University of Technology Sydney

89201 Animation Genres Seminar

Warning: The information on this page is indicative. The subject outline for a particular session, location and mode of offering is the authoritative source of all information about the subject for that offering. Required texts, recommended texts and references in particular are likely to change. Students will be provided with a subject outline once they enrol in the subject.

Subject handbook information prior to 2024 is available in the Archives.

UTS: Design, Architecture and Building: Design
Credit points: 6 cp

Subject level:


Result type: Grade and marks

There are course requisites for this subject. See access conditions.


This subject consists of a series of weekly lectures, screenings and seminars and the occasional master class and aims to increase the student's knowledge of the history and theory of animation with a particular emphasis on the study of genre. A range of animation genres is examined. These include, but are not restricted to, animation production techniques such as trick films, puppet animation, claymation, cut-outs, pixillation, rotoscoping, model and toy animation, scratched and drawn animation, digital animation and cartoon animation. In addition to the study of techniques of production, this subject also analyses various animation styles and formats, including cartoon animation, Anime, television animation, animated title graphics and motion graphics, art animation, abstract and experimental animation, animated music video and animated film musicals, animation special effects in live-action films, animation in advertising and on the Internet, animation for mobile phone displays and computer games including hand-held game sets, Web animation, applications in architecture and design such as virtual space and buildings, children's animation and kids TV animation. Other aspects of genre studies include issues such as self-reflective animation, cute and hyper realistic styles, animation as visual communication in instructional, informational and propaganda environments, aspects of artifice, art and ideology, entertainment, fantasy, fairy tale and myth, as well as a study of centres of production such as European, North American and Asian animation.

Subject learning objectives (SLOs)

On successful completion of this subject, students should be able to:

1. Demonstrate an understanding of animation history, theory, culture and aesthetics.
2. Develop a knowledge of animation in the context of the work of various auteurs, studios, centres and industry practices, and applications of animation including cinema, television, motion graphics, music video, Internet, information technology and non-entertainment environments such as architecture and communication, and computer games and computer graphics.
3. Have undertaken significant independent research and study of the stylistic and production contexts of animation.
4. Be able to competently discuss and present ideas and information about animation genres and genre studies as it pertains to animation styles.
5. Enhance their critical thinking and conceptual skills in animation as well as their knowledge of animation culture and the industry.

Course intended learning outcomes (CILOs)

This subject also contributes to the following Course Intended Learning Outcomes:

  • Attitudes and values (A.0)
  • Communication and groupwork (C.0)
  • Innovation and creativity (I.0)
  • Practical and professional (P.0)
  • Research and critique (R.0)

Teaching and learning strategies

The teaching and learning strategy incorporates lectures, and workshops focussed on discussing and presenting research models of animation theory practice and the design methodology of creative and reflective problem solving continues to underpin the learning experience. Self-selected peer learning groups and learning partnerships are encouraged in conjunction with lectures and tutorial delivery.

Content (topics)

The subject is largely organised around the screening and discussing aspects of animation genres, covering the following topics:

· reading, viewing and researching strategies;

· the North American cartoon genre;

· Anime genre;

· clay/toy/model/stop motion techniques animation;

· television animation and Limited style animation;

· rotoscoping and motion capture style animation;

· drawn, cut-out, collage, graphic style animation;

· animated music video;

· abstract and avant-garde animation;

· non-entertainment animation application

· computer game animation.


