71 terms

History of Animation

What are the four basic principles of Persistence of Vision Theory
1) The viewer's vision must be restricted (i.e. a projector's shutter)
2) The eye blurs many images together into one image if they are presented in quick succession
3) A certain minimum speed of presentation is required to produce this blurring effect
4) A large quantity of light is essential to create a convincing continuous image
Who came up with the Persistence of Vision theory?
Peter Mark Roget
What is the Persistence of Vision simplified?
Who created the Thaumotrope? What is it?
John A Paris
A thaumatrope is a toy that was popular in the 19th century. A disk with a picture on each side is attached to two pieces of string. When the strings are twirled quickly between the fingers the two pictures appear to blend into one due to the persistence of vision.
Who created the Phenakistiscope? What is it?
Joseph Plateau
The phenakistoscope (also spelled phenakistiscope or phenakitiscope) was an early animation device that used the Persistence of vision principle to create an illusion of motion.
Who created the Praxinoscope? What is it?
Emile Reynauld
The praxinoscope was an animation device, the successor to the zoetrope. It was invented in France in 1877 by Charles-Émile Reynaud. Like the zoetrope, it used a strip of pictures placed around the inner surface of a spinning cylinder.
Who created the Theatre Optique? What is it?
Emile Reynaud
The Théâtre Optique was a moving picture show presented by Charles-Émile Reynaud in 1892. It was the first presentation of projected moving images to an audience, predating Auguste and Louis Lumière's first public performance by three years.
What was Edward Muybridge's process?
• A row of cameras triggered by tripwires stretched across racetrack
• Captured all stages of a gallop
• Use of multiple cameras satisfied his disbelievers
• Significant technical improvements
o Faster shutter speed
o Mind boggling 1/2000th of a second!
What was a similar effect to Muybridge's process?
A very similar technique was recently created that ingeniously implemented Muybridge's series of cameras. The effect, dubbed "Bullet Time," gained widespread recognition and notoriety in "The Matrix."
What is the Kinetoscope? Mutoscope? How are they different?
The Kinetoscope is an early motion picture exhibition device. The Kinetoscope was designed for films to be viewed by one individual at a time through a peephole viewer window at the top of the device.

The Mutoscope was an early motion picture device, invented by Winsor McCay and later patented by Herman Casler on November 21, 1894. Like Thomas Edison's Kinetoscope, it did not project on a screen and provided viewing to only one person at a time.
Who was George Melies?
Méliès (8 December 1861 - 21 January 1938) was an especially prolific innovator in the use of special effects, popularizing such techniques as substitution splices, multiple exposures, time-lapse photography, dissolves, and hand-painted color. His films include A Trip to the Moon (1902) and The Impossible Voyage (1904), both involving strange, surreal journeys somewhat in the style of Jules Verne, and are considered among the most important early science fiction films, though their approach is closer to fantasy.
Who was one of the early pioneers of animation? He created "The Enchanted Drawing"
John Stuart Blackton
What was the first animated cartoon? What year and who created it?
In 1906, Blackton created what many have labeled as the first animated cartoon
• "Humorous Phases Of Funny Faces"
• Chalk drawn images magically come to life using the same technique
• Blackton remained anonymous with only his hand coming into view
McCay Vs. Cohl
• Started his career in his 30's, already a successful ($$) comic strip artist
• No deadline pressure to finish cartoons...worked for months/years on films
• McCay was a "showman," flamboyant, a very public personality
• Cohl was "behind-the-scenes," only his hands appeared in his films
• McCay was the protagonist! Prominently displaying his name above each title
• Cohl abandoned his graphic style, creating a new streamlined one for all the drawings needed
• McCay had top billing...big ego (said he invented animation)
• McCay enjoyed showing how it was done (pre-Penn and Teller)
• Revival of his work in the late 1960's
Describe the animated cartoon in the Silent Era
The animated cartoon in the Silent era was treated like a comic strip

