/Friday 4th September 2015, Kings College London, Strand Campus//
//Deadline for abstracts: Friday 29th May 2015/


/Confirmed keynote speakers/: Professor Paul Wells (Loughborough
University), Dr James Walters (University of Birmingham)


The American Film Institute defines the Hollywood fantasy film as „a
genre where live-action characters inhabit imagined settings and/or
experience situations that transcend the rules of the natural world“.
Despite this broad definition, it would seem that animation occupies an
unavoidable position in the development of fantasy cinema, whether it be
through the enduring popularity of Disneys fairy tale adaptations such
as Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937) or Cinderella (1952), or else
in the ubiquitous use of digital animation across contemporary
franchises such as The Chronicles of Narnia (2005-10) or The Hobbit
(2012-14). Animation has continued to play an important role in defining
our collective expectations and experiences of fantasy cinema, just as
fantasy has often served as an inspiration throughout the rich legacy of
popular animation.


This conference seeks to interrogate the interrelationship and
intersection between animation and fantasy. Analysing the fluency and
connection between these two terms, this event aims to examine some
common debates that underpin the scholarship of these dual fields of
research. Are „fantasy“ and „animation“ genres in their own right, or
are they instead impulses found across a variety of cinematic forms and
modes? Does animation lend itself to fantasy given its specific
properties or vice versa, and what does this then tell us about the
fundamental nature of these two mediums or medias? This conference will
address such questions in order to illuminate two fields of research
which, despite their distinctness, have significant possibilities for


Potential speakers are free to take either topic of „fantasy“ or
„animation“ as their dominant concern. However, proposals are especially
welcome that seek to place the two concepts in dialogue with one
another. Suggested topics may include, but are by no means limited to:


– Animation theory and its potential application to fantasy cinema
– Scholarship on fantasy (cinema, television, literature) and its
inclusion/exclusion of animation
– Specific case studies of fantasy and/or animated films and television
– Historical perspectives on individual studios, producers and directors
in different national/transnational contexts (Walt Disney, Studio
Ghibli, Ray Harryhausen, Ralph Bakshi)
– Proto-animation and cinema?s early pioneers (Eadweard Muybridge,
Georges Méliès, Winsor McCay)
– Questions of realism, indexicality and ontology in relation to fantasy
and/or animation
– Issues of genre, theory and classification in relation to animation
and/or fantasy
– Psychological/psychoanalytic/philosophical perspectives on
„fantasy/phantasy“ (Freud, Lacan, Deleuze, Merleau-Ponty)
– Fantasy/animation and their mutual associations with childishness and
– Live-action/animation hybrids and questions of mixed media
– „Un-orthodox“ forms of animation (puppetry, stop-motion, experimental,
– Sub-genres of literary fantasy (High Fantasy, Fairy tales, Magical
Realism) and ideas of adaptation


*Please send an abstract (max. 300 words) detailing your proposal for a
20 minute paper, and a brief biographical note, to the following
address: Pre-constituted panel
submissions will also be considered.*


Conference organisers: Dr Christopher Holliday (King?s College London)
and Alexander Sergeant (King?s College London)