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American Thought and Culture in the 21st Century$
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Martin Halliwell and Catherine Morley

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780748626014

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748626014.001.0001

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Animation and Digital Culture

Animation and Digital Culture

(p.291) 18. Animation and Digital Culture
American Thought and Culture in the 21st Century

Paul Wells

Edinburgh University Press

In this chapter, Paul Wells argues that the literal and metaphorical developments of animation in the twenty-first century allow ‘virtual histories’ to be constructed from the subjective and relative contexts of the contemporary period. He examines special effects in animations and controversial works such as Edouard Salieri’s short film Flesh (2006), which juxtaposes images of the 9/11 terrorist attacks with images drawn from the booming pornography industry, as well as more mainstream animations such as the two Ice Age films (2002, 2005) and Happy Feet (2006), which struck a more conventional liberal-ecological note. He looks beyond the shift from Disney’s classical 2D aesthetic to Pixar’s 3D computer imagery, and argues that 21st-century animation has become a richly nuanced language, incorporating metamorphosis, fabrication, symbol and metaphor, and interweaving memory, history and fabrication to challenge the dominant ideological myths of the day.

Keywords:   Animation, Virtual History, Special Effects, 9/11, Edouard Salieri, Pixar

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