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Zootopia Official US Sloth Trailer




Walt Disney Animation Studios        23 November 2015
















Animated 2015 Oscar Nominations:

Roundup of Best Shorts

NYT    1 February 2015





Animated 2015 Oscar Nominations: Roundup of Best Shorts

Video        The New York Times        1 February 2015


The New York Times film critic A. O. Scott

shares his thoughts on the Academy Award nominees

for best animated short film.


Produced by: Robin Lindsay and Anthony Scott

Read the story here: http://nyti.ms/1BDY1Ud

Watch more videos at: http://nytimes.com/video





















From left,

Snow White, Dopey, Sneezy, Happy, Grumpy, Doc, Bashful and Sleepy

Courtesy of Walt Disney Studios Home Animation



Masters of Animation, Old and Old School

By DAVE KEHR        NYT        October 4, 2009








































animated films / movies / animation in film        UK / USA



































Library of Congress

Classic characters from early animated films        USA










Origins of American Animation > animators        USA









hand-drawn animated films > Bessie Mae Kelley        USA










hand-drawn animation > Richard Williams        UK










animator        UK










animator / cartoonist        USA

































Japan > anime        UK










anime, anime movies        USA




















June Foray (born June Lucille Forer)    1917-2017        USA


actress of a thousand voices,

who portrayed Rocky the flying squirrel

and the fiendish spy Natasha Fatale

on the wickedly satirical

animated adventures

of Rocky and Bullwinkle in the 1960s

and myriad other animated

creatures and characters

on television and film,




Ms. Foray began

her remarkable 85-year career

playing an elderly woman

in a radio drama in 1929

at age 12.


She portrayed

scores of radio characters

in the 1930s and ’40s.


Over the next 60 years,

she provided voices for animated shorts,

feature films and television shows,

as well as record albums,

video games, even talking toys.


Her last performance was as Rocky

in a 2014 Rocky and Bullwinkle cartoon

produced by DreamWorks Animation.


Often compared to Mel Blanc,

the cartoon virtuoso who supplied

the voices of Bugs Bunny,

Daffy Duck and Porky Pig,

Ms. Foray cackled, chirped, meowed

and sometimes sang her way

through nearly 300 animated productions,

often playing several parts at once

with quick shifts of accent,

dialect and personality.











Richard Percy Jones Jr.    1927-2014


actor whose face

should be more familiar than it is,

given the dozens of movie and television roles

he played from the time he was a child,

but whose boyhood voice

— the voice of Pinocchio

in the original animated Disney film —

remains indelibly memorable









Disney turns away

from hand-drawn animation        March 2013


Studio says none of its animation companies

are working in the traditional 2D format,

and there are no current plans to do so again









Walt Disney Company



















Walter Elias "Walt" Disney    USA    1901-1966        UK / USA
























How we made The Jungle Book        2013

The voice of Mowgli

and the storyman behind the beloved 1967 animation

recall the difficulties of pleasing Walt Disney










Ilene Woods (born Jacquelyn Ruth Woods),

the voice of Disney’s Cinderella        USA        1929-2010










cartoon character








Free episode of Creature Comforts from Aardman Animations        UK










Wallace and Gromit        UK














the animated blockbuster Finding Nemo








USA > Pixar        UK / USA



















USA > Pixar > Toy Story 3        UK









USA > Pixar > Up        UK









DreamWorks        USA












Corpus of news articles


Genre > Animated film, animation




Computer Animation,

Made by Hand


August 27, 2010

The New York Times




NO one’s four-legged friends were harmed during the making of “My Dog Tulip,” but the roar of Paul and Sandra Fierlinger’s untethered Jack Russell suggests that two-legged strangers might not fare so well.

“Oh, Oscar, stop,” Sandra Fierlinger said, opening the door to the couple’s tree-shrouded cottage on the Main Line, outside Philadelphia. “He’ll be fine, as soon as you get to the other side of the room.”

He wasn’t, it turned out. But even the menacing Oscar couldn’t distract from the room itself: a bank of computer monitors stretched across half the width of the house; beneath them a phalanx of custom-made computers and hard drives crowded one another along the floor. Here the couple put into motion J. R. Ackerley’s 1956 memoir about his late-life “romance” with a German shepherd, taking computer animation into an orbit both new and retrograde: computerized yet hand drawn.

Which didn’t quite make sense until Mr. Fierlinger sat down at what he calls his light table: as his digital “pen” moved across the horizontal surface, a line drawing appeared on the vertical screen, creating the “motion” of two existing images that, when run at 24 frames per second, will be cinema. About 60,000 drawings went into “Tulip.” But no paper. Or plastic.

