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Shadow of a Mouse: Performance, Belief, and World-Making in Animation


The Academy Film Scholars Lecture with Donald Crafton

In the ninth in a series of lectures spotlighting recipients of Academy Film Scholar grants, 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.

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 ┼ávankmajer 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.

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.

Event Information

Wednesday, October 23
6:30 p.m. Reception
7:30 p.m. Program
Linwood Dunn Theater
1313 Vine Street
Hollywood, CA 90028