Transmedia and Remediation within Animation


Scene from The Animatrix

Transmedia storytelling is a topic that within the last couple of years reached surface, originally taught and presented by Henry Jenkins.

Essentially, it stands to describe how a comic, book, film, video game, the story therein can be converged with multiple mediums, engaging a broader audience to piece together one, large, multi-platform method of storytelling.


A good example which was mentioned in his book is The Matrix (1999). Within the trilogy, and without going into too much detail, many story elements are split across the movies, the video games, and spin-off films like Animatrix (2003).


Soldier 76 from Overwatch Animated Shorts

Overwatch (2016) is a recent first-person shooter video game. The game emphasises team coordination, with an array of characters to choose from, each with different abilities. However, it lacks a storyline. One way they market their game is via transmedia introduction to their playable characters, maps and the plot itself.

They do this via comic books, animated shorts and in-game items, each telling a different portion of the same shared universe.



Batman from Batman Animated Series

Transmedia is different than Remediation. Animation has been often used as a method of remediating storytelling. For example, in Japan, a good example of a Manga’s (Japanese comic book) success is often through its television serialisation into an anime. Much like Batman’s animated Series, to Spiderman’s, they all started as comic books, later being remediated to another platform, the television.

But Transmedia storytelling is more than converting one use of a platform to another. It is combining the use of both platforms to create one story.

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