Pixar and the Aesthetic Imagination: Animation, Storytelling, and Digital Cultureby Eric Herhuth University of California Press
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In Pixar and the Aesthetic Imagination, Eric Herhuth draws upon film theory, animation theory, and philosophy to examine modes of animation storytelling that address aesthetic experience within contexts of technological, environmental, and socio-cultural change. Since producing the first fully computer-animated feature film, Pixar Animation Studios has been a creative force in digital culture and popular entertainment.
But more specifically, its depictions of uncanny toys, technologically sublime worlds, fantastic characters, and sensorial intensities explore aesthetic experience and its relation to developments in global media, creative capitalism, and consumer culture. This investigation considers Pixar’s artificial worlds and transformational stories as opportunities for thinking through aesthetics as a contested domain committed to newness and innovation as well as criticism and pluralistic thought.
List of Illustrations Acknowledgments Introduction 1. Aesthetic Storytelling: A Tradition and Theory of Animated Film 2. The Uncanny Integrity of Digital Commodities (Toy Story) 3. From the Technological to the Postmodern Sublime (Monsters, Inc.) 4. The Exceptional Dialectic of the Fantastic and the Mundane (The Incredibles) 5. Disruptive Sensation and the Politics of the New (Ratatouille) Conclusion Notes Bibliography Index
Eric Herhuth received his Ph.D. in Media, Cinema, and Digital Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. His work has appeared in Cinema Journal, animation: an interdisciplinary journal, and the Quarterly Review of Film and Video.