American Animation: The Annotated Bibliography

Annotated Bibliography

Amid. (2009). The LA Times on the Future of Animation Production. Cartoon Brew. Retrieved from

This article describes how the evolution of animated film has led to an incredibly technical and engaging process by utilizing social media and full computer-generated imagery. This article is utilized in my essay for the present portion because it speaks about the impact of social media on the animated film industry and how this singular process is now a collaboration among individuals around the world.

Bell, E., Haas, L., & Sells, L. (1995). From mouse to mermaid: The politics of film,             gender, and culture. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.

While critical of Disney, I also found that this book only proved that Disney films were a dominator in the animated film industry. While Bell goes into various theories about Disney films and how they taint audiences, I am utilizing this reference as a means to illustrate the way Disney combated a poor market to give a rebirth to what they called “Disney magic.”

Bray, Randolph & Hurd, Earl. (1988). The Key Animation Patents. Bloomington: Indiana University Press. Retrieved March 17, 2010 from  

This is simply the patent for cel-shaded animation produced by Randolph Bray. I used it because I felt it was important to show Bray’s intentions with the new technology.

Box Office Mojo. (2010). Avatar. Retrieved from

Avatar is a review of the current blockbuster that also includes statistics about the current financial status of the film. This article is quoted to emphasize the overall financial success of Avatar, the recent animated film that is considered to be revolutionary in the film industry.

Bynum, A. (2008). Disney-Pixar: The Future of Feature Animation. Animation Insider. Retrieved from

In this essay Bynum talks about the status of Disney Animation Studios and their future plans for the industry. Similarly, it also addresses the nostalgic nature of Disney and how the studio likes to develop films that are in ways a tribute to their initial success. Since this article discusses the return of cel-shaded animation it is used when I discuss the return of the traditional technique via last year’s release, The Princess and the Frog.

Christensen, C. (2004). Seeing What’s Next: Using the theories of innovation to predict industry change. Boston: Harvard Business School Printing.

Christensen’s book is an intriguing account of how his various theories of innovation apply to major media markets and their evolution over time. This is the basis for how I analyzed various trends in animated filmmaking as multiple theories and terms are utilized to describe why techniques for animated filmmaking were adopted or

Gerrold, D. (2010). Future Tense: A Brief History of 3D Film. MaximumPC. Retrieved from

While the title of this article makes it sound like it is based on 3-D evolution I think it is essential to my essay due to the fact that it talks about the disruption of TV in the animated filmmaking industry. Gerrold addresses the event of TV introduction as well as how animators responded, which fits perfect when addressing the need to innovate after this disruption.

Goldmark, D. (2005). Tunes for ‘toons: Music and the Hollywood cartoon. Berkeley: University of California Press.

Tunes for toons is a book about the way music was utilized in early animated films to emphasize the actions and expressions of each character. Goldmark touches on various corporations like MGM and Warner Bros., and explores the way different types of music from jazz to symphonies can have varying affects on their audiences. Since I plan to explore the history of symphony in animated film this will be a suitable fit.

Dirks, Tim. (1988). Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988). Retrieved on March 5, 2010 from

Tim Dirks gives an enthusiastic review of Who Framed Roger Rabbit in this film analysis. From the animation itself to what it means for the industry, Dirks covers more ground than you would typically see in a movie review. This is why it is used in my paper to describe the impact of integrating computer-generated imagery with real life video in a way that allows the two mediums to coexist on the big screen.

Ellison, E. Shrek: Special Edition. The DVD Archives. Retrieved from

This movie review of Shrek, one of the first full feature animated films, describes how the movie changed the industry and led to a new, innovative style of moviemaking. Overall the review is positive and enthusiastic about the potential of Shrek-related films to rise in the future. Shrek was pivotal in the animation industry and this article is used to express that notion by emphasizing the renowned awards it earned and the fact that after its release it was the top grossing animated film of all time.

Harrison M. & Stabile, C. (2003). Prime time animation: television animation and American culture. London: Routledge. Retrieved from Google Books at

This book talks about the various ways that animated films have popularized in prime time. From the Saturday morning cartoon to the evolution of adult targeted cartoons, this book covers it all when it comes to TV and animated film. This book is referenced when talking about the bimodal nature of adult targeted animation and how it opened up a new genre that allowed advertisers to hit multiple demographics at once.

Hayward, Susan. (2006). Cinema Studies: the key concepts. New York: Routledge.

