Spectator Engagement with Live Action and Animated Characters: Can We Sympathize with a Drawing?
Can we sympathize with a drawing? If so do we sympathize in the same way we do with live-action characters? How do we sympathize with characters at all? This paper will first explain the history of film theory and why character engagement is so important, and then point out the differences in the spectator’s engagement with live-action and animated characters.
This paper will use the systematic three-step approach to live-action character engagement devised by the British cognitive film theorist Murray Smith and apply it to three films: Psycho (1960, Alfred Hitchcock), Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937, David Hand), and Ghost in the Shell (1995, Mamoru Oshii).
This paper will conclude that there is a major difference in character engagement in animated characters and live-action characters and show that there are certain effects that are only achieved through animation films.