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The Computer-Animated Film

Industry, Style and Genre

Christopher Holliday

Paperback (Forthcoming)
eBook (ePub) i
eBook (PDF) i

Re-frames the computer-animated film as a new genre of contemporary cinema

Widely credited for the revival of feature-length animated filmmaking within contemporary Hollywood, computer-animated films are today produced within a variety of national contexts and traditions. Covering thirty years of computer-animated film history, and analysing over 200 different examples, The Computer-Animated Film: Industry, Style and Genre persuasively argues that this body of work constitutes a unique genre of mainstream cinema. Informed by wider technological discourses and the status of animation as an industrial art form, the book not only theorises computer-animated films through their formal properties, but connects elements of film style to animation practice and the computer-animated film’s unique production contexts.

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Table of Contents

List of illustrations



1. Falling with style? The Computer-Animated Film and Genre

2. Towards a Journey Narrative syntax

3. Notes on a Luxo world

4. Computer-Animated Films and Anthropomorphic Subjectivity

5. Object Transformation and the Spectacle of Scrap

6. Pixar, Performance and Puppets

7. Monsters, Synch: A Taxonomy of the Star Voice

8. From Wile E. to Wall-E: Computer-Animated Film Comedy

9. Dreamworks Animation, Metalepsis and Diegetic Deconstruction

10. The Mannerist Game

Conclusion: Satisfying a Spirit of Adventure



About the Author

Christopher Holliday teaches Film Studies and Liberal Arts at King’s College London specializing in film genre, international film history, digital media, film technology and animation. He has published several book chapters and journal articles on contemporary Hollywood animation, and is currently co-editing a collection of essays that examines the historical, cultural and theoretical points of intersection between fantasy and animation.


Holliday persuasively argues that contemporary computer animation feature films constitute a genre in their own right. Re-positioning genre through fresh configurations of how computer animated films relate to each other, he analyzes their ideologically-charged formal and technical characteristics, successfully revealing new systems of textual properties and affordances. Insisting that the very ‘animatedness’ of computer animation invokes a revision of the traditional cartoon, conventional film tropes and digital moving images, Holliday properly traces the influence of animation in the re-invention of mainstream movies per se.

- Professor Paul Wells, Animation Academy, Loughborough University

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