While chronicling the complete history of filmmaking, I particularly focused on the portion of this book that addressed the earliest and very first versions of American animated film. This included the production of Humorous Phases of Funny Faces by Stuart Blackton.

Hiltzik, Michael & Pham, Alex. Synthetic Actors Guild. Retrieved on March 3, 2010 from

This website specifically focuses on the evolution of computer-generated imagery in terms of human recreation. It talks about films such as Final Fantasy and how the early computer generated humans were appealing, but were nothing compared to the latest work of Avatar. I utilized this work to discuss the evolution of human-like computer-generated creation.

Hurlburt, N. (2009). The best animated movies of the 21st century. MediaNews Group, Inc. and the New England Newspaper Group Inc. Publication by LexisNexis. Retrieved from

Hurlburt covers a wide range of animated films from the 21st century, including the famous features Wall-E, Toy Story, and other films that are fully computer-generated. Specifically, he talks about animation in terms of an art form and how the personification of characters has become more and more advanced over time. His work is referenced when talking about Wall-E and how the advanced technical nature of the film actually helped bring it back to the root principles of animation. The personification of characters is so detailed and accurate that in the beginning sequence of the film they didn’t even need to speak to immediately connect with the audience.

Lehman, C. P. (2007). American animated cartoons of the Vietnam era: A study of social commentary in films and television programs,1961-1973. Jefferson, N.C.:             McFarland. Retrieved from Google Books: animated cartoons of vietnam era&pg=PA4 – v=onepage&q=&f=false

Lehman’s work takes a detailed look into animated film during the post war and Vietnam era and how the economy had an effect on film innovation and storytelling. I chose to use this book because it talked about the drop in theater attendance during this time as a result of both a poor economy and the TV, which helps illustrate what happens when disruptions occur.

Mass Animation. (2010). Retrieved from

The Mass Animation Project is an ongoing project that involves animators from around the world and allows them to collaborate by creating individual scenes based off comic book characters. The essential pieces of the animation are provided by the Mass Animation committee, and distributed among established and aspiring animators through social media channels so that they can create scenes in accordance with storyboards. It is a perfect reference to further reiterate the effect the internet has had on the industry.

Mclean, T. (2010). Adult Swim to Dive into Primetime in 2011. Animation Magazine. Retrieved from

This article from Animation Magazine discusses the evolution of adult targeted animated film in terms of the Comedy Central Network and their late night sequence titled Adult Swim. It is mainly an announcement that the network has decided to move the sequence into Prime Time in order to reach higher audience volumes. It is utilized by emphasizing the success of adult animated film and how over time it has become widely accepted as a popular form of entertainment.

McLuhan, M. (1964). The Medium Is The Message in Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man. The New Media Reader. MIT Press. Edited by Wardip-Fruin, Noah & Moatfort, Nick. Retrieved from University of Washington Electronic Reserves.

McLuhan’s theory, The Medium is the Message, states that the medium has a direct effect on the way a message in interpreted. This theory is utilized multiple times in this essay to describe the unique nature of animated film technology.

Murph, D. (2008) All future DreamWorks Animation movies to be made in 3D. engadgetHD. Retrieved from

The announcement by DreamWorks that all future films are to be created in 3-D shows that the technology is not only sustainable in the 21st century, it is almost a requirement to remain ahead of the game (or in it). In this article Murph talks about how 3-D film adds a substantial fee to the production of animated filmmaking. It is referenced when talking about the present and future nature of animated film technology. 

Rausch, Andrew. (2004). Turning Points in Film History. New York: Kensington Publishing Corp.  Retrieved from Google Books.

Turning Points in Film History covers various film genres and how they impacted film as a medium. With interviews from historians and filmmakers each event is broken down into its simplest form in order to thoroughly analyze the impact of not only the way the film was produced but also how that production affected the culture of filmmaking. Specifics I will take from it include the analysis of Toy Story as the first computer animated film as well as Snow White as the first full length animated feature film. I specifically focused on the portion of this book that talked about computer generated animation. Rausch explored the development of Pixar studios and how Lassiter came to play a major role in the evolution of computer generated animated film. I utilized this book to illustrate the importance of Pixar in the industry.

