Animated film is commonly perceived as children's play and is often neglected as a serious form of cinematic art. With Understanding Animation, Paul Wells aims to change that.
Part history, part theory, part celebration, this book explores approaches to animation through an eclectic range of case studies from Betty Boop's Snow White, to Jan Svankmajer's Jabberwocky. Opening with a discussion of the early history of animation through experimental figures like Emile Reynaud and J. Stuart Blackton, Wells also discusses narrative, realism and Disney-esque hyper-realism, the construction of comedy, representations of race and gender, the construction of comedy, and animation and audience research. Engagingly written, Understanding Animation demonstrates that animated film has much to tell us about ourselves, the culture we live in, and our perceptions of cinematic art in the twentieth century.