Past Talks & More | Film/Video

Darius Gainer

Black Representation in the World of Animation
Followed by The Princess and the Frog (Ron Clements and John Musker, 2009)

Book Signing

An image of Darius Gainer's book over a yellow background next to a photo of Gainer

Hear from recent Ohio State grad Darius Gainer, who discusses his 2021 book Black Representation in the World of Animation, and stay for a free screening of a contemporary Disney gem.

Gainer, a Morrill Scholar who earned his BA in spring 2021, joins Director of Film/Video David Filipi to examine this subject and discuss his book, published in September by San Diego State University Press. The work surveys the often-problematic representation of Black bodies in animation—ranging from the earliest days of the medium through the Golden Age of Warner Bros. and Disney—and unlike much scholarship in the field, brings the conversation to the present day, including Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018) and Pixar’s Soul (2020). Gainer’s work also delves into animation for television, including Fat Albert, Josie and the Pussycats, Teen Titans, and The Boondocks, exploring how outside media such as comic books often serve as strong influences. (conversation approx. 45 minutes)

Come early before the talk for a book signing in the Wexner Center Store from 6 to 7 PM, and stick around for a free screening of the Oscar-nominated animated feature The Princess and the Frog starting at 8 PM. Disney’s spin on the Brothers Grimm folk tale “The Frog Prince” follows a waitress in Jazz Age New Orleans who dreams of owning her own restaurant. When she crosses paths with a prince turned into a frog, her attempt to turn him back with a kiss instead leads to her sharing his predicament. (97 mins., DCP)

"Darius’s book is absolutely important and crucial because he's going back and he's reconstructing histories…that have both liberated and straitjacketed the experience and identities of Black folks."
Frederick Luis Aldama
Photo of the author Darius Gainer

Darius Gainer, image courtesy of the author.

Image from Disney's The Princess and the Frog featuring the princess holding and kissing the frog in front of the starry night sky

The Princess and the Frog, image courtesy of Walt Disney Studios.

Image of Black Representation in the World of Animation book cover over a yellow background

Black Representation in the World of Animation, image courtesy of Amatl Comix. 

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Past Talks & More

Darius Gainer