Rich, K. 2009. Disney’s Hand-Drawn Animation Plans Don’t Exactly Scream Renaissance. Retrieved from

While seemingly skeptical this report of Disney animation techniques talks about the return of hand-drawn animation and how Disney promoted the return to 2-D last year as a tribute to classical animated filmmaking. This article is utilized when talking about the fact that Disney has always been know to pay tribute to their early works, even though these methods are still combined with new innovative techniques.

Rogers, Everett. (1995). The Innovation Decision Process. Diffusion of Innovations. Chp 5 pp. New York: The Free Press. Retrieved March 17, 2010 from Google Books:

Rogers’ book looks at multiple theories of innovation, why innovations are adopted, and how these various theories apply to the media markets, especially telecommunications. I utilized this book because it provided explanation for why certain innovations were adopted and others weren’t in the evolution of animated film.

Petit, M. (2010). Avatar and the Future of Digital Entertainment Creation. Animation World Network. Retrieved from

This review of Avatar glorifies the animated film and the way the technology has re-shaped the industry. It addresses Cameron’s own techniques along with the evolution of others that collaborated to create this revolutionary work. It is utilized to further illustrate the impact of innovation on the industry.

Ryan, Amy. (2 February 1996). Toy Story: To Infinity and Beyond. Retrieved on March 10 2010 from

This review of the first computer generated animated film reports the unique nature of the “new” 3-D style at this time and how it changed the market. Specifically, Ryan addresses the fact that this realistic new imagery was an innovation that actually required more work than previous modes. It is utilized in my paper to illustrate the fact that computer generated filmmaking is complex, but worth the work.

Simpson, Wade. (16 September 2009). The Original Disney 3-D. Mouse Planet. Retrieved on March 2 2010 from

Simpson’s paper on 3-D animated delivery (stereo 3-D) talks about the future of animated filmmaking and how 3-D technology will revolutionize the way we view animated films from this day forward. He specifically addresses that fact that the original 3-D was actually made in the 1950s which is the information used in my paper to explain that it was simply not economically feasible to pursue the technology further at the time.

Steyn, M. (2004). Cinema: Shrek 2. Spectator London Weekly. 295 (9178), 46-47.

Shrek 2 takes an evaluative look at the film which was known as the top grossing animated film of all time in 2004. While providing a critique of the film this article will also be important because Shrek was one of the first animated films that was catered to both children and adults, which is a crossover I intend to include in my paper. At a time when detailed 3-D animation was still new and intriguing this article puts you back in 2004 to the point when there was so much hype about this genre. 

Svetkey, B. (2010). The New Face of Movies. Entertainment Weekly. Iss. 1086, PP 26-32).

This article from Entertainment Weekly goes in depth chronicling the development of Avatar while also interviewing Director James Cameron himself answers questions about what he thinks Avatar means for the industry and how he created such an innovative film. Specifically, this article is utilized for the quote so that I can demonstrate Cameron’s intentions through his own words.

Von Riedemann, D. (2008). Are Animated Films Too Adult? Retrieved from

Riedemann talks about the fact that popular adult targeted animation, that is the animated films that are made for BOTH adults and youth are now leaning more toward targeting adults with racy humor that is often considered to be “too much” for young audiences. I liked this article because I could relate this evolving concern with the fact that contrary to popular belief adult targeted animation was merely

Williams, R. (2001). The Animator’s Survival Kit. Singapore: Faber and Faber Limited.

This book was not only an instructor’s manual for animated film it was also a personal account of the evolution of filmmaking from the eyes of Williams, the lead animator of Who Framed Roger Rabbit. In addition, it was useful because he gave insight on how the collaboration of animated film and traditional film opened up new possibilities for special effects and collaboration throughout the industry. I used this book because it was more than a review, or research paper, it was derived from personal experience in the industry.

Winter Magic Pass- Niagara Falls, ON. (2010). Vacations Made Retrieved from

This website describes the current ride or themed entertainment offered at Niagra Falls. I thought the ride itself was intriguing in that it brought real life elements to a 360 degree film. I think this is the future of animated filmmaking.

Wood, G. (2009). The genius shaping the future of movies. The Observer. Retrieved from

Wood talks about the future of animated film and the nature of the 3-D film. Particularly focusing on the next step in 3-D development Wood uses this article to announce that Disney plans to re-release all of their classical films in 3-D format, which is the information I used it for as well.

  1. Ashit Dixit says:

    I never knew how much stuff there was online about this!
    Thanks for making this easy to get the picture

  2. Lauren says:

    What was your essay question that you found your sources for?

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