Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Departmental Honors


Art and Design


This research will identify the components of visual narratives in 2D and 3D animated films and their relation to elements in literature and other earlier forms of storytelling. Over the course of 150 years animation has evolved from phenakistoscopes and flips books to full length feature films. Today, stories need not be grounded by realities in order to be told visually, as in theater. Specialized artists and programmers can create and modify every aspect of environments and characters in order to convey a story most effectively. However, the act of transforming an idea into computer data and later to a visual narrative that will move audiences is extremely complex and involves more psychology than one would expect of a cartoon. Animating artists must understand how the elements of art, particularly shape and color, draw out specific emotional responses from viewers; much like an author must know the precise adjective to guide their readers through their tale. By delving into the specifics of these elements, this research seeks to broaden the understanding and appreciation of visual narratives in animated film as a significant form of modern storytelling.



Faculty Mentor

Rachel Middleman

Departmental Honors Advisor

Rachel Middleman