• Development of the art form was a slow process
• "Learn-as-you-go" experience
• Economic pressure to crank out animated short films during that time period left little time for experimentation
• The only reason it progressed as far as it did in these early days was due to early animators' passion and dedication to their work.
Look at their films for ref. Be able to site them when talking about them
Who is credited with the first animation studio? Name of it?
Raoul Barre
Barre is credited for starting the 1st animation studio!
Barre-Nolan Studio
Describe the first animation studio
• It was during this period that the two worked out a system for animating radically different than that practiced by anyone else at the time.
• Introduced the use of standard perforations (i.e. pegs) eliminating jerkiness
o Punched 2 holes at the bottom of each sheet of paper
o Placed upon stationary pegs glued to animation table
• Invented the Slash System
o Slash or cut paper leaving blank space for animation revealed underneath
o Eliminated need to draw BG and character every time
International Film Services
Was founded by which newspaper tycoon?
Why did he found it?
International Film Service (IFS) was an American animation studio created to exploit the popularity of the comic strips controlled by William Randolph Hearst.
Describe John Randolph Bray
John Randolph Bray
Laid down the foundations for modern animation and gave it direction
Successful New York cartoonist in mid 1900's
Went into cinema to emulate McCay
Viewed animation as a "for-profit" enterprise
Taylorized Cartoons
"Scientific Management"
• Controversial movement
• 1880's Frederick W. Taylor - management theory
• Promised to revolutionize Industry
• Take full advantage of technology and
• Elicit desire Of American worker to better his life
Which 3 patents made him a leader in the field, giving him a monopoly over others?
1) The use of printed BGs (1914)
2) The application of gray shades to drawings (1914)
3) Scenery painted on cels as overlays (1915)
Earl Hurd filed which patent in 1914?
Earl Hurd, an independent animator, filed a patent in 1914 that was not only alternative, but also ultimately more important than Bray's

• Drawings painted onto cels
• Use of multiple cel levels
• Photographed over painted BGs
• Most animated movies for the next 80 years would be created this way
What did Bray do to Hurd?
Bray saw the potential damage that Hurd's patent could cause to his business and patents, and did what any other shrewd businessman would do. He hired Hurd!
The Bray-Hurd Company did what?
The Bray-Hurd Patent Company (1915) formed selling licenses for patent techniques that expired in 1932. They still made a lot of money in that period of time!
Why was 'Colonel Heeza Liar in Africa' important to animation history?
1st commercial cartoon release
o Not part of stage act or one shot deal
o The beginning of a film series
o Turning point in animation history
Describe Sullivan and Messmer
Pat Sullivan and Otto Messmer
Cartoonist originally from Australia.
Worked for Barre, who taught him animation
Met Otto Messmer while photographing their films at Universal in New Jersey
Taught him techniques practiced at Barre's studio (pegs!!!)
Describe the birth of Felix
Paramount needed a cartoon to fill gaps left by Bray
Earl Hurd needed cartoons and asked Sullivan for help
Sullivan asked Messmer to do a cartoon in his spare time
Black cat being outwitted mice and female
"Feline Follies" - 1st Felix film (1919)
Felix named (by John King-Paramount head)
"Felicity" (good luck) "Feline" (cat)
Became a huge hit
Hired more animators to keep up
Was known for his pensive walk and useful (and expressive) tail
Lived in a cartoon version of reality
Called Charlie Chaplin of Cartoons
What is a rotoscope? How was it used?
Rotoscoping is an animation technique in which animators trace over footage, frame by frame, for use in live-action and animated films.

The technique was invented by Max Fleischer, who used it in his technologically groundbreaking Out of the Inkwell animated series, which debuted in 1918. The live-film reference for the series' main animated character, Koko the Clown, was provided by his brother (Dave Fleischer), who performed choreographed movements while dressed in a clown costume. Max Fleischer patented the rotoscope method in 1917.[3]
Who was Koko?
Koko the Clown was an animated character created by animation pioneer Max Fleischer.

