Participation, Impact and Representation of Women in Film Animation

  • Cristina Manzano Universidad Complutense de Madrid
Keywords: Female Artists, Animation Films, Gender in Films, Animated Short Films


The presence of women in animation films implicates three related issues. First, the artistic one, which shows a group of influential female authors within animation, from pioneers to the most relevant modern artists. Though the first decades of the 20th century cast important names such as Lotte Reiniger or Faith Hubley, the presence of women in this artistic environment was a minority circumstance, made worse by the difficulties for financing and market competition. Secondly, and besides of this minority presence, it is most interesting the success and repercussion gained by their works through festivals, prizes and publications. Between the most respected authors nowadays we can mention Joanna Quinn, Joan Gratz, Erika Russell or Caroline Leaf, all of them artists who use commercial work to help them to continue with their more artistic pieces. In spite of all the efforts to keep their presence within animation film, we can point here the main difference with the presence of male authors in this industry. Being the cause the financing chances or the posibility of a shorter process, women take part more easily in short animation films than in full-length films. Lastly, our third approach deals with the election of gender issues for their film plots. Faith Hubley's W.O.W. (Women of the World), Petra Freeman's Jumping Joan or Regina Pessoa's Tragic Story with Happy Ending chose this commitment. The whole perspective is often joined to an institutional effort, as is the case of Women in Animation, a professional organization promoting women's roles in animation and individual expression.

Author Biography

Cristina Manzano, Universidad Complutense de Madrid
Doctora en Comunicación Audiovisual, he impartido clases durante catorce años en la universidad privada y pública, fundamentalmente en asignaturas tienen que ver con la Narrativa y el Cine. También soy artista e ilustradora y trabajo tanto con técnicas tradicionales como digitales. La mayor parte de mis trabajos de investigación están relacionados con el cine, la literatura y el arte. Aparte de varios artículos, he publicado dos libros: un estudio sobre las similitudes entre los trabajos de Lewis Carroll, James Barrie y Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (biografías, obras y adaptaciones cinematográficas), titulado El espejo, el aviador y el barco pirata y una investigación sobre las relaciones entre el cine y la literatura, La adaptación como metamorfosis.


Anima Mundi y Julius Wiedermann, eds. Animation Now! Colonia: Taschen, 2007.

Bendazzi, Giannalberto. Cartoons. 110 años de cine de animación. Madrid: Ocho y Medio, 2003.

Bendazzi, Giannalberto. Quirino Cristiani, The Untold Story of Argentina’s Pioneer’s Animator. http://

British Film Institute. John Halas and Joy Batchelor.

Center for Visual Music. Mary Ellen Bute.

Dally, Ann. Inventing Motherhood. The Consequences of an Ideal. London: Burnett, 1982.

De Miguel, Casilda; Elena Olabarri y Leire Ituarte. La identidad de género en la Imagen fílmica. Bilbao: Servicio Editorial de la Universidad del País Vasco, 2004.

Kaplan, Ann. Las mujeres y el cine. A ambos lados de la cámara. Madrid: Cátedra, 1998.

Kuhn Anette. Cine de mujeres. Feminismo y cine. Madrid: Cátedra, 1991.

Lingford, Ruth. Women ’ s Animation. British Film Insitute.

Moritz, William. Mary Ellen Bute. Seeing Sound.

National Film Board of Canada. Evelyn Lambart.

Orenstein, Catherine. Caperucita al desnudo. Barcelona: Ares y Mares, 2003.

PBS. Independent Spirits: The Faith and John Hubley Story. http://

Sonlleva, Rita, ed (1987). Dossier Lotte Reininger. Madrid: Dicrefilm, S.A.

Wells, Paul; Joanna Quinn y Les Mills. Dibujo para animación, Barcelona: Blume, 2010.

How to Cite
Manzano, C. (2012). Participation, Impact and Representation of Women in Film Animation. SOCIALreview. International Social Sciences Review / Revista Internacional De Ciencias Sociales, 1(2).