Innovative Technology and Organic Aesthetics in Disney-Pixar's Digital Animation

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


The purpose of this paper is to investigate the recent emergence of 2D animation techniques within the computer generated works of Pixar Animation Studios, in order to engage with recent developments in digital animation and challenge current views of the medium as ‘unnatural and cold’ (Power, 2009, 117). While Montgomery argues that the technology pioneered by Pixar has ‘displaced hand-drawn traditions in mainstream American animation’ (2011, 8), we are now witnessing Pixar’s experimentation with textures that are ‘imperfect and manmade’ (Casarosa, 2011), demonstrating a shift away from its sleek contemporary style. My paper will analyse Pixar’s Day & Night (Newton, 2010) and La Luna (Casarosa, 2011) and Disney’s Paperman (Kahrs, 2012) and Get a Horse! (MacMullan, 2013), to understand how the amalgamation of Disney and Pixar, and the blending of advanced CG technology with “traditional” 2D methods demonstrates an inventiveness and creativity that has so far been absent from mainstream digital animation.



Audio Commentary: The Director. La Luna. Narr. Enrico Casarosa. Dir.Enrico Casarosa. 2011. Pixar Short FilmsCollection: Volume 2 DVD. Disney/Pixar. 2012.


Montgomery, Colleen. ‘Woody’sRoundup and Wall-E’s Wunderkammer: Technophilia and Nostalgia in Pixar Animation’.Animation Studies. 6. 7-13. 2011.


Power, Pat. ‘AnimatedExpressions: Expressive Style in 3D Computer Graphic Narrative Animation’. Animation. 4.2. 2009. 107-129.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2014
EventNECS 2014: Creative Energies | Creative Industries - Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Milan, Italy
Duration: 19 Jun 201424 Jun 2014


ConferenceNECS 2014: Creative Energies | Creative Industries


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