The 22nd Annual Society for Animation Studies Conference

Freida Riggs

The Lifeworld of Wall-E: A New Generation
(preconstituted panel: At Death’s Insistence: Theorising Animation and Death)

Abstract: Birth and death – crucial components of the social – are all turned upside down in Wall-E. An examination of this film through Edmund Husserl’s phenomenology, especially his characterisation of generativity and ‘lifeworld’ with their focus on life and death – generation – will demonstrate clearly how the medium of animation is best suited to grasp the poignancy of a character locked in a dead world, the tenderness of the love between binoculars on a box and an egg, the degradation of humanity when free will is denied it and the optimism of the rebirth of our planet.

Biographical statement: I took my PhD at the University of Sydney in 2002. My thesis, entitled ‘The Community of Film’, investigated the analysis of live action film and animation through the phenomenology of Edmund Husserl. My essay, ‘The Infinite Quest: Husserl, Bakshi, the Rotoscope and the Ring’, is published in The Illusion of Life 2: More Essays on Animation, ed. Alan Cholodenko, 2007. The paper I propose for this conference is an extension of this work.