Kirsten Moana Thompson is Professor of Film and Director of Film Programme at Seattle University. Previously, she was Professor of Film Studies and Director of the Film Programme at Victoria University, in Wellington, New Zealand, as well as (and previously) Associate Professor and Director of the Film Program at Wayne State University in Detroit. She teaches and writes on animation and colour studies, as well as classical Hollywood cinema, German, New Zealand and Pacific studies. She is the author of Apocalyptic Dread: American Cinema at the Turn of the Millennium (SUNY Press, 2007); Crime Films: Investigating the Scene (Wallflower: 2007), and co-editor with Terri Ginsberg of Perspectives on German Cinema (GK Hall: NY, 1996). She is currently working on a new book on Colour, Visual Culture and Animation.

Abstract: Disney Animation and the Wonderful World of Colour

Disneys Animationskunst und die Wundervolle Welt der Farben

Kleine und große Filmfreunde lieben Walt Disney vor allem als Erfinder von klugen Mäusen und geizigen Enten oder aber durch herzergreifende Märchenfilme wie Schneewittchen oder Tiergeschichten wie Bambi. Vielen ist nicht bekannt, dass Walt Disney zu den treibenden Kräften bei der Entwicklung des us-amerikanischen Technicolor-Verfahrens zählte, das bis heute als bestes Farbfilmverfahren aller Zeiten gehandelt wird. Die Oppulenz und Brillianz der Technicolor-Farben inspirierten den Meister des vergnüglichen Trickfilms aber auch formal-ästhetisch zu Experimenten im Kino, aber auch auf der Bühne seiner Vergnügungsparks.

From the multiplane camera to animatronics, Disney has been always been a technological innovator but less is known about Disney's important developments in colour technology, from the Technicolour Silly Symphonies to his farsighted shift to colour television in the early sixties and the studio’s more recent innovations in theme park colour entertainment from The Fantasmic show to the Paint the Night Parade. This keynote will focus on "The Wonderful World of Colour" a nighttime entertainment spectacle that combines water, fire, laser light and colour with animation from Disney films that are projected on ephemeral water and mist screens created by hundreds of choreographed fountains. The show’s innovations in theatrical exhibition hybridise older entertainment forms with digital-controlled light and colour design and immersive effects, blending tourism, the amusement park and cinematic projection. I will examine the relationship between the transparent, translucent and opaque in the show’s ephemeral misty surfaces and related new media forms to ask: how might we understand colour animation not just as a technological medium but something which enlivens and transforms our world?