Animated Films Essay Research Paper American animation

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Animated Films Essay, Research Paper American animation begins with British-born writer, director, and actor J. Stuart Blackton, a former newspaper illustrator who drew the 1906 cartoons Humorous Phases Of A Funny Face and The Haunted Hotel. Newspaper cartoonist Winsor McCay, who made the famed comic strips "Little Nemo In Slumberland" and "Dreams Of A Rarebit Fiend," had a vaudeville act in 1911 which used an animated short he'd drawn and colored by hand, called Little Nemo. The Story Of A Mosquito (1912, aka How A Mosquito Operates) followed, and in 1914 McCay premiered his landmark Gertie The Dinosaur, appearing onstage as the cartoon was projected and "interacting" with his huge trained brontosaurus Gertie. He made longer and more ambitious

works, The Sinking Of The Lusitania (1918) and The Centaurs (1919), but retired from cinema a few years later. Key developments in animation were patented by John Randolph Bray after he completed his second cartoon, Colonel Heeza Liar In Africa (1913). Bray pioneered the use of transparencies with static images, thereby elmiminating the need to retrace unchanging backgrounds or motionless characters; he also brought the application of gray tones to animation, which until then had been almost exclusively black-and-white line drawings. Cartoon studios began appearing in the mid teens, centering in New York. Canadian-born Raoul Barr? had the first, in 1914; his series "Grouch Chasers," an Edison release of 1915-16, was noted for its surreal humor. Barr? also handled the

successful "Mutt & Jeff" series, which Charles Bowers had launched in 1916 with Jeff's Toothache and The Submarine. Many directors worked on the series over the years, but in what would become a vicious trend in cartoons, the animation director's credit was usurped by another — here, by the comic strip's artist, Bud Fisher. That same year, publishing tycoon William Randolph Hearst formed the International Film Service and turned his newspapers' popular comic strips into various cartoon series, including "The Katzenjammer Kids," "Bringing Up Father," "Happy Hooligan," and "Krazy Kat." For Carl Laemmle's Universal production company, Australian-born Pat Sullivan began his "Sammy Johnsin" series in 1916; soon he was

making them with novice animator Otto Messmer, who also worked on Sullivan's series of Charlie Chaplin cartoons. Barr? temporarily left animation in 1918, the same year Hearst closed his studio, its ranks depleted by the wartime draft. Hearst continued to support the production of cartoons based on his newspapers' strips, first with artists under the supervision of John Terry, and then at J.R. Bray's studio. Bray also produced other series during the war years, such as the witty "Bobby Bumps" cartoons of Earl Hurd, Bray's co-inventor and business partner, and the "Farmer Al Falfa" series of Paul Terry. Austrian-born Max Fleischer impressed Bray with his cartoon that used a device he'd made with his brothers Joe and Dave: the rotoscope, which enabled Max to

trace live-action film for a more realistic and fluid animation. Postponed by Bray's production of training films when the United States entered World War One, Fleischer's "Out Of The Inkwell" series started in 1919, and Koko the Clown and his dog Fitz were introduced in The Clown's Pup. That same year, Otto Messmer developed a new character for Sullivan: a black cat called Felix, who debuted in Feline Follies. Both series soon became extremely popular. In 1921, the Fleischers left Bray to produce cartoons with their own company, Out Of The Inkwell Films, and made such classics as Bedtime (1923) and Sparring Partner (1924). Dave became the writer and director; he also put on a clown suit so Max could rotoscope the antics of Koko, who usually appeared against the