Rango, Ethics and Animation

Cubitt, Sean. 2017. Rango, Ethics and Animation. Animation: An interdisciplinary journal, 12(3), pp. 306-317. ISSN 1746-8477 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

The first task is to describe if not define ethics: in the film context a quality of the unique instance (where politics might instead be about the consequences for all or for a majority or a group). Documentary for example has a duty to the unique events and subjects it pictures. The question then might be phrased: what is unique in animation? This suggests some distinctions. Simulations based on large data sets do not address the unique and particular and therefore should be considered in this frame as political. Hand-drawn and handmade stop-motion animation might be read as unique expressions of gesture and require a distinct ethical approach. The more mediated forms of CGI animation do not so much sit between these poles as establish a third: how to distinguish ethical from political obligations of animation. No promise of a solution, but tactics for posing the question.

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Identification Number (DOI):



animation, CGI, ecology, ethics, material production, Rango, vector graphics, water

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Media, Communications and Cultural Studies


10 September 2017Accepted
1 November 2017Published
29 November 2017Published Online

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

19 Sep 2017 16:03

Last Modified:

12 Jan 2018 14:21

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.



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