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French Animation History is essential reading for anyone interested in the history of animation, illuminating the exceptional place France holds within that history.
Selected by Choice as an Outstanding Academic Title for 2011
The first book dedicated exclusively to this history
Explores how French animators have forged their own visual styles, narrative modes, and technological innovations to construct a distinct national style, while avoiding the cliches and conventions of Hollywood's commercial cartoons
Includes more than 80 color and black and white images from the most influential films, from early silent animation to the recent internationally renowned Persepolis
Essential reading for anyone interested in the study of French film
French Animation History is a richly informed and highly readable scholarly book that will appeal both to specialists in the field and to the curious interested in this popular, and often neglected, dimension of French filmmaking...Scholars of French film and cultural studies are encouraged to have Neupert s book added to their university library collection. (H–France Review Vol. 1, 1 February 2013)
"The book jacket proclaims this the first history of French animation; it is also rich, comprehensive, and absorbing. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Upper–division undergraduates through faculty and professionals." (Choice, 1 December 2011)
1 Introduction: The Rise of Animation in France 1
The Beginnings of Animation 4
Stop–Motion Animation Attractions 19
2 Silent Animation: Emile Cohl and his Artisanal Legacy 22
Emile Cohl, Caricature, and the Rise of Studio Animation 22
Emile Cohl at Pathe, Eclipse, and Eclair Studios 36
Graphic Art and the Cartoon: Lortac and O′Galop 45
But is it "Animation?" French Avant–Garde and Moving Pictures 54
3 French Animation and the Coming of Sound 60
Ladislas Starewich′s Fabled Puppets 61
Berthold Bartosch′s L′Idee: A Working–Class Allegory 73
Jean Painleve′s La Barbe bleue 78
Alexandre Alexeieff, Claire Parker, and the Pinscreen 82
Niche Cartoons: Lyrical Joie de vivre and the Surreal La Fortune enchantee 90
4 Toward an Alternative Studio Structure 99
Paul Grimault and the Artist–Owned Animation Studio 100
Transitional Animation: From High Art to Made–for–TV 107
Toward a New Era of Micro–Studios: Laguionie and Laloux 114
5 French Animation′s Renaissance 124
Le Cartoon Plan 124
Michel Ocelot′s Alternative Mode of Production 127
Comic Book Aesthetics and Niche Studios 139
Contemporary French Animation: 2006 and Beyond 149
6 Conclusion: French Animation Today 162
Further Reading 178
Richard Neupert is the Wheatley Professor of the Arts and a Josiah Meigs Distinguished Teaching Professor in Film Studies at the University of Georgia. His previous books include
A History of the French New Wave Cinema (2007) and
The End: Narration and Closure in the Cinema, as well as translations from French of
Aesthetics of Film (Aumont, et al) and
The French New Wave (Marie).
Animation began in France, and for over 100 years French animators have remained devoted to their own artistic and technical traditions. Today, France is the third largest producer of animation in the world, and French animation is truly a unique product of the country s rich cultural, economic, and technical background.
French Animation History is the first book dedicated exclusively to this vital element in the history of cinema, and reveals how French animators have forged their own visual styles, narrative modes, and technological innovations to construct a distinct national style, while avoiding the clichés and conventions of Hollywood s commercial cartoons. During the past decade, scores of important French animated films have been restored and released on DVD from archival prints, making many of the titles mentioned in the book available for classroom use for the first time. The book includes more than 80 color and black and white images from the most influential films, from early silent animation to the internationally renowned Persepolis.French Animation History is essential reading for anyone interested in the study of French animation, illuminating the exceptional place France holds within the history of world cinema.