Assessment task 1: Genre Presentation (including topic and methodology)


This task addresses the following subject learning objectives:

1, 2 and 3

This task also addresses the following course intended learning outcomes that are linked with a code to indicate one of the five CAPRI graduate attribute categories (e.g. C.1, A.3, P.4, etc.):

C.0 and R.0

Weight: 10%

Assessment task 2: Animation Genre Proposal


This task addresses the following subject learning objectives:

1, 2, 3, 4 and 5

This task also addresses the following course intended learning outcomes that are linked with a code to indicate one of the five CAPRI graduate attribute categories (e.g. C.1, A.3, P.4, etc.):

C.0, I.0, P.0 and R.0

Weight: 50%

Assessment task 3: Animation Genre Response – creative application of researched genre to storyboard / visual script form


This task addresses the following subject learning objectives:

1, 2 and 3

This task also addresses the following course intended learning outcomes that are linked with a code to indicate one of the five CAPRI graduate attribute categories (e.g. C.1, A.3, P.4, etc.):

A.0, C.0, I.0, P.0 and R.0

Weight: 40%

Required texts

Required reading

Beck, Jerry. (ed.) Animation Art: From Pencil to Pixel, the History of Cartoon, Anime & CGI, The Five Mile Press, Rowville, Victoria, 2004. (On Closed Reserve 741.58 BECK)

Bendazzi, Giannalberto. Cartoons: One Hundred Years Of Cinema Animation, Indiana University Press,

Bloomington and Indianapolis, 1994. (On Closed Reserve 791.433 BEND)

Klein, Norman M. 7 Minutes: The Life And Death Of The American Animated Cartoon, Verso, London and New York, 1993. (On Closed Reserve 791.433 KLEI)

Napier, Susan J. Anime from Akira to Howl’s Moving Castle: Experiencing Contemporary Japanese Animation,

Palgrave, New York, 2005. (On Closed Reserve 791.4334 NAPI)

These essential texts can be accessed through closed reserve in the library.



Adamson, Joe. Bugs Bunny: Fifty Years Old And Only One Grey Hare, Henry Holt & Co., 1991.

Adamson, Joe. Tex Avery: King Of Cartoons, Da Capo Press, New York, 1975.

Cabarga, Leslie. The Fleischer Story, Da Capo Press, New York, 1988.

Canemaker, John. Felix: The Twisted Tale Of The World's Most Famous Cat, Pantheon, New York, 1991.

Cholodenko, Alan. (ed.). The Illusion Of Life: Essays on Animation, Power Publications, Sydney, 1991.

Crafton, Donald. Before Mickey: The Animated Film 1898-1928, MIT Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts and London, England, 1984.

Crafton, Donald. Emile Cohl, Caricature And Film, Princeton University Press, Princeton, New Jersey, 1990.

Halas, John. Masters Of Animation, BBC Books, London, 1987.

Leslie, Esther. Hollywood Flatlands: Animation, Critical Theory And The Avant-Garde, Verso, London and New York, 2002.

Maltin, Leonard (Rev. Ed.) Of Mice And Magic: A History Of American Animated Cartoons, New American Library, New York and Scarborough, Ontario, 1987.

Peary, Danny and Gerald Peary. (eds.) The American Animated Cartoon: A Critical Anthology, E.P. Dutton, New York, 1980.

Pilling, Jayne. (ed.) A Reader in Animation Studies, John Libbey, Sydney, 1997.

Russett, Robert and Cecile Starr. Experimental Animation: Origins Of A New Art, (Rev. ed.), Da Capo Press, London and New York, 1988.

Sennett, Ted. The Art Of Hanna-Barbera: Fifty Years of Creativity, Viking Studio, 1989.

Smoodin, Eric. Animating Culture: Hollywood Cartoons From The Sound Era, Rutgers University Press, New Brunswick, New Jersey, 1993.

Thomas, Frank and Ollie Johnston, Disney Animation: The Illusion Of Life, Abbeville Press, New York, 1981.

Wells, Paul. Understanding Animation, Routledge, London and New York, 1998.

Online Resources

UTS Library has a subscription to:

Animation: an interdisciplinary journal [electronic resource], London ; Thousand Oaks, CA : Sage Publications, [2006]-

Animation World Network is a useful online resource that is updated daily. Although largely focused on developments and events in the animation industry in North America it includes occasional references to animation related news items in Asia and Europe. It also lists resources, career opportunities and various discussion forums. This site can be found at: