Frame by Frame: A Materialist Aesthetics of Animated Cartoons

Frame by Frame: A Materialist Aesthetics of Animated Cartoons

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In this beautifully written and deeply researched study, Hannah Frank provides an original way to understand American animated cartoons from the Golden Age of animation (1920–1960).
In the pre-digital age of the twentieth century, the making of cartoons was mechanized and standardized: thousands of drawings were inked and painted onto individual transparent celluloid sheets (called “cels”) and then photographed in succession, a labor-intensive process that was divided across scores of artists and technicians.
In order to see the art, labor, and technology of cel animation, Frank slows cartoons down to look frame by frame, finding hitherto unseen aspects of the animated image. What emerges is both a methodology and a highly original account of an art formed on the assembly line.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780520303621
Publisher: University of California Press
Publication date: 05/07/2019
Edition description: First Edition
Pages: 256
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Hannah Frank (1984–2017) was Assistant Professor of Film Studies at the University of North Carolina Wilmington. Her work has been published in Critical Quarterly and Animation: An
Interdisciplinary Journal
, and she contributed a chapter to A World Redrawn: Eisenstein and Brecht in Hollywood.

Daniel Morgan is Associate Professor of Cinema and Media Studies at the University of Chicago and is author of Late Godard and the Possibilities of Cinema.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Foreword: Hannah Frank’s Pause by Tom Gunning
Introduction by Daniel Morgan


Introduction: Looking at Labor
1. Animation and Montage; or, Photographic Records of Documents
2. A View of the World: Toward a Photographic Theory of Cel Animation
3. Pars Pro Toto: Character Animation and the Work of the
Anonymous Artist
4. The Multiplication of Traces: Xerographic Reproduction and
One Hundred and One Dalmatians
Conclusion: The Labor of Looking



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