Database for Animation Studies


Puppet Animation Films and Gesture Aesthetics

Gestures are meaningful acts of being. All gesture speaks of the formation of posture, and by this posture we can even comprehend the culture that is bound and produced in the action of gesture. This article examines the aesthetics of gesture found in puppet animation. Puppets are rich in their textured and sculptural forms and yet they have limited, wooden-like performance. However, it is their limitations – unlike smooth computer-generated imagery (CGI) or 2D animated drawings – which make every nuance in their performances exceptionally important and instructive in understanding the character’s motivation. Three short animation films – Jiří Trnka’s The Hand (1965), Kihachirō Kawamoto’s The Demon (1972) and Suzie Templeton’s Dog (2001) – are chosen as the case studies in this article. The authors elaborate on the way gestures are communicated through poses, shots and framings to then construct and discuss categories of gesture.

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Animation: An Interdisciplinary Journal
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