Animation as a form of representation. Animal . Animate. Inanimate. Intimate.

Cartoon animation, clay animation, computer generated animation... . Trace an enormously popular form of entertainment, the animated image. There are so many types of animated images from various places showing a limited variety of faces.

How is the animated image so popular? What makes a show like The Simpsons a popular one? Or South Park or Mighty Morphin Power Rangers ?

In a book entitled Film Art the authors David Bordwell and Kristin Thompson distinguish between so called live-action filmaking, and what animators do.

... Animators create a series of images by shooting one frame at a time. Between the exposure of each frame, the animator changes the subject being photographed.

To suggest that we like animation because of the supposedly constant and absolute control the animator has over any subject is quite interesting. To what degree the animator can direct an image, subject the subject to whim, or frame an image's conceptualization of what is seen, technology/graphics blur a distinction between what is cartoon and what is film.

Movies like Heavy Traffic by Ralph Bakshi or Who Framed Roger Rabbit? by Robert Zemeckis are complex in that they use all types of hybrid images - live-action, computer generated, animated. At what kinds of representative angles? Is there an imitation of life, an imitation of a live footage camera's movements and techniques, or do animated flicks stand apart of any visually representable thing?