Week 18: Animation & Audience

In this lesson, we focused on the genre of animation, explored various animation techniques and the way of categorizing it. Then we watched Tango (1980), one of the formal experiments of animation, showing plenty of different activities taking place at one time in a loop.


We have also learnt about the film form, which could be roughly divided to two – Narrative and Non-narrative. Usually, the narrative structure contains equilibrium, disturbance, conflict and resolution, with sequence of actions, whereas non-narrative films are more categorical and abstract. In addition, non-narrative structure is more likely to be seen in experimental cinema, music or video.

In the end, we looked into the rule of animation, including establishing shot, 180 degree rule, eyeline matches, etc. The animation film Paprika has shown us most of the rules in a humorous way, with the main character experiencing those different rules by himself.

Key characteristic of political animation

As one of the common genres of animation, political animation usually contains exaggeration and symbolism to help build the concept and to emphasis the ideas. For example, in the film Fantastic Planet (1973), A mother runs in terror cradling her child, only to be picked up and flung to the ground by a giant blue hand. Exaggeration has been applied to the film a lot.

Another key figure is Analogy, by using comparison, animation could become more sharp and mean. (eg. Persepolis, 2007)

What is more, labeling is also a typical characteristic of political animation. In the animation series South Park, the main characters are been labeled to such as Jewish, The poor and Gay, to make it clear exactly what they stand for.

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