In Cartoon Vision Dan Bashara examines American animation alongside the modern design boom of the postwar era. Focusing especially on United Productions of America (UPA), a studio whose graphic, abstract style defined the postwar period, Bashara considers animation akin to a laboratory, exploring new models of vision and space alongside theorists and practitioners in other fields. The links—theoretical, historical, and aesthetic—between animators, architects, designers, artists, and filmmakers reveal a specific midcentury modernism that rigorously reimagined the senses. Cartoon Vision invokes the American Bauhaus legacy of László Moholy-Nagy and György Kepes and advocates for animation’s pivotal role in a utopian design project of retraining the public’s vision to better apprehend a rapidly changing modern world.
About the Author
Dan Bashara is an instructor of cinema and media studies at DePaul University.
"Cartoon Vision treats animation with all the seriousness it deserves, and in so doing captures a messier modernism that rightly brings avant-garde practice into contact with a more diverse field of popular taste." — Oxford Art Journal