Tuesday, July 31, 2007

The Big Book of Animated Cartoons and Movies

In Hollywood Cartoons, Michael Barrier takes us on a glorious guided tour of American animation in the 1930s, '40s, and '50s, to meet the legendary artists and entrepreneurs who created Bugs Bunny, Betty Boop, Mickey Mouse, Wile E. Coyote, Donald Duck, Tom and Jerry, and many other cartoon favorites.

Beginning with black-and-white silent cartoons such as Winsor McCay's "Gertie the Dinosaur," Barrier offers an insightful account of animation's first flowering, taking us inside early New York studios and such Hollywood giants as Disney, Warner Bros., and MGM. Barrier excels at illuminating the creative side of animation--revealing how stories are put together, how animators develop a character, how technical innovations enhance the "realism" of cartoons. Here too are colorful portraits of the giants of the field, from Walt and Roy Disney and their animators (including Ub Iwerks, Bill Tytla, and Ward Kimball), to Dave and Max Fleischer, Tex Avery, Bob Clampett, Chuck Jones, and Bill Hanna and Joe Barbera. And along the way, Barrier gives us an inside look at the making of such groundbreaking cartoons as "Out of the Inkwell" (with KoKo the Clown), "Steamboat Willie" (the first successful sound cartoon), "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs," and "Bambi."

The years from the Depression through World War Two witnessed a golden age of American animation. Based on hundreds of interviews with veteran animators, Hollywood Cartoons gives us the definitive inside look at this colorful era and at the creative process behind these marvelous cartoons.

Title: Hollywood Cartoons: American Animation in Its Golden Age
Author: Michael Barrier
Published: November 6, 1999
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Pages: 672
Genre: Non-fiction- Entertainment/Reference

I have been reading Hollywood Cartoons: American Animation in its Golden Age by Michael Barrier on and off for a little over a month now. I can see the incredulous looks I just got. Yes I know I usually read a book in a day but this is a nonfiction book and I read those a bit differently than I would regular fiction. You see, I’ve looked up just about every person, place, thing, cartoon, and movie mentioned in the book. More than half of the cartoons that are discussed or referenced are available on the internet in various places and I have quite a few on DVD as well.
I had a lot of fun revisiting the classic animated Disney movies and watching cartoons that I had never seen before. I strongly recommend this wonderful book!

First Paragraph: This is a book about American studio animation in its "golden age"- the cartoon,, most of them only seven or eight minutes long, that were commonly part of theater programs in the thirties, forties, and fifties. When I was a child in the late forties and early fifties, I usually saw such a film once a week as part of a Saturday matinee at a neighborhood theater. On rare occasions, short cartoons might take up a whole matinee, and- great event- every year or two my parents took me in the evening to a new Walt Disney animated feature. I knew many cartoon characters only from their comic-book appearances, and it was in comic books that even so familiar character as Bugs Bunny seemed most "real" because I saw him there so much more often.

~Check out the author’s website. There are essays, interviews, and tons of other stuff!
The Big Cartoon Database and The Encyclopedia of Disney Shorts are great sites about cartoons. Many of which are mentioned in the book.

Disney- The Old Mill:


MGM-Peace on Earth:

First Superman Cartoon:

WB Merrie Melodies-Old Glory:

Columbia-Fox and Grapes:

Tom and Jerry-Sufferin' Cats:

MGM-Red Hot Ridin' Hood:

Droopy-Wild n' Woolfy:

Bugs Bunny-Rabbit Fire:

UPA-Rooty Toot Toot:

Happy Harmonies-To Spring:

Source: Library loan, hardcover

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1 comment:

  1. Cool book. I read a similar book by Tim and Kevin Burke called Saturday Morning Fever. This book mainly covers the phenomenon of Saturday morning broadcasts of cartoons (which is only a few decades old). Covers more of the modern cartoons.




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