The character originated when Max Fleischer invented the rotoscope, a device that allowed for animation to be more lifelike by tracing motion picture footage of human movement. To test out his new invention Fleischer photographed his brother Dave in a clown costume. After tracing the film footage amounting to some 2,500 drawings and a year's work, Koko the Clown was born.
Describe Car-tunes
• DeForest Phonofilm System
• Utilized optical track on film
• Song Car-Tunes re-released with early sound system in 1926
Describe 'My Old Kentucky Home (1926)'
My Old Kentucky Home (1926) is a short animation film originally released in June 1926, by Max and Dave Fleischer of Fleischer Studios as one of the Song Car-Tunes series. The series, between May 1924 and September 1926, eventually totaled 36 films, of which 19 were made with sound. This cartoon features the original lyrics of "My Old Kentucky Home" (1853) by Stephen Foster, and was recorded in the Lee DeForest Phonofilm sound-on-film system.
Describe Talkartoons (1929 - 1932)
Talkartoons is the name of a series of 42 animated cartoons produced by the Fleischer Studios and distributed by Paramount Pictures between 1929 and 1932.
For the Fleischer brothers, the transition to sound was relatively easy. With the new contract with Paramount Pictures, and without the burden of Red Seal Pictures and Alfred Weiss, Max Fleischer was free to experiment with new, bold ideas.

• "Noah's Lark" (1929) 1st Talkartoon released
• Fleischer's 1st all-sound animated film
• Continued KoKo cartoons as separate series
• Purchased rights to famous songs
• Decided to add dialogue after animation! (post-synching)
• A lot of ad-libbing
• Dialogue kept to a minimum
• Lip sync a low priority
Betty Boop
Production Code
Describe Popeye the Sailor
• Originated in Segar's Thimble Theater 1929 comic strip (w/Olive Oyl)
• Popeye was originally portrayed as a hard-hitting, gruff sailor
• Spinach only in 1 of 12 comics...not a predominant vehicle
• Introduced in the (July 14th) 1933 Betty Boop short "Popeye The Sailor"
o Animated by Willard Bowsky, Seymore Kneitel, Roland "Doc" Crandal
• Accounted for majority of production of Fleischer's work
Differences between 3D stereoscope (or turn table) and multiplane camera
Stereoscopy (also called stereoscopics) is a technique for creating or enhancing the illusion of depth in an image by means of stereopsis for binocular vision.
Most stereoscopic methods present two offset images separately to the left and right eye of the viewer. These two-dimensional images are then combined in the brain to give the perception of 3D depth.

The multiplane camera is a special motion picture camera used in the traditional animation process that moves a number of pieces of artwork past the camera at various speeds and at various distances from one another.
Describe Laugh-o-grams
Laugh-O-Gram Studio was a short-lived film studio
The studio played a role in the early years of animation: it was home to many of the pioneers of animation, brought there by Walt Disney, and is said to be the place to have provided Disney, but more importantly Ub Iwerks, with the inspiration to create Mickey Mouse. Laugh-O-Gram was the subject of two feature films As Dreamers Do and Walt Before Mickey.
Describe Alice Comedies
The "Alice Comedies" are a series of animated cartoons created by Walt Disney in the 1920s, in which a live action little girl named Alice (originally played by Virginia Davis) and an animated cat named Julius have adventures in an animated landscape.
Describe Oswald
Oswald the Lucky Rabbit (also known as Oswald the Rabbit or Oswald Rabbit) is an anthropomorphic rabbit and animated cartoon character created by Ub Iwerks and Walt Disney for funny animal films distributed by Universal Pictures in the 1920s and 1930s, serving as the Disney studio's first animated character to feature in their own series.
Describe Ub Iwerks
Ubbe Eert "Ub" Iwerks, A.S.C. (/ˈʌb ˈaɪwɜːrks/; March 24, 1901 - July 7, 1971) was an American animator, cartoonist, character designer, inventor, and special effects technician, who created Oswald the Lucky Rabbit and Mickey Mouse with Walt Disney. The works Iwerks produced alongside Disney went on to win numerous awards, including multiple Academy Awards.
How did Mintz screw Walt over?
In February 1928, when the character proved more successful than expected, Mintz hired away all of Disney's animators except Iwerks, who refused to leave Disney, and moved the production of the Oswald cartoons to his new Winkler Studio, along with Margaret Winkler's brother, George. After losing the Oswald contract to Walter Lantz, Mintz focused on the Krazy Kat series, which was the output of a Winkler-distributed property.
Mickey Mouse
Mickey first was seen in a single test screening (Plane Crazy). Mickey officially debuted in the short film Steamboat Willie (1928), one of the first sound cartoons. He went on to appear in over 130 films
Why was 'Steamboat Willie' so important?
Steamboat Willie is especially notable for being the first Disney cartoon with synchronized sound, including character sounds and a musical score. Disney understood from early on that synchronized sound was the future of film. It was the first cartoon to feature a fully post-produced soundtrack which distinguished it from earlier sound cartoons such as Inkwell Studios' Song Car-Tunes (1924-1927) and Van Beuren Studios' Dinner Time (1928). Steamboat Willie would become the most popular cartoon of its day.
Describe "Dinner Time" (1928)
• Even Paul Terry scooped Disney with 1st totally synchronized sound cartoon
o An "Aesop's Fables" (RKO/Van Beuren Studios)
o "Steamboat Willie" originally conceived as a silent cartoon
• Utilized RCA Photophone System
• Billed as characters enunciating in their natural voices
• Disney concerned about being scooped (still working on his film)
• Invited to a preview of "Dinner Time"
• Disney called it, "A lot of racket and not much else"
• Just orchestra playing and added some "noises"
• Talking didn't mean a thing or even match up
• In 1928, all "Aesop's Fables" and Oswald cartoons converted to sound
• Fleischer's were producing Song Car-Tunes and Screen Songs at the time
• Disney hired Pat Powers as an independent producer (thru Universal)
o Tried to take over De Forest Phonofilm System
o Contracted 2 engineers to develop Powers Cinephone
Virtually identical to DeForest Phonofilm
Describe Carl Stalling
Animation's 1st musical director
Describe Silly Symphonies
Silly Symphony is a series of 75 animated short films produced by Walt Disney Productions from 1929 to 1939. As their name implies, the Silly Symphonies were originally intended as whimsical accompaniments to pieces of music. As such, the films usually had independent continuity and did not feature continuing characters, unlike the Mickey Mouse shorts produced by Disney at the same time. (Exceptions to this include Three Little Pigs, The Tortoise and the Hare, and Three Orphan Kittens which all had sequels.) The series is notable for its innovation with Technicolor and the multiplane motion picture camera, as well as its introduction of the character Donald Duck making his first appearance in the Silly Symphony cartoon "The Wise Little Hen" in 1934.
Describe Iwerks Studios
The Iwerks Studio opened in 1930. Financial backers led by Pat Powers suspected that Iwerks was responsible for much of Disney's early success. However, while animation for a time suffered at Disney from Iwerks' departure, it soon rebounded as Disney brought in talented new young animators.
Who created the story department in 1931?
Ted Sears heads newly created Story Department-1931

