The 22nd Annual Society for Animation Studies Conference

Van Norris

In the City: Animating 21st Century Britain
(preconstituted panel: ‘Urbanimation’: representations of the city in animation)

In the po
st-The Office afterglow public-service channel BBC3 saw comedy as part of the "consistently innovative and risk-taking programming" specified in their remit. The show embodied a tone which played into criticisms that the channel was pandering to an increasingly populist agenda. It also played into concerns about imagined community and maintained a narrative that actualises comedy's relationship with society which extends all the way back to Henri Bergson. This paper will frame this embrace of animation/comedy against institutional concerns and assess Monkey Dust as being emblematic of this wave of early 21st century UK mainstream TV animation.

Biographical statement:
Van Norris teaches in the School of Creative Arts, Film and Media at the University of Portsmouth, UK. His research interests include: American and British graphic narrative form; Classical and Post-Classical Hollywood Animation and British Cinema and Television Animation, British and American comedy form, sitcom and stand up comedy. He is currently completing his PhD on British television animation. Van has presented his research at numerous conferences including the Society for Animation Studies, the Popular Culture Association and the University of Salford’s Comedy Matters conference. He has published in animation: an interdisciplinary journal and Animation Studies, as well as anthologies on television science fiction, animation and cinematic surrealism. Van is an Editorial Board member for Animation Studies.