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Technique and aesthetic: the illusion of life in Pinocchio, from Walt Disney pictures

Grant number: 16/09388-0
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): August 01, 2016
Effective date (End): July 31, 2018
Field of knowledge:Humanities - History
Principal researcher:Yanet Aguilera Viruez Franklin de Matos
Grantee:Luís Fernando Beloto Cabral
Home Institution: Escola de Filosofia, Letras e Ciências Humanas (EFLCH). Universidade Federal de São Paulo (UNIFESP). Campus Guarulhos. Guarulhos , SP, Brazil


This undergraduate research project has as its main object the animated feature film Pinocchio, released in 1940 and produced by Walt Disney Pictures, directed by Hamilton Luske and Ben Sharpsteen. The film was chosen for a first analysis of the animated film particularly developed by the famous studio headed by Walt Disney (1901-1966). Produced in a period of exciting creative fertility - the so-called Classical Age of Disney Studios - Pinocchio is still considered a major reference in the history of animated film, alongside other anthological films of the time as the Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937), Fantasia (1940), Dumbo (1941) and Bambi (1942). First, the research will be to attend a technical understanding: the principles, formulas and targets that guide the creation and development of the cartoon. Although any filmmaking paute in a picture production, animated film have an overproduction of this picture, since almost all the elements seen on the screen owe their existence and manifestation to the intermediate of the human hand. The animated film deserves to be equally valued in relation to the called live-action cinema, but both their specific invoice as by the usual particularity of its audience, this film has its own dynamic that should be carefully considered. Therefore, the research also will read The Illusion of Life, a book published in 1981 by veteran animators of Walt Disney Pictures, Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston. Starting from a very personal account and geared primarily to young leaders, the book introduces the development process of short and feature animated film, plus the story of how this process has been enhanced over the years. Such as Pinocchio, the book is still considered a reference to all students and young animation filmmakers. Finally, combining the understanding of technique with film analysis, the project aim an interpretation of the aesthetic derived from this specific cinematography. The so-called "Disney animation" culminated in the development of a unique style of cartoon, which is an undeniable reference to the animated film from the first short films in the mid-20s until the ultimate feature films in the late 30s and early 40s - regardless of all the criticism and objections directed to the studio later. Therefore, the research atem up to the understanding and analysis of this language, and thinking about it the research even will seek references both in the history of design and engraving as in film history (particularly through a brief study of aspects such as vaudeville cinema and german expressionism). Being one of the most striking releases of the time, Pinocchio will present a very wide material for a first study of this language. (AU)

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