• Concentrated on story alone
• No more animators doubling as gag-men
• Open to suggestions, bonus for gags used in films
Web Smith credited as the first man to use a storyboard
• Revolutionary idea at the time
• Notes, thumbnails, sketches and outlines used before
• 1st time sequence of drawings used to plot film in it's entirety
• Rough, expressive sketches pinned up on boards
• All could see "entire" picture a coordinate efforts to common goal
• Gave directors greater control
• Disney famous for scanning, interpreting and modifying storyboards
• This factor alone gave him the best-crafted products of the early 1930's
• Stories had beginning, middle and end
• Other studios were just filling 6 minutes
• By early 1930's studios experimented with Technicolor
• 2-step color process using just red and green
• Results did not justify additional work and expense
• Disney signed an exclusive 3-year deal with Technicolor in animation field
• New 3-color process (process 4)
• "Flowers And Trees" - 1st animated color short using this process
*Don't worry about "how it works", just know what it is

"Snow White and the 7 Dwarfs" (1937)
Why was Snow White important?
First full length animated feature
Hugh Harman (August 31, 1903 - November 25, 1982) and Rudolf "Rudy" Carl Ising (August 7, 1903 - July 18, 1992)
Hugh Harman (August 31, 1903 - November 25, 1982) and Rudolf "Rudy" Carl Ising (August 7, 1903 - July 18, 1992) were an American animation team best known for founding the Warner Bros. and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer animation studios. They are particularly celebrated for Harman's 1939 antiwar MGM cartoon Peace on Earth and Ising won an Oscar for the MGM cartoon The Milky Way in 1940.
Leon Schlesinger (1884 - 1949)
Leon Schlesinger (May 20, 1884 - December 25, 1949) was an American film producer, remembered for founding Leon Schlesinger Studios, which later became the Warner Bros. Cartoons studio, during the Golden Age of American animation. He was also a distant relative of the Warner Brothers. As head of his own studio, Schlesinger served as the producer of Warner's Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies cartoons from 1930, when Schlesinger assumed production from his subcontractors, Harman-Ising, to 1944, when Warner acquired the studio.
Looney Tunes
• H-I created the name as a blatant paraphrasing of "Silly Symphony"
• Contracted for a season's worth of shorts
• "Sinking In The Bathtub," the 1st Looney Tune (May 1930)
• Bosko is a thinly disguised Mickey Mouse
• Animation effects borrowed from Disney cartoons
• Bosko never caught on like Mickey Mouse
• For several years remained the featured character at the studio
Merry Melodies
• The following year, WB commissioned a 2nd series of releases
• Featured songs from the Warner Bros catalogue
• Harmon-Ising christened this series as "Merry Melodies"
• One-shot with no recurring characters
• Harmon remained director/supervisor of Bosko
• Ising directed Merry Melodies
Describe Foxy
Foxy is an animated cartoon character featured in three 1931 animated shorts in the Merrie Melodies series distributed by Warner Bros. He was the creation of animator Rudy Ising, who had worked for Walt Disney in the 1920s.
Isadore "Friz" Freleng (1905 - 1995)
Isadore "Friz" Freleng (August 21, 1906[2] - May 26, 1995), often credited as I. Freleng, was an American animator, cartoonist, director, producer and composer famous for his work on the Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies series of cartoons from Warner Bros. [1]

He introduced and/or developed several of the studio's biggest stars, including Bugs Bunny, Porky Pig, Tweety Bird, Sylvester the Cat, Yosemite Sam (to whom he was said to bear more than a passing resemblance), and Speedy Gonzales.
Bob Clampett (1913 - 1984)
Robert Emerson "Bob" Clampett (May 8, 1913 - May 2, 1984) was an American animator, producer, director, and puppeteer best known for his work on the Looney Tunes animated series from Warner Bros
Clampett was promoted to a directorial position in 1937 and during his fifteen years at the studio, directed 84 cartoons later deemed classic and designed some of the studio's most famous characters, including Porky Pig and Tweety.
Porky Pig
Porky starred in dozens of films in the late 1930s.
Bob Clampett finally pinned Porky down, making him a permanent young adult: cuter, slimmer, smarter, and eventually less of a stutterer.
Fred "Tex" Avery (1908 - 1980)
Frederick Bean "Tex" Avery (February 26, 1908 - August 26, 1980) was an American animator, cartoonist, voice actor and director, known for producing animated cartoons during the golden age of American animation. His most significant work was for the Warner Bros. and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer studios, creating the characters of Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Droopy, Screwy Squirrel, and developing Porky Pig, Chilly Willy (this last one for the Walter Lantz Studio) into the personas for which they are remembered.

