Academy Examines Animation's Power to Create Imaginary Worlds
October 10, 2013

Academy Examines Animation's Power to Create Imaginary Worlds

BEVERLY HILLS, CA — In the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ latest celebration of works by Academy film scholars, Donald Crafton, professor of film, television and theater at the University of Notre Dame, will present highlights from his book Shadow of a Mouse: Performance, Belief, and World-Making in Animation on Wednesday, October 23, at 7:30 p.m. at the Academy’s Linwood Dunn Theater in Hollywood.

Crafton will examine clips of classic animated performances from the 1930s and 1940s, and discuss how those performances evolved to meet the changing needs of audiences, artists and studios. This is the ninth in a series of lectures spotlighting recipients of Academy Film Scholar grants.

Shadow of a Mouse Performance Belief and World-Making In Animation

Throughout the decades, animated films have often entertained and moved their audiences, and occasionally even offended them, yet there are few explanations of exactly how these reactions are provoked on a widespread basis. In his new book, Crafton proposes that it is the performances of the characters (similar to live actors) that offer insight into understanding why cartoons are constructed and executed in certain ways, and into how they are received. Crafton, one of the recipients of the inaugural Academy Film Scholar grants in 2000, will examine classic animation from the 1930s and 1940s, especially the 1933 Disney short “Three Little Pigs,” as well as contemporary works by Jan Švankmajer and Bill Plympton. In exploring animated performances, and how they have evolved to meet the changing needs of audiences, artists and studios, Crafton will offer a personal view of animated cinema that draws upon film and theater studies, art history, aesthetics, cultural studies and performance studies.

Admission is free but tickets are required. Established in 1999, the Academy Film Scholars program is designed to stimulate and support the creation of new and significant works of film scholarship about aesthetic, cultural, educational, historical, theoretical or scientific aspects of theatrical motion pictures.