Database for Animation Studies

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All Aboard The Polar Express: A ‘Playful’ Change of Address in the Computer-Generated Blockbuster

Following Tom Gunning’s assertion that each change in film history implies a change in its address to the spectator, this article closely analyses The Polar Express (Robert Zemeckis, 2004) in order to interrogate what kinds of changes are at stake for the contemporary spectator of the wholly computer-generated blockbuster. The article also considers the extent to which the immersive, video game-like visual aesthetic and mode of address present in The Polar Express strive to naturalize viewer relations with digital spaces and characters such as those inherent to both computer-generated films and the ‘invisible’ virtual realm of cyberspace. Finally, the article argues that The Polar Express functions as a compelling historical document of an era when cinema and video games have never been more intertwined in terms of aesthetics, character construction, and narrative, and raises compelling questions about whether video games have begun to exert the type of formative influence upon cinema that cinema previously exerted on video games.

  • Title (Japanese)
ポーラー・エクスプレス全員乗車――CGブロックバスターにおける語りかけ方の「楽しい」変化
  • Publish Date
2006
  • Authors
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  • Publication
Animation: An Interdisciplinary Journal
  • Publication Volume
1(2)
  • Publication Page Number
153-172
  • Publication’s Website
http://anm.sagepub.com/content/1/2/153.abstract
  • DOI
10.1177/1746847706065840
  • Keywords
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