• Avery's 1st assignment was to redesign Porky Pig
• Watershed film by Avery and Co.
• Represented the bridge between the old and new style
• Reused established characters, but made them adults
• Use of exaggerated timing ("Sweet Adeline" example)
• Irreverent humor
• Breakthrough in which WB cartoons went from being cute to being FUNNY!
"Gold Diggers of '49" (1936) Tex Avery
Gold Diggers of '49 is a 1935 Warner Bros. theatrical cartoon short in the Looney Tunes series. This film is the very first cartoon directed by Tex Avery for Warner Bros., and is the second Warners cartoon to feature the character Porky Pig. The star is Beans the Cat, with Porky Pig as the father of Beans' fiancée (Little Kitty). Beans and Porky set out to find gold and run into some meanies along the way.
Describe Termite Terrace
Because of the limited spacing conditions in the Schlesinger building at 1351 N. Van Ness on the Warner Sunset lot, Avery and his unit - including animators Robert Clampett and Chuck Jones - were moved into a small building elsewhere on the Sunset lot, which Avery and his team affectionately dubbed "Termite Terrace.
Mel Blanc (1908 - 1989)
Melvin Jerome "Mel" Blanc (May 30, 1908 - July 10, 1989) was an American voice actor and actor. Although he began his sixty-plus-year career performing in radio, Blanc is best remembered for his work with Warner Bros. as the voices of Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig, Tweety Bird, Sylvester the Cat, Yosemite Sam, Foghorn Leghorn, Marvin the Martian, Pepé Le Pew, Speedy Gonzales, Wile E. Coyote, the Tasmanian Devil and many of the other characters from the Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies cartoon short films; produced during the 1940s, 50s and 60s at the height of the golden age of American animation
Daffy Duck
Daffy Duck is an animated cartoon character produced by Warner Bros. Styled as an anthropomorphic black duck, the character has appeared in cartoon series such as Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies, where he usually has been depicted as the best friend and occasional arch-rival of Bugs Bunny
Chuck Jones (1912 - 2002)
Charles Martin "Chuck" Jones (September 21, 1912 - February 22, 2002) was an American animator, cartoon artist, screenwriter, producer, and director of animated films, most memorably of Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies shorts for the Warner Bros. Cartoons studio. He directed many classic animated cartoon shorts starring Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, the Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote, Pepé Le Pew, Porky Pig and a slew of other Warner characters.
Ben "Bugs" Hardway (1897 - 1957)
Joseph Benson "Ben / Bugs" Hardaway ( 1897 - 1957 ) was an artist of storyboard , writer, and director of several studies of animation Americans during the "golden age of animation". He appeared in the credits generally as JB Hardaway.

