Saturday, 21 February 2009

Literature Review - Animation : Genre and Authorship

Wells, P (2002) Animation : Genre and Authorship, London:Wallflower Press

I decided to use this book to help with my research as it explores genre which could help me to understand not only comedy within animation, but of all genres. I also chose the book because the author Paul Wells proved to be a reliable source for my research in the previous book reviewed.

The book's chapter 4 entitled, genre in animation talks about genre in depth. It tries to argue whether if genre itself is necessary for categorizing film, or if it simply over complicates. Mise en Scene is a big part of distinguishing genre. A western for example would consist of a desert, saloon, horses, cowboy's, guns, etc. The book explores this and explains of how animation uses these cliches and iconographic themes. In particular a 'Bugs Bunny' cartoon was referenced which therefore led Wells to talk about comedy aspects of the episode. "Tom and Jerry" are also referenced in an episode called, "Dr Jekyl and Mr. Mouse". There is definitely a play of the horror story "Dr Jekyl and Mr Hyde", but being the cartoon that it is, Tom and Jerry incorporate humour. The 'Suspense' and 'surprise' factors of horror are used now "to amuse rather than frighten"

I found this book to be useful as it gave me an over all view on genre as well as how genre is distinguished within animation. The examples used in the book include case studies that I have been using for my essay which is a bonus.

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