Subjective Perspective as Creative Metaphor in the Animated Film

Carmen Hannibal


There is within Animation Studies, both in practice and theory, no doubt about the effectiveness in which animation can communicate and visualise abstract and invisible phenomena (Wells 1998). Especially when it comes to engaging the viewer with the matter of the mind, internal worlds and conscious experiences that do not have a visual equivalent, animation seems to pick up on visual metaphor as a tool to purposely communicate these subjective experiences to a wider audience (Honess Roe 2013). The term ‘(visual) metaphors’ is often used in a careless manner to describe how animation makes visible phenomena tangible “in terms of another” (Lakoff & Johnson 1980, p. 5) assuming that the viewer intuitively knows how animation and metaphors as a whole express complex and abstract thoughts and experiences in an (often) coherent narrative. This paper will not make such assumptions and will for that reason critically look at two case studies in order to demonstrate how metaphors in animation can work in the continuum of spoken conventional metaphor onto creative multimodal metaphors, firstly by presenting Latvian filmmaker Signe Baumane's mixed media feature film Rocks in My Pockets (2014) and secondly American animation director Chris Landreth’s computer-generated short film Ryan (2004), not in order to give a comprehensive analysis on the matter, but to explore creative animated metaphors as a complex entity for both animation and metaphor researchers.

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Copyright (c) 2017 Carmen Hannibal

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ISSN 2567-9309

mediaesthetics – Journal of Poetics of Audiovisual Images

Cinepoetics – Center for Advanced Film Studies