In 2013, Annabelle Honess Roe published Animated Documentary, a pioneering study that argues that animation is a perfectly acceptable medium for documentary and thus by no means a medium only suitable for humor and fantasy, or primarily aimed at children. Honess Roe shows that animation can achieve things that live-action documentary cannot achieve, or cannot achieve so well. Specifically, she points out, animations can provide realistic or imaginative visuals for events and persons, objects, and events of which no recordings exist (e.g. prehistoric dinosaurs, unfilmed atrocities); and they can visualize subjective moods, states and mental afflictions (e.g. memories, dreams and traumas).

Nea Ehrlich’s Animating Truth: Documentary and Visual Culture in the 21st Century builds on Honess Roe’s ideas. Ehrlich focuses on two topics: the use of animation in games and data visualizations; and, like Honess Roe, its use in documentary films.

I will first address Ehrlich’s discussions of animation’s role...

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