Posts tagged PIXAR ANIMATION STUDIOS
Fantasy and the Re-Animation of Othered Cultures

The intersection of fantasy and animation is increasingly also an intersection of nationalities and cultures. The world’s best known animation studios often look beyond their own cultures for inspiration, exploring and representing people, mythologies and folklore from across the globe. Japan’s Studio Ghibli, for example, frequently adapt Western sources, creating fantasy-inflected variations on European countries (Howl’s Moving Castle [Hayao Miyazaki, 2004]) or indeterminate settings bearing both Japanese and European influence (Kiki’s Delivery Service [Hayao Miyazaki, 1989]; Arrietty [Hiromasa Yonebayashi, 2010]; When Marnie Was There [James Simone & Hiromasa Yonebayashi, 2014]).

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Animation, Fantasy and the Disney/Pixar Dilemma

The shifting place of fantasy within contemporary animation allows us to make some preliminary discriminations about how fantasy’s own icons and images function in relation to the shaping of Hollywood studios and their brand identity. The continued business strength of the U.S. animation industry in the post-millennial period thanks to Pixar Animation Studios, DreamWorks Animation and Blue Sky - as well as the parallel renaissance of Disney Feature Animation - has provided a growing number of critically and commercially successful test cases that showcase where fantasy does (and does not) appear in popular animated media, but also how fantasy has become a default and highly durable viewing strategy utilised by audiences in determining the precise terms of studio authorship.

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Review: Incredibles 2 (Brad Bird, 2018)

The Hollywood landscape into which Pixar’s twentieth computer-animated feature Incredibles 2 (Brad Bird, 2018) now sits is very different to the filmmaking climate of the original. Back in 2004 when audiences first glimpsed the superheroic exploits of the Parr family – headed by patriarch Bob/Mr. Incredible, wife Helen/Elastigirl, alongside their three children Violet, Dash and Jack-Jack – the resurrection of contemporary superhero cinema was still very much in its infancy.

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Review: Lilian Munk Rösing, Pixar with Lacan: The Hysteric's Guide to Animation (2016)

The title of Lilian Munk Rösing’s recent publication Pixar with Lacan: The Hysteric’s Guide to Animation (London and New York: Bloomsbury, 2016) contains many of my favourite words. With. The. Hysteric. But seriously, the blending of Jacques Lacan’s structuralist re-visioning of psychoanalytic theory with the stable of Pixar animation is both a provocative and insightful one. 

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