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Title: From the Light of Luxo : the new worlds of the computer-animated film
Author: Holliday, Christopher David
ISNI:       0000 0004 7656 0223
Awarding Body: King's College London
Current Institution: King's College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2014
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Emerging at the intersection of feature-length animated cinema with computer-generated imagery (CGI), and preceded by a cycle of preparatory shorts released during the 1980s, the computer-animated film has become the dominant form of mainstream animation. But while the field of animation studies has expanded dramatically in the last twenty years, reflective of increased levels of academic interest in the subject, the computer-animated film as an example of feature-length narrative cinema remains rarely investigated. This research argues that computer-animated films, including their continued evolution and mutation, can be critically evaluated through the rubric of genre. An approach is developed which elaborates upon their unique visual currencies and formal attributes, reconceptualised and organised as a generic framework that supports the study of computer-animated films as a new genre of contemporary cinema. This thesis is therefore centred on locating where the features of this genre may reside, individuated across three chapters concerned with issues of fictional world creation, performance and animated acting, and comedy. These subjects have been identified for their significant, and often highly problematic, relationship to traditions of animated filmmaking. Each chapter sets out to situate the computer-animated film within these traditions, before pursuing fresh lines of enquiry that target directly it’s determining generic codes, narrative conventions and common aesthetic tropes. Informed throughout by focused textual analysis of individual computer-animated films, the genre is discussed and debated through its relevant connections to a variety of topics. These include cinephilia and intertextuality, anthropomorphism, junk art, puppetry and the Western tradition of performing objects, film sound theory, narrative literary theory, and seventeenth-century Mannerist art. Animatedness is a term that is developed across the thesis, invoked to promote the key specificities of this new digital cinema and the richness, energy and vigour of its film worlds. This thesis is framed by the question of the particular ‘animatedness’ of computer-animated films, and my research reveals the distinct terms and novel perspectives through which this otherwise undiscovered genre of contemporary film can be examined.
Supervisor: Pierson, Michele ; Betz, Mark William Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available