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.
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aesthetic analysis Andrew animated cartoons animated film animation’s animator’s Arcades Project archive artist avant-garde background Barthes Bazin Bells the Cat Burt gillett Cambridge camera operator cel animation chapter characters Chicago Chuck Jones cinema cinematographic color copy creative Disney Studios Disney’s documents Donald Crafton drawing Duck Emily Dickinson Figure film theory film’s Fleischer fragments frame by frame frame-by-frame graphic hand Hollywood Hours of Emily human Hundred in-betweeners industry Ink and Paint inkers instance Iwerks Jay leyda Journal labor look material Media Melville Mickey Mouse Mickey’s microfilm montage motion move movement noncreative original painters paper pencil photocopies photographic picture Popeye representation reproduction robert Breer screen sequence Sergei eisenstein Shamus Culhane sheet shot Siegfried Kracauer single frame sketch Sniffles Bells technique traces trans University of California University Press viewer visual Walt Disney Walter Benjamin Warner Bros Woody Woodpecker workers writes xerography