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Contemporary Hollywood AnimationStyle, Storytelling, Culture and Ideology Since the 1990s$
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Noel Brown

Print publication date: 2021

Print ISBN-13: 9781474410564

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2021

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474410564.001.0001

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On the Borders: Children’s Horror and Indiewood Animation

On the Borders: Children’s Horror and Indiewood Animation

(p.144) 5. On the Borders: Children’s Horror and Indiewood Animation
Contemporary Hollywood Animation

Noel Brown

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter focuses on a recent tradition of Hollywood animated films which mine the intersection between the ‘mainstream’ and ‘cult’ firmaments. While there is a long history of experimental or leftfield animation in the United States, the films discussed here are characterised by a duality specific to post-1990s Hollywood cinema: they target a mass market while simultaneously addressing audiences that may reject mainstream animation in its more conventional iterations. The first half of this chapter examines the ‘children’s horror film’, a cycle that presents grotesque imagery with sufficient wit to appeal to leftfield sensibilities while still delivering the pleasing emotive content associated with mainstream family entertainment. The second half discusses ‘indiewood animation’ films, which often exhibit a comparatively cerebral patented kookiness and trippy, offbeat humour. Collectively, the ‘children’s horror’ and ‘indiewood’ animated films represent a compromise between the perceived requirements of mass audiences and the promise of additional credibility and cachet associated with cult cinema.

Keywords:   Children’s horror, Indiewood animation, Tim Burton, Wes Anderson

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