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

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


n 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
Title of host publicationThe Uncanny and the Afterlife of the Gothic
EditorsManuela D'Amore
PublisherInterdisciplinary Discourses
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9781919613840
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 25 Oct 2021

Bibliographical note

Katherine O’Connor has taught animation for almost
twenty years at Teesside University and specialises in 2D and stopmotion
animation. Currently studying a practice based PhD, her
work explores the uncanny in relation to the animated form as well
as links between the Uncanny and Foucault’s Spaces of Otherness.


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