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Courses / Modules / FILM2023 Animation: Technology, Culture and Industry

Animation: Technology, Culture and Industry

When you'll study it
Semester 1
CATS points
ECTS points
Level 5
Module lead
Malcolm Cook
Academic year

Module overview

Animation has been a part of cinema from its inception and remains one of the most popular forms of moving image in the 21st century. Some theorists have even argued that animation has preceded, contained, or replaced cinema. Yet, animation has been largely ignored within the academic study of film and denigrated within broader cultural discourses about moving images. This module will look at the historical development of this form of filmmaking and reconsider its place within cinema and television history, as well as wider artistic practices.

This module will consider animation’s distinctive aesthetic characteristics through case studies of specific periods and countries and close analysis of key films, structured around three themes: technology, culture, and industry. It will shed new light on familiar examples and introduce new and unfamiliar films and filmmakers. Yet it will also question the efficacy of categorising these works under a single term, investigating the diverse and pervasive practices animation encompasses. These include its relationship to ‘live action’ cinema, and intermedial links with other artistic practices and media, including performance arts, graphic and fine art, and music.

To animate something is both to give it motion and to bring it to life, and running throughout the historical and aesthetic examination in the three themes will be a theoretical concern with the philosophical implications of the various meanings of ‘animation’.

Linked modules

FILM1001 or FILM2006 or FILM1027 or FILM1020