• "Porky's Hare Hunt" (1938)
o Bug's 1st screen appearance
o Short, generic white rabbit
o A cross between Daffy Duck and Woody Woodpecker
o Was actually a Woody prototype
o Carbon copy of Tex Avery's "Porky's Duck Hunt"(1937)
• "Hare-Um, Scare-Um" (1939)
o Also directed by Hardaway
o Color short featured redesigned model
• Early character traits remained in later shorts
o False remorse
o Overly melodramatic
"Elmer's Candid Camera" (1940) Chuck Jones
• Jones redefined Bugs' personality
• Made sure that he justified his actions and defined his motivations
• The pairing of the 2 defined their relationship for years to come
• Calmed down manic behavior a bit
• Elmer was voiced by Arthur Q. Bryan
"A Wild Hare" (1940) Tex Avery
• Recognized as the 1st true Bugs Bunny cartoon!
• Avery finally crystallized the personality of Bugs Bunny
• Elmer was portrayed as the incompetent hunter
• Bugs was calm and did not fear danger
• Sat down next to it and asked, "Eh, what's up doc?"
• Always seemed to have the upper hand
• Audiences loved this fearless trait
Frank Tashlin (1913 - 1972)
Tashlin joined Leon Schlesinger's cartoon studio at Warner Bros. as an animator in 1933, where he was noted as a fast animator. He used his free time to start his own comic strip in 1934 called Van Boring, inspired by former boss Van Beuren, which ran for three years.
Robert McKimson (1910 - 1977)
Robert Porter "Bob" McKimson, Sr. (October 13, 1910 - September 29, 1977) was an American animator, illustrator, and director best known for his work on the Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies series of cartoons from Warner Bros., and later DePatie-Freleng Enterprises. He was also well known for defining Bugs Bunny's look in 1943.
"What's Opera Doc?" (1957)
What's Opera, Doc? is a 1957 American animated cartoon short in the Merrie Melodies series, directed by Chuck Jones for Warner Bros. Cartoons.[1] The Michael Maltese story features Elmer Fudd chasing Bugs Bunny through a parody of 19th-century classical composer Richard Wagner's operas
What is The Production Code
• Hollywood proposed national board in 1922
• Official title, Motion Picture Producers & Distributors of America (MPPDA)
• Created by the major film companies to improve the industry's image and provide internal regulation, including a strict moral code
• Known as the Production Code from 1930-1968
• MPPDA eventually became known as the Hays Office
• Will H. Hays (Postmaster General), became president of the Motion Picture Producer's & Distributors of America
• Paid $100,000 yearly to protect and promote industry
• Main concern was to "protect" industry from further repressive local, state and federal legislation
• He worked to defeat censorship bills
• Replaced by MPAA ratings system in 1968

G General Audiences
M Mature Audiences
R Restricted Persons under 16 (later 17) not permitted unless accompany by an adult
X Adults only. No one under 17 admitted
"Scrub Me Mama With A Boogie Beat" (1941)
• Based on Andrew Sisters hit
• Black racial stereotypes typical of the times
• When re-released in 1948, it started a controversy
• NAACP, who received complaints from the public, contacted Universal
• Complained about the way that Blacks were portrayed
• Also complained about "young ladies whose forms are apparent under their scanty clothing"
• NAACP strongly suggested that the film be withdrawn from distribution and that Universal use better judgment in the future
• Big news at the time, article appeared in LA Times
• Film withdrawn a year later (1949)
• Lantz cartoons censored for TV (25 sequences cut from 52 cartoons)
• In the 1970's, original negatives transferred for TV
• Scrub Me Mama was back in distribution and TV stations had to make individual decisions on whether to broadcast it or not
• Embarrassing today, but part of the cartoon culture and history
Bob Clampett's "Coal Black And De Sebben Dwarfs" (1943)
• When 1,000 animation professionals gathered in 1994 to select the 50 greatest cartoons of all time, this cartoon finished in the top 25
• Cultural tour de force of 1940's America
• Clampett inspired by Harlem As Seen By Hirschfield (1941)
• Expressive caricatures, love of jazz and energy of the music
• Took his animation unit out to Central Avenue in LA
o Went to one black jazz nightclub after another
o Studied music, dance, culture
• Created without meanness of spirit or malice
o Not intended for cheap laughs at expense of blacks
• Full cooperation of the black performers (musicians and singers)
o Clampett fought to use these performers, striking a blow against racism in 1940's Hollywood
• Today considered shocking, racist images
Private Snafu Cartoons
Private Snafu is the title character of a series of black-and-white American instructional cartoon shorts, ironic and humorous in tone, that were produced between 1943 and 1945 during World War II. The films were designed to instruct service personnel about security, proper sanitation habits, booby traps and other military subjects, and to improve troop morale.