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Noel Brown

Dr Noel Brown

Media and Communication
0151 291 3218
Arts and Humanities

I received my PhD in Film from Newcastle University in 2010 and went on to teach at Newcastle University, Bangor University, and the University of Sunderland before my appointment at Liverpool Hope, where I am the Subject Leader for Film and Visual Culture. I teach at all levels on the BA 'Media and Communication' and 'Film and Visual Culture' programmes as well as the department's 'Film, Media and Society' MA. My primary research interests are in British and Hollywood cinema history, particularly in relation to ‘youth culture’ and its relationship with mass audiences.

I am the author/editor of six books (and numerous other publications) on aspects of children's films, family films and animation, and I have also published on fan cultures, genre theory, and screen comedy. I was co-organiser of the Toy Story at 20 conference, held jointly at the University of Sunderland and the Tyneside Cinema, Newcastle, in November 2015, and the Theorising the Popular conference, held at Liverpool Hope University in June 2016.

In addition to a planned conference on the Beatles in film to mark the 50th anniversary of Yellow Submarine in summer 2018, I am currently working on two large projects: a study on the family audience in relation to twenty-first century British cinema, and an historical investigation into children's propaganda film.


PhD in Film, Newcastle University, 2010.

MA (with Distinction) in Film and English Literature, Newcastle University, 2007

BA (1st Class) in English Literature, Newcastle University, 2006

PGCertTLHE, Liverpool Hope University, 2017


Brown, Noel. Contemporary Hollywood Animation (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, forthcoming 2019).

Brown, Noel, Susan Smith and Sam Summers (eds). Toy Story: How Pixar Reinvented the Animated Feature (New York: Bloomsbury, 2018).

Brown, Noel. The Children's Film: Genre, Nation, and Narrative (New York: Columbia University Press, 2017).

Brown, Noel. British Children's Cinema: From The Thief of Bagdad to Wallace and Gromit (London: I.B. Tauris, 2016).

  • 'Brown makes a strong case for children's cinema being one of the very few significant areas [of British cinema] to remain unjustly neglected. He has already established his credentials as perhaps the foremost chronicler of international children's cinema. [...] Here he addresses the winding, bumpy story of the British children's film with meticulous scholarship and thoughtful insight' (Journal of British Cinema and Television)
  • 'An exhaustive work [...] The 320-page narrative is a significant addition to an already burgeoning body of literature on cinema and culture, and in particular adds a jewel to the crown of the Cinema and Society series' (Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television)
  • 'Well researched, accessibly written [...] a valuable text for those interested in children's film, literature, and culture' (Children's Literature Association Quarterly)
  • 'An interesting and comprehensive monograph and a valuable addition to the Cinema and Society series' (International Research in Children's Literature)
  • 'Brown provides valuable discussion of the social, cultural, economic, and ideological significance of the films [...] and his textual and genre analysis shines' (Choice)
  • 'An exemplary piece of social film history by a scholar at the top of his game' (James Chapman, Professor of Film Studies, University of Leicester)

Brown, Noel and Bruce Babington (eds). Family Films in Global Cinema: The World Beyond Disney (London: I.B. Tauris, 2015).

  • 'An excellent and diverse overview of children's and family films from around the world' (Journal of Popular Film and Television)
  • 'A hugely recommended read' (Cinema Retro)
  • 'A fascinating and illuminating book which covers an extraordinary historical and global range (Cary Bazalgette, former Head of Media Education, British Film Institute)

Brown, Noel. The Hollywood Family Film: A History, from Shirley Temple to Harry Potter (London: I.B. Tauris, 2012).

  • 'Thorough, perceptive... [Written] with energy and skill' (Times Literary Supplement)
  • 'An excellent one-stop history of Hollywood's vision of the American family' (Choice)
  • 'Careful, scholarly, groundbreaking research [which] fills an important gap in film history and scholarship' (Screening the Past)
  • 'A convincing and precious book for scholars in film history, film economics, audience studies and text analysis' (Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television)

Refereed Articles

Brown, Noel. ‘"Vaguely Disreputable": Ray Harryhausen and the "Kidult" Film’, Messengers from the Stars: On Science Fiction and Fantasy (2), 2017.

Brown, Noel. ‘Individualism and National Identity in Disney’s Early British Films’, The Journal of Popular Film and Television, vol. 43 (4), 2015, pp. 188–200.

