Animation Studies 2.0 is committed to promoting the work of animation scholars. In this section, you will find the upcoming calls for book reviews, as well as published book reviews.

Upcoming reviews:

  • Animated Film and Disability (2022) by Slava Greenberg – expected in July 2024
  • The Flesh of Animation: Bodily Sensations in Film and Digital Media (2024) by Sandra Annett – expected in July 2024
  • Politically Animated: Non-fiction Animation from the Hispanic World (2023) by Jennifer Nagtegaal – expected in September 2024
  • Anime’s Knowledge Cultures: Geek, Otaku, Zhai (2024) by Jinying Li – expected in September 2024
  • Cartoon Vision (2019) by Dan Bashara – expected in the Fall 2024

We are currently inviting book reviews for:

  • Animation (2019) edited by Scott Curtis
  • Image Objects An Archaeology of Computer Graphics (2021) by Jacob Gaboury
  • The Intersection of Animation, Video Games, and Music: Making Movement Sing (2023) edited by Lisa Scoggin and Dana Plank
  • Sylvain Chomet’s Distinctive Animation: From The Triplets of Belleville to The Illusionist (2024) by Maria Katsaridou

We welcome suggestions for books to review. Please contact co-editors Carmen Hannibal and Anastasiia Gushchina via blog@animationstudies.org with any questions or book recommendations.


Published reviews:

  • Review: Pulses of Abstraction: Episodes from a History of Animation (2020), Andrew R. Johnston
    In Pulses of Abstraction: Episodes from a History of Animation, Andrew R. Johnston contends that animation has been ‘pulsing in fits and starts with the creation, distribution and experimentation of new technologies’ (Johnston: 2024, p. 3). He sets out to…
  • Review: Figure and Force in Animation Aesthetics (2019), Ryan Pierson
    Writing about the way elements move in animation proves to be a formidable challenge for any book on the medium, but Ryan Pierson’s Figure and Force in Animation Aesthetics (2019) manages to explore philosophical theories related to change while providing…
  • Review: French Animation History (2011), by Richard Neupert
    French Animation History (2011) by Richard Neupert delivers an essential academic exploration of Francophone animated cinema, a topic of great interest according to Neupert, due to its artistic potential and worldwide influence since its origins. Across six chapters, the author…
  • Review: Coraline: A Closer Look at Studio LAIKA’s Stop-Motion Witchcraft (2021), ed. Mihaela Mihailova
    In the introduction of the recently published anthology Coraline: A Closer Look at Studio LAIKA’s Stop-Motion Witchcraft, editor Mihaela Mihailova writes, “Like witchcraft, puppet craft remains poorly understood and frequently branded as a relic of a bygone era — and…
  • Anime’s Identity Crisis: Closed Borders, Global Networks, and the Neoliberal Self
    Review of Stevie Suan. Anime’s Identity: Performativity and Form Beyond Japan. United States, University of Minnesota Press, 2021. Traditional scholarship on anime has left the identity of the media form as de facto Japanese, reducing a global industrial network into…
  • A Vibrant History, Bursting at the Seams
    Review of Jez Stewart, The Story of British Animation, London: British Film Institute, Bloomsbury, 2021. Jez Stewart’s role as a curator at the BFI National Archive positions him well as author of this detailed history of British animation. The book…
  • The Truth about “Animating Truth”
    Review of Nea Ehrlich, Animating Truth: Documentary and Visual Culture in the 21st Century, Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2021. For those of us who are interested in nonfictional animation, Nea Ehrlich’s new book is, to tell the truth, a proper…
  • Expanding into Unchartered Land: Arab Animation Production from the Thirties to Today
    Review of Omar Sayfo, Arab Animation: Images of Identity, Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2021. Probably the first extensive dedication to the subject, Arab Animation: Images of Identity is a major contribution to the diverse world of Arab and international animation…
  • Animating Atrocities: Bearing Witness in War Animation Films
    Review of Donna Kornhaber, Dream Sanctuary: War and the Animated Film. Chicago/London: University of Chicago Press, 2020. When one thinks about wartime animated films, propaganda film comes to most people’s mind. Indeed, since the 1990s, studies in animated propaganda developed…
  • Crafty Fingers and Imperfect Frames
    Review of Caroline Ruddell and Paul Ward (eds.). The Crafty Animator: Handmade, Craft-Based Animation and Cultural Value. Switzerland: Palgrave Macmillan, 2019. The Crafty Animator: Handmade, Craft-based Animation and Cultural Value is a coherent collection of essays centered around the production of…
  • Bursting the Bounds of Chinese Animation and Scholarship
    Review of Daisy Yan Du. Animated Encounters: Transnational Movements of Chinese Animation 1940s-1970s. University of Hawai’i Press, 2019. Daisy Yan Du’s excellent Animated Encounters: Transnational Movements of Chinese Animation 1940s-1970s is essential reading for anyone interested in Chinese or Japanese…
  • Changing Perspective(s) on Japanese Animation
    Review of Masao Yokota and Tze-yue G. Hu (eds.).  Japanese Animation: East Asian Perspectives. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 2013. This book was put together by a prominent clinical psychologist with a long experience in the psychological dimensions of animation…
  • Being Moved by Moving Images
    Review of Meike Uhrig (ed.). Emotion in Animated Films. New York/London: Routledge, 2018. Emotion in Animated Films explores the rich territory of emotions and their representation within animated films, particularly with a view on emotions as represented within computer animation. Books…
  • Between Myths
    Review of Kayla Rae Whitaker. The Animators. London: Random House Trade, 2017. Animation often draws on literature. Disney had his fairy tales and every good anime starts life as a manga. Inspiration travels in the other direction far less often.…
  • Animation Reinvented: Play and Nostalgia Meet Pop Art and Consumerism
    Almost 24 years ago, in November 1995, audiences flocked to the movie theater to see a new kind of animated film: one not drawn by hand, but created entirely within a computer. While some may have gone due to the…
  • Animating the Documentary
    Review of Nea Ehrlich and Jonathan Murray (eds.). Drawn from Life: Issues and Themes in Animated Documentary Cinema. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2019. This book project evolved from a collection of proceedings during a 2011 conference held at Edinburgh University…
  • The Early Work of Hayao Miyazaki
    Review of Raz Greenberg. Hayao Miyazaki: Exploring the Early Work of Japan’s Greatest Animator, New York/London: Bloomsbury, 2018. There are those who advocate history-less animation, curricula that focus on the teaching of techniques and technology. In his book, Hayao Miyazaki:…
  • 20 Years of Mononoke
    Review of Rayna Denison (ed.). Princess Mononoke: Understanding Studio Ghibli’s Monster Princess, New York/London: Bloomsbury, 2018. In March 2000, during a visit to the cinema, I chanced upon a mysterious poster design featuring a golden medallion embossed with the image of…
  • The Man Himself
    Review of Nichola Dobson. Norman McLaren: Between the Frames, New York/London: Bloomsbury, 2018.   McLaren’s film Neighbours (1952) changed the trajectory of my life. As a trainee art teacher on viewing the film with a group of schoolchildren (who were…
  • Thought Made Flesh
    Review of Deborah Levitt. The Animatic Apparatus. Winchester: Zero Books, 2018.   Animation is thought made flesh. It gives life, or at least the illusion of a life, to the world as we imagine it. It fabricates perceptions and, in…