origin story…

fantasy-animation.org examines the relationship between fantasy cinema and the medium of animation. Established in May 2018, the website provides a space for discussion and debate among like-minded academics, practitioners, special interest groups and fans of fantasy and/or animation. We are dedicated to the study of the rich legacy and complexity of animated fantasy media, in whatever form it might take.

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The website was co-founded by Dr Christopher Holliday and Dr Alexander Sergeant, and emerged out of the co-edited anthology Fantasy/Animation: Connections Between Media, Mediums and Genres (Routledge, 2018) for Routledge’s AFI Film Readers series that examines the historical, cultural and theoretical points of intersection between fantasy and animation. Bringing together contributions from world-renowned film and media scholars, Fantasy/Animation considered the various historical, theoretical, and cultural ramifications of the animated fantasy film. The collection provided a range of chapters on subjects including Disney, Pixar, and Studio Ghibli, filmmakers such as Ralph Bakshi and James Cameron, and on film and television franchises such as Dreamworks’ How To Train Your Dragon (2010–) and HBO’s Game of Thrones (2011–). In February 2019, the anthology was nominated for “Best Edited Collection” by the British Association of Film, Television and Screen Studies (BAFTSS).

fantasy-animation.org builds on the success of the book. The website has been developed to ope out a critical conversation to better frame the study of the rich legacy and complexity of animated fantasy media. Our remit is broad, both encompassing and departing from more traditional academic projects and research outlets. We combine published blog posts (critical editorials; media analyses; film, television and book reviews; conference reports) with original audiovisual research material, such as video essays (also available on the Fantasy/Animation Youtube channel) and podcasts, which are accessible through the iTunes store. The blogs and podcasts expand upon the central argument proposed throughout the edited collection – that the interpretation of animated fantasy media benefits from an interdisciplinary approach, which brings together research from the hitherto separate fields of fantasy and animation studies. We, and our contributors, apply this methodology to a range of media examples.

what we’ve done… 

We have appeared on national arts review programmes (Showcase TRT) discussing the legacy of figures like Ralph Bakshi and Walt Disney; our blog post entries have been featured on the BBC website; and we have recorded a live podcast at the Anime & Gaming Convention in London organised by the the Animeleague community. The network has also secured interviews with renowned academics and internally-recognised practitioners from across the UK. These include Jez Stewart, the lead curator of animation at the BFI National Archives, as well as staff from King’s College London – Senior Lecturer in Film Studies Dr. Catherine Wheatley and Professor Emeritus Richard Dyer.

bios...

(L-R) Dr Christopher Holliday (King's College London) and Dr Alexander Sergeant (Bournemouth University).

(L-R) Dr Christopher Holliday (King's College London) and Dr Alexander Sergeant (Bournemouth University).

Dr Christopher Holliday teaches Film Studies and Liberal Arts at King’s College London specializing in film genre, international film history and contemporary digital media. He has published several book chapters and articles on digital technology and computer animation, including work in Animation Practice, Process & Production and animation: an interdisciplinary journal. He is the author of  The Computer-Animated Film: Industry, Style and Genre (with Edinburgh University Press, 2018).

Dr Alexander Sergeant is a Lecturer in Film and Media Theory at Bournemouth University, where he also serves as the Assistant Director of the Centre for Film & TV Research. Prior to this position, he taught within the Film Department at King’s College London, where he obtained his PhD in 2017.  He has published in a variety of academic journals and edited collections, specialising in the history of US fantasy filmmaking, psychoanalytic theories of phantasy and, more broadly, intersections between critical theory and popular culture.