Convenor:  Eve Benhamou (University of Bristol), Malcolm Cook (University of Southampton)


Animation has until recently been a lacuna within film studies as a discipline, commonly excluded from a canon dominated by narrative Hollywood and world cinema. Yet the present ‘digital turn’ has brought a revised perspective, as animated qualities have come to define new media. Animation is now critical to the mainstream cinema industry, while film theorists including Suzanne Buchan, Alan Cholodenko, Andre Gaudreault, Tom Gunning, Lev Manovich, David Rodowick, and Vivian Sobchack have each in their own way situated animation as pivotal to understanding cinema, both historically and in the present day. There is now a growing community of researchers investigating animation in diverse ways. This special interest group represents and supports all researchers working on related topics, including those undertaking practice-based research. It also seeks to forge links with other related groups, both within BAFTSS (considering, for instance, the importance of connections between animation and documentary) as well as other organisations such as the Society for Animation Studies and the SCMS Animated Media SIG.

Members of this SIG have recently published or are about to publish major work in the following areas of animation studies:

  • Experimental animation (Bowen, Mollaghan)
  • Digital special effects (Wood)
  • Virtual reality (Thomas)
  • Motion capture (Kamm, Thomas)
  • Animation softwares (Wood)
  • Early British animation (Cook)
  • Irish animation (Barrett)
  • Chinese animation (Chen)
  • Anime (Ruddell)
  • Russian and Soviet animation (Beumers)
  • Disney animation (Lester, Pallant)
  • Pixar animation (Haswell, Summers)
  • Genre and animation (Benhamou, Lester)
  • Music and animation (Mollaghan)
  • Modernism and animation (Chen)
  • Anthropomorphism (Bliss)
  • Animated landscapes (Cook, Pallant)
  • Lotte Reiniger (Petter)