Noel is Senior Lecturer in Film and Programme Leader for Film and Visual Culture at Liverpool Hope University.
Having received his PhD in Film from Newcastle University in 2010, Noel went on to teach at Newcastle University, Bangor University, and the University of Sunderland before his appointment at Liverpool Hope in 2016. He teaches at all levels on the BA Combined Honours Film and Visual Culture and BA Single Honours Film, TV, Radio and Media Production programmes.
Noel has published extensively on children's cinema, family films, and animation. He has published seven books (and numerous other publications) in these fields, including the multi-authored volume, The Oxford Handbook of Children's Film (Oxford University Press, 2022) and monograph, Contemporary Hollywood Animation: Style, Storytelling, Culture and Ideology Since the 1990s (Edinburgh University Press, 2021); his other books include (as author) The Children's Film: Genre, Nation and Narrative (Columbia University Press, 2017), British Children's Cinema: From The Thief of Bagdad to Wallace and Gromit (I.B. Tauris, 2016) and The Hollywood Family Film: A History, from Shirley Temple to Harry Potter (I.B. Tauris, 2012), and (as editor) Toy Story: How Pixar Reinvented the Animated Feature (Bloomsbury, 2018) and Family Films in Global Cinema: The World Beyond Disney (I.B. Tauris, 2015).
He has also published on fan cultures, genre theory, feel-good films, and screen comedy. He co-convened 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, and served as a jury member for the 2019 edition of the international children's film festival, Juniorfest. His research has been featured in international forums such as the Wall Street Journal and the Turkish national broadcaster, TRT. He is editor of the Children's Film and Television book series, published by Edinburgh University Press, and is a member of the editorial board for The Journal of Children in Popular Culture.
He would welcome enquiries from prospective research students in any of the above areas.
Hollywood and British cinema
Programme Leader for Film & Visual Culture
Level I/H Coordinator for Film & Visual Culture
School Research Committee / REF Coordinator for Film & Media Arts
School International and Global Hope Committee
Member of the Research & Inquiry Steering Group
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
Postgraduate Certificate in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, Liverpool Hope University, 2017
Brown, Noel (ed.). The Oxford Handbook of Children's Film (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2022).
Brown, Noel. Contemporary Hollywood Animation: Style, Storytelling, Culture and Ideology Since the 1990s (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2021).
- 'An invaluable guide for scholars of animation, children's literature, and media studies [...] The breadth of research and analysis demonstrated in Brown's book will enable it to be a permanent fixture in the growing archive for where animation and cultural studies intersect' (The Journal of Popular Film and Television)
- 'Masterfully combines textual, industrial, and cultural analyses [...] Anyone who is wanting to learn more about American animation since the 1990s cannot find any better book to serve as introduction' (The Lion and the Unicorn).
- 'Contemporary Hollywood Animation blends a nuanced history of American animated features with clear analysis of thematic patterns and how such patterns "recapitulate the values, beliefs, hopes and fears of the nation" [...] it will need to be included in all syllabi dealing with Disney, children's film, or any part of contemporary cinematic animation' (Children's Literature Association Quarterly).
- 'Richly informative [...] Written with clarity and insight, Contemporary Hollywood Animation is a welcome addition to the recent literature of animation film, media industry, and world culture' (The Journal of Popular Culture).
- '[A] stellar study' (Choice)
Brown, Noel, Susan Smith and Sam Summers (eds). Toy Story: How Pixar Reinvented the Animated Feature (New York: Bloomsbury, 2018).
- 'A rich mix of critical, theoretical and methodological approaches applied to an array of topics including computer-created imagery, Pixar's ascension to the top of the animation industry, the music and textures of the films, the screenwriting process and the role of toys both on and off screen' (Animation: An Interdisciplinary Journal)
- 'This volume, like its namesake, is destined to become a classic' (Amy M. Davis, University of Hull)
Brown, Noel. The Children's Film: Genre, Nation, and Narrative (New York: Columbia University Press, 2017).
- 'A rich contribution to the exciting field of children's media studies [...] that will no doubt inspire a good deal of work for years to come [...] reaffirms Noel Brown as the most productive, thoughtful, and illuminating scholar on children's film working today (The Lion and the Unicorn)
- 'A thorough introduction into analysis of the specific conventions and meanings of children's films' (Frames Cinema Journal)
- '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 excellent and diverse overview of children's and family films from around the world' (The 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)
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. 22-45.
Brown, Noel. '"Whenever They Catch You, They Will Kill You": Human-Animal Conflict in 1970s British Children's Cinema' in Catherine Lester (ed.), Watership Down: Perspectives On and Beyond Animated Violence (New York: Bloomsbury Academic, forthcoming 2023).
Brown, Noel. 'Children's Film and the Problematic Happy Ending' in Noel Brown (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Children's Film (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2022), pp. 145-66.
Brown, Noel. 'Coming to Terms with Children's Film' in Noel Brown (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Children's Film (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2022), pp. 1-34.
Brown, Noel (with Stephanie Donald), 'Children's Film Culture' in Dafna Lemish (ed.), The Routledge International Handbook of Children, Adolescents, and Media, 2nd edn. (New York: Routledge, 2022), pp. 93-100.
Brown, Noel. 'Change and Continuity in Contemporary Children's Cinema' in Casie Hermansson and Janet Zepernick (eds), The Palgrave Handbook of Children's Film and Television (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2019), pp. 225-44.
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, 2019), pp. 73-89.
Brown, Noel. 'Toy Story and the Hollywood Family Film' in Susan Smith, Noel Brown and Sam Summers (eds), Toy Story: How Pixar Reinvented the Animated Feature (New York: Bloomsbury Academic, 2018), pp. 21-38.
Brown, Noel. 'An Interview with Steve Segal' (Toy Story animator) in Susan Smith, Noel Brown and Sam Summers (eds), Toy Story: How Pixar Reinvented the Animated Feature (New York: Bloomsbury Academic, 2018), pp. 197-213.
Brown, Noel, Susan Smith and Sam Summers. 'Introduction' in Susan Smith, Noel Brown and Sam Summers (eds), Toy Story: How Pixar Reinvented the Animated Feature (New York: Bloomsbury Academic, 2018), pp. 1-6.
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.