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Animation History
  -  Animation History

The Little House (1952) Speaking of notable female animators (see previous post), let's talk about one of the all-time greats -- Mary Blair. Much has been written about her, and for good reason, as her style had a profound impact. Although her early career included stops at MGM animation and Ub Iwerks studios, Blair's biggest impact occurred at Disney, which she joined in

Throughout much of animation’s early history, women were afforded limited opportunities.  One of the few exceptions was Lotte Reiniger (1899-1981), who had a stellar career using silhouette animation.  Most silhouette animation involves stop motion action of paper cutouts, with backlighting. The paper cutouts are usually created using black paper, which accents their appearance against the bright backlighting.  Movement is achieved by repositioning the

There are a variety of animation styles – hand drawn cels, paper cutout, clay, puppet, stop motion, pin screen, to name a few.  At the dawn of animation in the early 20th century, two styles dominated – hand drawn and stop motion.  Hand drawn went on to become the most widely used style, and the vast majority of 20th century animation was hand

Many of the first animated films created in the early 20th century featured the animator demonstrating his craft. The early animator's James Blackton, Emile Cohl, Max Fleischer, and Winsor McCay all appeared in their films. It wasn't that they were vain or needing the spotlight (well, maybe a little of that), but rather that the audience was fascinated by the

Winsor McCay busy at work in 1911. Winsor McCay (1869-1934) is one of the most revered artists from the 20th century.  McCay significantly influenced two art forms – comic strips and animation.  His comic strip, Little Nemo in Slumberland, is hailed as one of the most beautifully drawn strips.  His full-page, Sunday offerings were visual delights.  The following website provides a glimpse of McCay’s

Whether it be a book, a play, a film, or, in this case, an art exhibition, the title is important.  Most everyone struggles with titling their work, as it should be reflective of the content and stir audience expectations.  Numerous iterations arise, as was the case with this exhibit.  Obviously, with a title like Icons of American Animation, the artwork is expected to be,

In this brief, introductory post, let’s talk DNA.  Rhetorically speaking, if we were to sequence animation’s DNA, what would the genome look like?  Assuredly, it would be comprised of iconic characters, films, cartoonists, and production studios.  In January 2022, a considerable amount of that genome will be featured in the forthcoming exhibition, Icons of American Animation. Winsor McCay, Pixar, Koko the Clown, Porky Pig,