Opening on Sept. 1 at Film Forum in the South Village, “My Dog Tulip” features the voices of Christopher Plummer as Ackerley, the writer and longtime BBC radio host; Lynn Redgrave, who died in May, as his nettlesome sister; and Isabella Rossellini as a kindly veterinarian. As it happens, nearly everyone involved is a dog lover: the Fierlingers have Gracie, a mix of shepherd and corgi, and Oscar (whose electronically adjusted voice was used when an aggressive bark was called for). Mr. Plummer said in a telephone interview that he grew up around dogs and “prefers them to a lot of humans,” while Ms. Rossellini said that, of course, she is “a huge dog person.”

“I even raise dogs for the blind,” she said via e-mail, adding: “The drawings for the animation are very charming, don’t you think so? I love their work.”

That work has won the Fierlingers a Peabody Award (“Still Life With Animated Dogs,” 2001), and Mr. Fierlinger earned an Oscar nomination for best animated short in 1980 for “It’s So Nice to Have a Wolf Around the House.” Anyone who’s grown up watching “Teeny Little Super Guy” segments on “Sesame Street” has been watching a Fierlinger creation.

Ms. Fierlinger, 55, who has a fine-arts background, adapted her skills to colorizing her husband’s sketches. “I paint with layers, just as I would with traditional animation,” she said. “I make my own brushes and mix my own colors, just as if it were a paper background. But I do it all on the computer.”

Unlike studio cartoons, which often involve computer-generated imagery, the Fierlingers’ work is hands-on, sort of. What’s eliminated is wasted motion: the shuffling of paper, the sharpening of pencils, the setting up of shots. That it still took them three years to make “My Dog Tulip” almost seems surprising. It certainly gave Mr. Plummer pause.

“He said, ‘I was told it’s going to take you three years to do this,’ ” Mr. Fierlinger, 74, recalled, “and I said, ‘Yes, at least.’ He said, ‘I’m going to be dead by then, I’ll never get to see it.’ I told him: ‘I’m roughly about your age, so if you think you’re going to be dead, then so am I, and it will never get done. You won’t miss anything.’ When we met again last year in Toronto, we agreed the time had gone so fast.”

The heart of “My Dog Tulip” is Mr. Ackerley’s story of his late-middle-age relationship with an Alsatian named Tulip. Bittersweet, heartfelt and rendered in an eccentric, expressive style, the movie seems poised to draw dog-loving moviegoers like beagles to bacon. (New Yorker Films, the distributor, is doing grass-roots promotion to dog walkers, vets, pet food stores and bookstores; New York Review of Books Classics is reissuing the Ackerley book.)

But Mr. Fierlinger’s story could be a movie too — and was, actually, in his animated autobiographical 1995 film “Drawn From Memory.” The child of Czech diplomats, he was born in Japan, relocated to the United States as a youngster and then shipped to Czechoslovakia, where his uncle, Zdenek Fierlinger, became the country’s first postwar prime minister, while his father worked in the top echelons of the Soviet puppet government. A boarding-school classmate of Vaclev Havel’s and a member (at least geneaologically) of the ruling elite, Mr. Fierlinger fled to America shortly after his father’s death in 1967.

The Fierlingers use French software called TVPaint; the director Nina Paley, whose “Sita Sings the Blues” was a breakthrough in personalized computer animation, uses the more popular Flash.

“There are many ways to use Flash,” she said, “the most common being with ‘motion tweens’: creating a virtual puppet, and having Flash automatically move the pieces from place to place. That’s commonly called ‘cutout style.’ But you can also use Flash to draw every single frame from scratch if you want. I used a combination in ‘Sita’: mostly cutout style, but also some straight-ahead-style hand-drawing straight into the program.” She also “did some paintings on paper, which I scanned in.”

Not so at Chez Fierlinger, where the forward-thinking animators are cutting themselves loose not just from graphite and cameras but also from traditional avenues of financing and distribution: a children’s film they wanted to make — and are in fact making — centers on Joshua Slocum, the first man to sail around the world solo. It was turned down for financing by the public-television production arm ITVS.

“We thought we could do whatever we wanted,” said Mr. Fierlinger, who is returning to his teaching job at the University of Pennsylvania this term. “Everything we’ve done for PBS has been a success. But they said, ‘We can’t see why children would want to watch this for an hour.’ ”

So they’re doing it in installments, like a graphic novel, and selling it online. “We realize we could do this all on the Internet, for the iPad or similar devices,” Mr. Fierlinger said. “We don’t need a distributor. We don’t even need actors. And the technology is developing so fast that by the time we’re done, there are things we’ll be using that people aren’t even talking about now.”

