Capítulo II _ Cinema - Cinema

Modern narrative structure in animated short films: a tool to increase suspense

Elahe Saberi
University of Tehran, Iran


Classical narrative structure introduces specific principles and features to keep the audience engaged with the film. Modern, nonlinear narrative structures, however, provide their own techniques and tools in this sense. They can be utilized in animated short films to develop anticipation and suspense. The majority of animated short films are still focusing on classical narrative principles which only allows chronological order of time and sequence of events. Yet, a considerable potential of applying various nonlinear structures can be addressed when it comes to modern storytelling in animation. Consequently, filmmakers are able to increase suspense by solely adopting such variations. This paper discusses nonlinear narrative structures in five animated short films, “If anything happens I love you” (2021), “Alma” (2009), “Skhizein” (2008), “The house of small cubes” (2008) and “Maestro” (2005), and the way they suggest increased suspense by deviating from classical narrative principles. The present paper explains such potential by relying on David Bordwell theories, where he put an emphasis on important aspects of nonlinear narratives such as time, order, duration and frequency in particular. This paper argues that not only applying nonlinear structures are viable in the context of animated short films, different variations can be utilized as a powerful, innovative and beneficial tool in order to grab and hold the audience’s attention without having to concentrate on an excessively complicated timeline in the story.

Palavras-chave Nonlinear structure, Animated short film,, Character development, Time distortion, David Bordwell.
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Este trabalho encontra-se publicado com a Licença Internacional Creative Commons Atribuição 4.0.

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