Our weekly podcast recommendation? This time, we’re looking at Fantasy/Animation, a show that mixes interesting chat with an educational edge.

The medium of podcasting is often used as pure entertainment. On a long walk or drive, it’s enjoyable to listen to people wax lyrical about a particular genre or movie you have a vested interest in. If we learn something along the way, it’s a bonus.

Then there are podcasts that seamlessly blend entertainment and education, where both are of an exceptional high quality. Fantasy/Animation is one such podcast.

The name might give away the topics they cover, but Fantasy/Animation offers something a little different from most. Creators and hosts Dr. Alexander Sergeant and Dr. Christopher Holliday are experts in fantasy cinema, and animation and VFX respectively and co-founded Fantasy/Animation to provide accessible academic analysis of the relationship between fantasy storytelling and the medium of animation.

Alex and Chris are often joined by an expert special guest, usually a professional in the field of fantasy or animation. The show prides itself on being the podcasting world’s number one authority on all things sculptured, painted, drawn and designed within the world of popular entertainment. 

This podcast delivers on its promise in spades. Not only is it well produced, the sheer level of expertise on offer is unrivalled. You’d be forgiven for thinking they had previous podcast experience, but Alex and Chris just slide into the position of co-hosts with ease. Fantasy/Animation is unique as a podcast in that it’s not just a hobby for Alex and Chris. As university professors, this is their career. If you were ever interested in studying film and media at university, this podcast would be a great place to start. Not only that, they actively encourage further discussion on their website, as well as accepting written analysis or editorials. 

The great thing about Fantasy/Animation is that not only is the material engaging, it’s also accessible. You feel like you’re learning, but never feel out of your depth as a layperson. It really does speak to the quality of this podcast, and the whole Fantasy/Animation project as a whole. Even Peppa Pig is deserving of close academic analysis and it’s a delightful insight into what, at first glance, is a basic children’s animation but ends up as a comparison to the modernist expressionism of Henri Matisse.

Fantasy/Animation brings academics, listeners and professional artists together in an engrossing, beneficial and enticing way. Listening to this podcast may very well make you smarter…

Recommended episode: Episode 20 – Peppa Pig with Richard Dyer – (6 May 2019) – https://bit.ly/fananimpeppa 

Fantasy/Animation can be found at https://www.fantasy-animation.org/ 

And followed at:

Twitter – https://twitter.com/fananimresearch 

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/fananimresearch 

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/fananimresearch/ 

All available episodes of Fantasy/Animation can be downloaded from Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts from.

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