Computer Animation, Made by Hand,






'Beowulf' Defies Animation Label


November 16, 2007
Filed at 9:08 a.m. ET
The New York Times


LOS ANGELES (AP) -- The tagline for Disney's upcoming ''Enchanted'' could well be the motto for the latest push in animation: ''The real world and the animated world collide.''

Not simply colliding in the slapstick tradition of 1988's pioneering ''Who Framed Roger Rabbit?,'' but in the more fundamental sense of transforming actors into animated characters and vice versa.

The technique is seen in Charles Schwab TV ads and Richard Linklater's bomb from last year, ''A Scanner Darkly.'' Peter Jackson and Steven Spielberg are collaborating to make three comics-based movies blending performances with computer graphics.

The lines have been rendered so blurry that even close observers of the industry are asking what seems an easy question: What is animation?

The director of ''Roger Rabbit'' has created a film that challenges whatever your answer may be. Robert Zemeckis' ''Beowulf'' marries filmed actor performances, animation and special effects to create a unique, semi-but-not-quite-realistic look that many identify more with video games than movies.

On Friday, it arrives in IMAX and regular theaters nationwide, accompanied by 3-D glasses and the stamp of ''animation'' from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. ''Beowulf'' qualifies under Academy rules -- revised several months ago to require ''frame by frame'' work -- to compete for an Animated Feature Oscar against the likes of ''Ratatouille'' and the black-and-white 2-D Iranian film ''Persepolis.''

But because of its hybrid nature, few in the animation world expect it'll actually become one of the three nominees.

That possibility distresses traditional animators.

''It's a little bit odd when they're being put in the category competing in the same way for awards,'' said Kevin Koch, a longtime animator of DreamWorks films like ''Into the Hedge'' and ''Shrek 2.'' ''Some of us are kind of scratching our heads a bit.''

The intricate detail of ''Beowulf'' is what sets it apart, but it was created with a motion-capture process inherently similar to those used in recognizably cartoonish movies. Child actors overacted before a green screen to form the basis of last year's animated Oscar nominee ''Monster House,'' and dancer Savion Glover supplied the penguins' smooth moves for winner ''Happy Feet.''

There has been push-back. ''Ratatouille'' director Brad Bird, one of the most visible CG animation purists, is believed to be behind a good-natured jab at competitors following the credits on that film's DVD. A cartoon businessman is pictured smiling proudly as text proclaims the movie was made with ''100 percent genuine animation'' and ''no motion capture or any other performance shortcuts.''

''If you ask the average animator what they think, they'll tell you they don't think motion capture is animation,'' said Jimmy Hayward, an animator on ''Toy Story'' and other Pixar films.

Yet there have never been bright lines. The technique of rotoscoping -- capturing human movement in images and then tracing those into the cartoon world -- was invented by Max Fleisher in the 1910s and even incorporated into key early Disney cartoon features like 1937's ''Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.''

So what's the problem with that? And who are today's animators to talk, anyway? They long ago traded in pen and paper for customized computer rendering programs.

''The essence of caricaturing life is an art form, and it's its own art form,'' said Hayward, who is now directing an animated Dr. Seuss feature, ''Horton Hears a Who,'' due in March. ''Motion capture is outside of all the craft that goes into the other parts of it.''

''Most animators feel there's a charm to see a drawing come to life, or to see these computer puppets come to life, because they clearly exist in their own universe,'' said David Silverman, who directed the 2-D ''The Simpsons Movie.'' ''When what you're doing is trying to replicate life 100 percent, you could call it animation, but it's puzzling. I just sort of get puzzled.''

It should be said: The creators of ''Beowulf'' don't call it animation, nor do they intend to replicate real life.

''It's a new art form that is performance-based,'' producer Steve Starkey said, echoing comments Zemeckis made about his 2004 effort, ''The Polar Express'' (a performance-capture movie that had many traditional animators shuddering for its characters' lifeless eyes and stilted movements.)

''If one were to call it traditional animation, I think it would be a disservice to the brilliant animators of the like that worked on 'Roger Rabbit,' that brought those characters to life. I also think it would be a disservice to the performers like Ray Winstone, whose performance lives on-screen.''

Jerome Chen, visual effects supervisor for ''Beowulf,'' oversaw some 500 animators and worked on the project for three years. He argues that it should be included in the animation category.

''An artist still has to tune this software program. We use 3-D animation tools, but an animator still has to slave over key frames,'' Chen said. ''The computer program is really just a sophisticated brush in that sense.''

Chen said animators regularly tweaked the facial expressions or movements of actors depicted in the film.

