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In this much-needed study of a neglected medium, Paul Wells undertakes aconvincing defence of the animated film as a significant art form, explaining, why animation has been consigned to the margins of film history and criticism, and offering a variety of strategies for inrtpreting and evaluating animated film. Part history, part theory, part celebration, Understanding Animation explores approaches to animation through an electric range of case studies from Betty Boop's Snow White , to Jan Svankmajer's Jabberwocky . Opening with the discussion of the early history of animation through experimental figures like Emile Reynaud and J. Stuat Blavkton, Wells moves on to discuss narrative strategies; the idea of realism and Disney-esque hyper-realism, the construction of comedy; representations of gender and race, and animation and audience research. Understanding Animation provides a range of points of access into this undervalued medium, and demostrates that the animated film has much to tell us about ourselves, the cultures we live in and our view of art and our society.