Animating Space: From Mickey to WALL-E by J.P. Telotte

By J.P. Telotte

Animators paintings inside of a strictly outlined, constrained area that calls for tough creative judgements. The clean body provides a difficulty for all animators, and the choice of what to incorporate and miss increases vital questions about artistry, authorship, and cultural effect. In Animating house: From Mickey to WALL-E, popular pupil J. P. Telotte explores how animation has faced the clean template, and the way responses to that disagreement have replaced. concentrating on American animation, Telotte tracks the improvement of animation in response to altering cultural attitudes towards area and examines recommendations that increased the medium from a novelty to a completely learned artwork shape. From Winsor McCay and the Fleischer brothers to the Walt Disney corporation, Warner Bros., and Pixar Studios, Animating house explores the contributions of these who invented animation, those that subtle it, and people who, within the present electronic age, are utilizing it to redefine the very probabilities of cinema.

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Extra resources for Animating Space: From Mickey to WALL-E

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After a title card refers to P. T. Barnum’s fi rst circus of 1871, the fi lm introduces a “Stonehenge Circus” of thousands of years before, includ34 Early Animation Silhouette animation in Tony Sarg’s The First Circus (1921). ing a stone-age entrepreneur who evokes Winsor McCay’s Gertie as he introduces his own trained dinosaur to an assembled crowd—three silhouetted figures occupying the left side of the screen. Against a hazy background of Stonehenge-like rock structures, the trainer then pokes and prods his silhouetted beast to make it leave the spectators alone and concentrate on its tricks.

It is an appealing argument, especially insofar as it can help us better appreciate that still-formative relationship between viewers and filmmakers that was evolving in the early cinema. Moreover, it dovetails with Michael O’Pray’s theory that one of the key pleasures we viewers derive from animation lies in its “objectification of our own desire for omnipotence” or control (200). We might remember, however, that Crafton’s interpretation depends on a relatively few surviving films, those that, as he notes, managed to escape the prevailing attitude that animated fi lms were “better suited for the dustbin than for any other repository” (4); 27 Animating Space and, too, it is an explanation that ultimately calls for some amendment or expansion that can easily be found if only we follow those pointing hands of the lightning sketchers.

6 Attesting to its popularity is the fact that the film would later be reshot in color and released for theatrical play under the titles New Dimensions and Motor Rhythm. Also for the fair, the former cartoonist Charles Bowers combined the same 3-D process with puppet animation to produce another publicity film, Pete-Roleum and His Cousins, a celebration of the contributions of petroleum products to modern life. Though its central characters, animated petroleum droplets, hold little appeal, the fi lm effectively exploits the spatial potential of its 3-D process with surrealistically exaggerated landscapes and canted buildings that loom into the foreground, and it too would eventually make its way to theaters as a short subject, one that remains widely available today.

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