Just don't try telling Winstone, who plays the title character, that somebody changed his acting. ''To me, I can't see where performances were changed,'' he said. ''We all played our parts.''

Winstone is credited on IMDB as the ''voice'' of Beowulf.

''No, I beg to differ. No way. That's a performance,'' he said. ''It wasn't just voice, believe me. I broke two ribs doing this film. Probably the most physical job I've ever done in my life on a film.''

Starkey predicts the familiarity of working primarily with actors will continue to draw high-profile filmmakers to performance-capture animation.

James Cameron is using the technique -- with advanced camera technology -- for his ''Avatar'' movie, coming in 2009. Spielberg and Jackson announced in May that they'd direct and produce three 3-D animated movies based on Belgian comic artist Georges Remi's adventuresome Tintin character.

''Both Steven and Bob (Zemeckis) love to be able to do things that in their mind's eye they could see but physically they couldn't accomplish,'' Starkey said. ''It's spreading.''

That's all well and good with traditional animators. They just wish there were more room for recognition of their work among Hollywood's elite. The Oscars animation category was created in 2001 and no animated film has ever won overall Best Picture.

''The problem is animation isn't considered in enough categories,'' Hayward said. ''With the amount of box office that CG animation represents, it's really ridiculous that we're all relegated to one category. ... It's about 15 years out of date, really.''

 'Beowulf' Defies Animation Label, NYT, 16.11.2007,








Barberanism in cartoon land


Martin Rowson
The Guardian
December 20, 2006
03:11 PM


I've long believed that the cartoon shorts produced in Hollywood in the 1930s, 40s and 50s, mostly outside the baleful Disney gulag, are among the greatest achievements of western art.

These five-minute long essays in mayhem, featuring Bugs Bunny or Daffy Duck or Droopy, and directed by the likes of Tex Avery, Friz Freleng and Chuck Jones are (albeit silly) symphonies of joy. Right up there at the top stand Tom and Jerry, created by William Hanna and Joe Barbera, who's just died aged 95.

When you watch those Tom and Jerry cartoons, you don't just get all the victimless violence you could ever want, but also, frequently, a beauty which can rival anything in the movies. These little films won seven Oscars, and would often take up to a year to make. The technique was painstaking and very expensive (which was why in 1956 MGM closed its animation division where they made Tom and Jerry). The cartoons of that Golden Age should stand as a fitting and enduring monument to Joe Barbera and Bill Hanna, and almost excuse their later crimes. But not quite.

In his Guardian obituary only about seven lines are given over to Barbera's post-Tom and Jerry career, despite the fact that it took up most of his professional life and made him his millions. That strikes me as fitting. Although everyone born in the last 60 years might imagine that they have happy childhood memories of The Flintstones, Yogi Bear, Huckleberry Hound or, God help us, Scooby-Doo, the truth of the matter is that they're crap. Complete and utter crap. Worse, they're shoddily made crap, after Hanna-Barbera devised what they called "limited animation", more than halving the number of drawings from 26 per second to 3000 for five minutes, the better to fill the empty moments on TV between the ads. And thus they effectively destroyed animation for at least two generations, before it slowly began to claw its way back to respectability in the mid-90s.

Worse, this tat debauched not only its audience but also people within the profession. The great Mel Blanc, the voice of Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Sylvester the Cat and Porky Pig, ended his days voicing Barney Rubble. Friz Freleng, who directed some of the best Bugs Bunnies in the 40s, bent the knee to market forces and spent the 60s and 70s churning out The Pink Panther. Great theme, for sure, but those cartoons, too, were crap.

As a culture we're now wilfully infantile, and we tend to dignify anything from our childhoods, such as Barbera's entire output from Huckleberry Hound onwards, with the benefit of the doubt. Don't. It's crap. If you doubt me, just remember The Banana Splits. Or The Hair Bear Bunch. Or Shazam. I could go on, but I can't stand it. All I can suggest is that you get hold of Johann Mouse: in five sublime minutes it's worth more than everything Barbera knocked off in the next 40 years, and almost redeems his memory. But, as I said, not quite.

Barberanism in cartoon land, G, 20.12.2006, http://commentisfree.guardian.co.uk/martin_rowson/2006/12/post_828.html






Joe Barbera,

creator of cartoon classics,

dies at 95

· Partnership with Hanna lasted more than 60 years
· Tom and Jerry won duo seven Academy Awards


Tuesday December 19, 2006
Lee Glendinning


Joe Barbera, one half of the creative duo that delighted generations of children with the homicidal spats between a cat and a mouse, the ranger-baiting activities of a delinquent bear and the adventures of a ghost-hunting great dane and his pesky friends, died yesterday. He was 95.

