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Palgrave Macmillan

British Television Animation 1997-2010

Drawing Comic Tradition

ISBN 9781137330932
Publication Date August 2014
Formats Hardcover Ebook (EPUB) Ebook (PDF) 
Publisher Palgrave Macmillan

British Television Animation 1997-2010 charts a moment in TV history when UK comic animation graduated from the margins as part of a post-Simpsons broadcast landscape. Millennial shows like Monkey Dust, Bob and Margaret, I am Not an Animal, Modern Toss and Stressed Eric, among many others, not only reflected the changing times but they also ushered in an era of ambition and belief in the potential of British adult animation. Van Norris traces the evolution of television animation and discusses a raft of innovative works that not only raised the profile of British animation but, at the same time, made a valuable but under-assessed contribution to the UK TV comedy landscape at the turn of the century. This is the story of a neglected history, the retrieval of a crucial stage in the development of mainstream animation and a story of missed opportunities, artistic compromises and shifts in attitudes within Millennial Britain.

Van Norris has been Senior Lecturer in Film, Media and Animation Studies at the School of Creative Art Film and Media, University of Portsmouth, UK, since 2003. Alongside his teaching in undergraduate and postgraduate studies in animation, comedy forms and graphic narrative forms, he has presented his research internationally and has published a range of well-regarded articles on animation and comedy, American science-fiction television and mainstream franchise cinema.

1. From here to there: First, Second and Third Wave Animation
2. A Quotation of Normality - The Family Myth
3. 'C'mon Mum Monday Night is Jihad Night' - Race and Nostalgia
4. 'Unpack That…' - Animating the Male
5. Sacred Territory - Faith, Satire and the Third Wave
Conclusion: It'll Never Be as Good Again


'Norris charts how everything from music hall traditions to the cartoons of Bob Clampett fed into millennial UK animation, but his main concern is how series such as Monkey Dust fit into the wider British satirical landscape. Throughout the book Norris alternates between fascination with the workings of specific series and frustration with the shortcomings of the third wave as a whole.' - Neil Emmett, Cartoon Brew
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