Framing the Moon Baby: The Haunting Reality of the Animated Form

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In February 2019, a tabloid press headline captured a general reaction to Andrew Davenport’s new animated television series ‘Moon and Me’ as, “’Haunting’ new CBeebies show Moon and Me is giving parents nightmares” (The Sun, 2019). Wells describes animation as having the “ready capacity to facilitate ‘the uncanny’ by effacing the imagined and the real” (Wells, 1998). Animators are creating the ‘illusion of life’ from something inanimate, dead in a sense already. Whilst Mulvey describes film as holding within it the index of the Uncanny through its relationship with a hidden death between each frame (Mulvey, 2008). Animation further alters and inverts this relationship with the material of film, therefore magnifying this relationship with the Uncanny. Further to this, Crawte describes stop-motion animation as being “imbued with the spark of the …semblance of life,… [whilst it] simultaneously embodies the spectre of inertia, lifelessness and death” (Crawte, 2017). That is, the ‘spectre’ of death that hides within the animated form and brings us to a place of intellectual uncertainty. ‘Moon and Me’ exposes ‘in the raw’ this hidden death. It brings to the fore animation’s uncanny and unusual relationship with time, the effacement of the Real, a decentering of the Self and the unheimlich mirror of the screen. Through an analysis focusing mainly on the juxtaposition of techniques employed in ‘Moon and Me’, this paper will explore how animation reveals the uncanny, the devilish doppelgänger reflected back to us not only through the screen but the metaphysical nature of animation itself.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 15 Aug 2020
EventThe Uncanny in Language, Literature and Culture - London Centre for Interdisciplinary Research, london, United Kingdom
Duration: 15 Aug 202018 Aug 2020


ConferenceThe Uncanny in Language, Literature and Culture
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


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