Intertextuality and the Break from Realism in DreamWorks Animation

Summers, Sam (2018) Intertextuality and the Break from Realism in DreamWorks Animation. Doctoral thesis, University of Sunderland.

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This thesis contextualises and historicises the contribution of DreamWorks Animation to the dominant aesthetic of contemporary American feature animation from the early 2000s to the present day. Specifically, it aims to justify the claim that mainstream feature animation has shifted away from hyperrealism and towards a form of ‘narrative-cartoonalism’ predicated on non-visual departures from realism. The thesis introduces this term to counteract the focus on the visual in conceptions of animated realism, and aims to identify the extent to which the DreamWorks studio played a key role in this shift, particularly through its use of intertextuality. Tracing the history of intertextuality in animation from the 1920s to the present day, the thesis looks to establish DreamWorks’ position within this lineage by closely examining the studio’s use of star performances, contemporary music, generic pastiche and allusive comedic gags in its features, and discussing the various diegetic contradictions that result. Ultimately, I intend for this thesis to contribute a crucial approach to understanding one of the key studios working during a hugely significant period of western feature animation, not only illuminating the output of Dreamworks but of this period as a whole. Culturally important yet critically neglected, research into the aesthetics of this modern era is essential to the progression of animation studies.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: Media > Cinema and Film
Divisions: Faculty of Arts and Creative Industries
Depositing User: Barry Hall
Date Deposited: 25 Apr 2018 07:59
Last Modified: 25 Apr 2018 07:59

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