In partnership with Bill Hanna, Barbera gave the world such classic cartoon characters as Tom and Jerry, Yogi Bear, Scooby-Doo, the Flintstones and the Jetsons.

As the hugely successful animation team Hanna-Barbera, it was Barbera's sketching skill and comic ability, combined with Hanna's warmth and keen sense of timing which saw the pair conceive some of the best-loved cartoon characters of all time. Tom and Jerry won seven Academy Awards, more than any other series with the same characters.

Barbera died of natural causes at home on Monday with his wife Stella by his side, a Warner Bros spokesman said.

Hanna, who died in 2001, once said he was never a good artist but his partner could "capture mood and expression in a quick sketch better than anyone I've ever known".

Neither intended to go into animation. Barbera, who grew up in Brooklyn, originally went into banking and Hanna, who had studied engineering and journalism, got involved with animation because he needed a job.

Joseph Barbera was born in Italy in 1911 and began his career as a tailor's delivery boy. He spent the early 1930s trying to become a magazine cartoonist on The NY Hits Magazine, but never managed it.

He first met William Hanna amid the blocks of MGM studios in the 1930s and together they began to bring to life a cast of characters that included Huckleberry Hound and Friends and Touché Turtle.

The cat and mouse format was first attempted in Puss Gets the Boot and earned them an Academy Award nomination. As they continued to experiment, these characters grew into Tom and Jerry, and their argumentative antics went on for 17 years. When MGM closed its animation unit in 1957 the team were forced to go into business themselves. After Hanna's death Barbera remained active as an executive producer at Warner Bros and continued to work on What's New Scooby Doo? and Tom and Jerry Tales.

Critic Leonard Maltin wrote in his book, Of Mice and Magic: A History of American Animated Cartoons: "This writing-directing team may hold a record for producing consistently superior cartoons using the same characters year after year - without a break or change in routine ... [their] characters are not only animated superstars, but also a very beloved part of American pop culture."


Barbera is survived by three children from a previous marriage,

Jayne, Neal and Lynn.

Joe Barbera, creator of cartoon classics, dies at 95,
G, 19.12.2006,






Walt Disney's Dumbo

18 December 1941

The Guardian > From the archive


"Dumbo," coming to the New Gallery on Sunday, is Mr. Disney at his most irresistible. It is certainly the most satisfying Disney since before or after "Pinocchio," and some will even prefer it to that masterpiece of puppetry. "Dumbo" lasts sixty-five minutes, and for once in a way it seems neither a minute too long nor a minute too short. It is enchanting, and as gay as a rondo of Mozart.

Dumbo is a blue-eyed baby elephant with abnormally big ears. May one dare to suggest to Mr. Disney that his eyes are one shade too light in colour? Elephants' eyes, baby or adult, are the colour of the periwinkle or wild clematis. Dumbo's eyes have, in Tennyson's phrase, "the little speedwell's darling blue". However, the major point about this lyrically charming person is his ears and not his eyes. They make him the butt and the joke of the circus.

But Timothy Mouse is a valiant though tiny sympathiser. Together they drink a bucketful of champagne, have an elephantine nightmare (a fantasia far more exciting than "Fantasia" itself), and wake up at the top of a tree. Six amusing black clowns with Negro voices laugh at their plight.

But Timothy has a notion. Dumbo, in his accidental cups, can have arrived there in only one way. He must have flown. He must be able to fly. He must be the world's new wonder – a flying elephant. His fortune is made as quickly as his fame.

Dumbo is a joy, but Timothy Mouse is still more. He is a complete and rounded character. We are concerned about him, whereas we were only amused by his progenitor Mickey. It is the difference between a personage and a figment. Timothy must have a whole short Disney to himself. So must Casey Junior, that delightful live railway-train which whoops with joy and relief when it reaches the top of a gradient.

Meanwhile, we have "Dumbo" for Christmas, with all these pleasures in it. It is rich in imaginative fun, it is often witty, and even its inevitable piece of slop – a zoological lullaby – does not last long.


Fresh troops sent to meet Japanese. Fresh troops with mechanised equipment have been sent to Kedah to face the Japanese thrust into North-west Malaya. The thrust is now a serious threat to Penang. It has reached the River Muda, about sixteen miles north of Butterworth , an air base and railhead. From Butterworth there is a railway across the narrow strip of water to Penang. If they seize Penang the Japanese will gain a base for operations in the Indian Ocean.

Walt Disney's Dumbo, G, 18 December 1941,
Republished 18.12.2008, p. 40,










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