Brown, Noel. ‘The Feel-Good Film: A Case Study in Contemporary Genre Classification’, Quarterly Review of Film and Video, vol. 32 (3), 2015, pp. 269–86.

Brown, Noel. ‘"The Apostle of Family Films": Robert B. Radnitz, Children’s Cinema and Anti-Disney Discourse in the 1960s and 1970s’, Red Feather Journal: An International Journal of Children’s Visual Culture, vol. 4 (2), 2013, pp. 1–20.

Brown, Noel. ‘"A New Movie-Going Public": 1930s Hollywood and the Emergence of the "Family" Film’, The Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television, vol. 33 (1), 2013, pp. 1–23.

Brown, Noel. ‘"Family" Entertainment and Contemporary Hollywood Cinema’, Scope: an Online Journal of Film and Television Studies (25), 2013.

Brown, Noel. ‘The "Family" Film, and the Tensions between Popular and Academic Interpretations of Genre’, Trespassing Journal: an Online Journal of Trespassing Art, Science and Philosophy [Special Issue: ‘Trespassing Genre’] (2), 2013, pp. 22–35.

Book Chapters

Brown, Noel. ‘Toy Story and the Hollywood Family Film’ in Noel Brown, Susan Smith and Sam Summers (eds), Toy Story (New York: Bloomsbury Academic, 2018), pp. 21-38.

Brown, Noel. ‘An Interview with Steve Segal’ (Toy Story animator) in Noel Brown, Susan Smith and Sam Summers (eds), Toy Story (New York: Bloomsbury Academic, 2018), pp. 197-213.

Brown, Noel, Susan Smith and Sam Summers. ‘Introduction’ in Noel Brown, Susan Smith and Sam Summers (eds), Toy Story (New York: Bloomsbury Academic, 2018), pp. 1-6.

Brown, Noel. ‘"That Corner of the Disney Studios that is Forever England": Disney’s Vision of the British Family’ in Amy M. Davis (ed.), Discussing Disney (Hampshire: John Libbey, 2018), forthcoming.

Brown, Noel. ‘Spielberg and the Kidult’ in Adrian Schober and Debbie Olson (eds), The Child in the Films of Steven Spielberg (New York: Lexington Books, 2016), pp. 19–44.

Brown, Noel. ‘A Brief History of Indian Children’s Cinema’ in Noel Brown and Bruce Babington (eds), Family Films in Global Cinema: The World Beyond Disney (London and New York: I. B. Tauris, 2015), pp. 186–204.

Brown, Noel. ‘The Railway Children and Other Stories: Lionel Jeffries and British Family Films in the 1970s’ in Noel Brown and Bruce Babington (eds), Family Films in Global Cinema: The World Beyond Disney (London and New York: I.B. Tauris, 2015), pp. 120–36.

Brown, Noel and Bruce Babington. ‘Introduction: Children’s Films and Family Films’ in Noel Brown and Bruce Babington (eds), Family Films in Global Cinema: The World Beyond Disney (London and New York: I.B. Tauris, 2015), pp. 1–16.

Brown, Noel. ‘Asterix and Obelix vs. Hollywood: A Pan-European Entertainment Franchise for the "Family" Audience’ in Karin Beeler and Stan Beeler (eds), Children’s Film in the Digital Age: Essays on Audience, Adaptation and Consumer Culture (Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland, 2015), pp. 49–61.

Brown, Noel. ‘Alfred Hitchcock’s Missing Children: Genre, Auteurship and Audience Address’ in Debbie Olson (ed), Children in the Films of Alfred Hitchcock (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014), pp. 11–30.

Brown, Noel. ‘"How Much Do You Love Me?": The Child’s Obligation to the Adult in 1930s Hollywood Cinema’ in Gillian Arrighi and Victor Emeljanow (eds), Entertaining Children: the Participation of Youth in the Entertainment Industry (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014), pp. 93–110.

Brown, Noel. ‘Sherlock Holmes in the 22nd Century: Rebranding Holmes for a Child Audience’ in Tom Ue and Jonathan Cranfield (eds), Fan Phenomena: Sherlock Holmes (Bristol: Intellect Books, 2014), pp. 90–99.

Brown, Noel. '"Something Woolly and Fuzzy": The Representation of Religion in the Big Finish Doctor Who Audio Adventures' in James McGrath and Andrew Crome (eds), Time and Relative Dimensions in Faith: Religion & Doctor Who (London: Darton, Longman and Todd, 2013), pp. 248-66.


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