Animated Films Essay Research Paper American animation — страница 6

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Pink Panther, introduced in Freleng's The Pink Phink (1964), co-directed with Hawley Pratt; but by the '70s, they too were working for television. Disney began making successful live-action features in 1950, and launched its long-running television series in 1954; by the '60s, its short theatrical cartoons were produced only rarely. But the flow of animated features kept on and maintained their popularity: Cinderella (1950), Alice In Wonderland (1951), Peter Pan (1953), Lady And The Tramp (1955), Sleeping Beauty (1958), One Hundred And One Dalmations (1960), The Sword In The Stone (1963). The Rudyard Kipling adaptation The Jungle Book (1967) was the last animated film on which Disney worked; it was released a year after his death. The studio went through many uncertain years

without him, despite the quality of such cartoon features as The Aristocats (1970), Robin Hood (1973), and The Rescuers (1977). But by the late 1980s, with Oliver & Company (1988) and The Little Mermaid (1989), the studio was finding new audiences for its features. In the '90s, Disney has been one of the industry's best moneymakers again, still combining groundbreaking animation, sentimental stories, and catchy songs for a string of box-office hits: Beauty And The Beast (1991), Aladdin (1992), The Lion King (1994), Pocahontas (1995), The Hunchback Of Notre Dame (1996), and Hercules (1997). Another Disney smash was director John Lasseter's Toy Story (1995), the first computer-animated feature. Cartoons found a new maturity in the 1970s with the raunchy and provocative features

of Ralph Bakshi. A former Terrytoons animator, he combined comedy, sex, and violence for his adults-only accounts of urban frustration, starting with Fritz The Cat, adapted from Robert Crumb's underground comics. Bakshi's autobiographical Heavy Traffic (1973) and his controversial dissection of racism, Coonskin (1975), both featured live-action sequences; he stuck to cartooning in Hey Good Lookin' (1975, released 1982) and the mostly rotoscoped American Pop (1981). Less impressive were his forays into sword-&-sorcery animation: Wizards (1977), the Tolkien adaptation The Lord Of The Rings (1978), and Fire And Ice (1983). Director Bill Melendez, having found success adapting the "Peanuts" comic strips of Charles Schulz for television, also did well in animated

features: A Boy Named Charlie Brown (1969), Snoopy, Come Home (1972), Bon Voyage Charlie Brown (And Don't Come Back!) (1980). Former Disney animator Don Bluth had hits with The Secret Of NIMH (1982) and the Steven Spielberg production An American Tail (1986). Bluth's The Land Before Time (1988), All Dogs Go To Heaven (1989), and Rock-A-Doodle (1992) were more uneven; when Spielberg decided to make a sequel, An American Tail: Fievel Goes West (1991), he turned to director Phil Nibbelink. By then, Spielberg had given animation a new life at the box office by joining with Disney to produce Who Framed Roger Rabbit? (1988). With Robert Zemeckis directing the humans and Richard Williams helming the animation, this animation/live-action blend combined media with a slickness never before

seen, and offered a heartwarming retrospective look at many classic figures of American animation. The success of Who Framed Roger Rabbit? encouraged more films combining people and cartoons; Ralph Bakshi may have flopped with his noir Cool World (1992), but box-office gold was struck by Space Jam (1996), which brought together basketball superstar Michael Jordan and animation superstars Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, and their Looney Tunes cohorts. All-animated features continue to thrive, with such recent efforts as FernGully … The Last Rainforest (1992), directed by Bill Kroyer, and The Tune (1992), with the stylish and original animation of director Bill Plympton. Mike Judge brought his television series of braindead teens, "Beavis & Butt-Head," to the screen for the

hit Beavis & Butt-Head Do America (1997). Today, our cartooning seem almost as far removed from the techniques of Gertie The Dinosaur as we are from real dinosaurs. But the thread of imagination, humor, and innovation has been a constant, as has the enthusiastic delight of audiences of all ages; both will certainly remain constants as animation enters the next century.