Article By Jonathan Rozenkrantz. “Colourful Claims: towards a theory of animated documentary.” – Kadesha_RESEARCH PAPER

“How ‘true’, then, is animation? Here, too, scholars seem to differ. Paul Wells, a central point of reference in the discourse of animated documentary claims that ‘the very subjectivity involved in producing animation […] means that any aspiration towards suggesting reality in animation becomes difficult to execute. For example, the intention to create “documentary” in animation is inhibited by the fact that the medium cannot be objective.’ At its best, animation can show a documentary tendency, by mimicking the conventions of live-action documentary film and engaging with social reality (Wells 1998: 27-28).”

“Wells thus rejects animation’s documentary potential on the grounds of its lacking objectivity, but the more ‘defensive’ discourse questions the idea(l) of objectivity itself. Journalist Beige Luciano-Adams, for instance, triumphantly proclaims that ‘the myth of objectivity has long been shattered. […] Witnessing is a complex act, and the cults of vérité and direct cinema often overestimate anchors of their own lasting, authoritative prowess’ (Luciano-Adams 2009: 22). Perhaps he is right as far as general documentary theory is concerned, but with Wells remaining an authority in animation studies, this ‘myth’ might not yet constitute a closed chapter in the book of animated documentary.”

Animated Documentaries – Debate referring to Paul Ward’s work. – Kadesha_RESEARCHPAPER

“To document differently”: random thoughts on a taxonomy of animated documentary.

By Paul Ward

“Within the term “animated documentary” we can see tendencies and nuances: a sense that it potentially covers a huge and slippery area where anything perceived to be “animated” meets anything that might be perceived to be “documentary”. Thus: documentaries that are completely animated; live action documentary films that contain animated scenes; animated films that have some sort of documentary tone or intention, but may be addressing related (and complex) areas such as memory, trauma, personal identity . . . all could fall under this elastic term – though we might then more properly come up with different but related terms such as “documentary animation” or “documentary with animation”, or even neologisms such as “documation” or “animdocs”.”

“In Jonathan Rosenkrantz’s article Colourful Claims: towards a theory of animated documentary. At one point, Rosenkrantz states:

“The real issue is the existential difference between the photograph and the drawing, where the former requires and gives evidence of its referent while the latter doesn’t. This doesn’t mean that the potential of animated documentary should be denied. It merely means that drawings document differently.” “

Animating with Facts: The Performative Process of Documentary Animation in the ten mark (2010) – Journal by Paul Ward


“This article examines how animated films re-present and re-interpret real world occurrences,
people and places, focusing on an area that has been overlooked to date: the process of performance
and how this manifests itself in animated documentary films.”