/11 terrorist attacks with images drawn from the booming pornography industry, as well as more mainstream animations such as the two Ice Age films (2002, 2005) and Happy Feet (2006), which struck a more conventional liberal-ecological note. He looks beyond the shift from Disney’s classical 2D aesthetic to Pixar’s 3D computer imagery, and argues that 21st-century animation has become a richly nuanced language, incorporating metamorphosis, fabrication, symbol and metaphor, and interweaving memory, history and fabrication to challenge the dominant ideological myths of the day.

Keywords: Animation; Virtual History; Special Effects; 9/11; Edouard Salieri; Pixar

Chapter.  6344 words. 

Subjects: Cultural Studies

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