2 D Animation Focusing On 50 S Animation

Animation is a form of art that is mostly used for entertainment purposes as well as having a place in learning and educational films and advertising; it’s used all around us everyday in different forms.
Since the beginning of time you can see how humans have tried to capture a sense of motion in art. For example this Egyptian wall decoration from around 2000bc shows two people fighting in different positions set out in a kind of comic book form. Also when you look at work such as Leonardo Di Vinci in his most famous illustrations he shows human limbs in different positions giving a sense of motion. Another example would be in the work of futurists for instance in Balla’s work. He was interested in pictorial depiction of light, movement and speed as was outlined by the futurist’s objective to depict movement. His paintings captured figures and objects in motion. He attempted to realize movement by showing them in repeated sequences. “The Dog on a Leash” recreates speed and flight by superimposing images.
As animation is essentially an optical illusion an understanding of the human eye is needed to achieve it. The first demonstration of this was the thaumatrope which was an optical toy that uses what has been called the persistence of vision. This was invented by Paul Roget, one side of the disc shows a bird and the other a cage. When the eye see’s an object it holds onto a picture of that for a fraction of a second while it talks to the brain so while you spin it you can see each picture long enough for the images merge into one. The next invention that furthered animation was the phenakistoscope invented by Joseph Plateau in 1826. It was a circular card with slits around the edge, the viewer would hold this up to a mirror and look through the slits as the card whirled, this then creates the illusion of motion. An invention that then followed this was the zoetrope which worked to the same principle. This was discovered by Paul Devignes, a strip of paper was inserted containing drawings on the inside of the cylinder which twirled on a spindle then the viewer could watch the looping motion through the slits of the drum.
The next major development was the motion picture camera and projector which created the first real practical means of making animation. The first way used with this equipment was the stop motion effect. A good example of this was a short film by Stuart Blackton “Humorous phases of funny faces” made in 1906. He drew comical faces on a blackboard, photographed them and then erased it to draw another expression. This technique was first discovered by George Melies, while filming the camera jammed then when it was processed and screened he noticed that a bus turned into a hearse and people in the street seemed to appear and disappear. He used this technique a lot in his films; due to this and his imaginative films he was known as cinemas first fantasist. His interest in stop motion and fantasy could stem from the fact that before he got into film he had worked as a conjurer and illusionist and stop motion was a form of illusion.
By the early 1920’s the popularity of animation had gone down. Audiences had started to tire of the old formula of a series of gags strung together, it wasn’t evident yet what animation could really accomplish. Some work though such as Felix the Cat and Winsor Mccays “Gertie the Dinosaur” showed the development of a character, watching a character come to life on screen at the time was revolutionary. Although at this time Felix developed the strongest on screen personality it again relied on visual tricks and gags rather than developing it further. At this time animator Earl Hurd (who has worked on films such as Disney’s Snow White and Fantasia) had invented the use of cell animation. A technique where figures are painted on to individual sheets on celluloid carefully laid over a background painting and photographed. This revolutionized the cartoon industry, saving costs and time it took to paint a new background for each frame. He devised this technique whilst working with another key figure in animation john R. Bray.

I am now going to concentrate on 2D animation, in particular drawn animation. Traditionally 2D animation has dominated commercial animation over the last century. To see how it has developed I have been looking at some earlier drawn cartoons in particular 50’s animation. This was an important time for animation as it bridged the gap between 1940’s theatrical animation and the pop cartoons of the 60’s. It draws upon modern design and the contempory styles of the time using a more stylized and sophisticated visual language transforming the traditional cartoon forms. To understand 1950’s animation design you need to look at the decades leading up to it. The main animation studio during the 30’s and 40’s was Walt Disney and the Disney style was mimicked a lot by most other animation studios. The Disney style had realistically rendered backgrounds and the approach to character design was based around circular, rounded forms. If you look at creations of other studios around this time such as Tom and Jerry at MGM or Porky Pig and Bugs Bunny at Warner Brothers for example you can see they are based on the same circular format. At this same time in other countries where Disney hadn’t taken hold there was a very different style of animation. For example the work of Russian Artists Ivan Ivanov-Vano and Leonid Amalrik “Black and White” was very different to the kind of styles we were seeing commercially. Although Disney films were focused on making relatable characters, these kinds of shorts were focused on projecting messages and Ideas. Animations such as Black and White feature strong caricatures drawn in a fine art way and slightly abstract; this was alien to American animation at the time. But then in the 50’s animators realized that they didn’t need to rely on circle and oval formulas and started to create characters in different ways. They tended to be unconventional showing harder slightly cubist style lines and it became more stylized and abstract with distorted characters.
The first animation team I’m looking at is Hanna-Barbera, formed by Bill Hanna and Joe Barbera. Due to the limited budget of early TV animation, producers had to engage the audience through colourful, distinctively designed characters. They were one of the first animation studios to successfully produce cartoons primarily for TV. They had done Tom and Jerry shorts for MGM before entering the world of TV in the 50’s with “The Ruff and Ready Show” followed by “The Huckleberry Hound Show”, “Quick Draw McGraw” and “The Flinstones”. They were consistently successful despite the limited clumsy animation. They engaged the audience with the quirky graphic appeal and strong personalities of the characters. The artist Ed Benedict was a significant element in the characters. Most were designed by him; the designs are simple yet containing a quality that gives the design charm and personality. You can tell from the design what the personality of the character will be. For example when you look at Yogi Bear you can see in the simple design that he’s confident but probably a bit of a clumsy oaf but a loveable one. His work is an example of what clever design can do for a cartoon even when the animation quality isn’t great. The vocal characterizations and theme songs added to its appeal but are hard to see how it would have worked so well without Benedict’s character design talent.
Advertising was a big part of 50’s animation and one of the busiest commercial animation studios at this time was Ray Patin Productions. He was a former animator at studios including Disney and Charles Mintz. But in the 40’s opened his own studio, being a business man he had accepted the reality that he had to conform to create successful commercial adverts rather than sticking to his own preferences. This was mirrored in his work, his drawing style was heavily influenced by classical cartooning and show little comparison to contempary graphics and is more traditional. Model sheet drawings 1-3, stills from various commercials 4-7 and a commercial designed by Naom Gottfredson showing background made with wrapping paper. There is a variety of styles used in his commercials as he has had a who’s who of animators work for him including John Hubley, Tom Oreb and Ed Levitt.
John Hubley was an important name in 50’s animation, here is some various stills from commercials he has designed with Storyboard. Though Hubley was not an animator himself he was very interested in the movement of characters, he wanted his characters to move as distinctively as his designs. This is a still from a short film Hubley made called Rooty Toot Toot for United Productions America in 1951. It tells the story of Frankie and Johnny, Frankie walks into a bar where she catches her boyfriend Johnny with someone else and kills him in a fit of jealously. The story is all told in song using a jazz score and using its limited animation to great effect and is a stylized take on the story. He followed up the success of this by producing the opening titles of seven animated inserts for live action feature “The Four Poster”. These segments were integrated parts of the story being shown in-between the live segments. The animation was produced in black and white and shows an effective use of design and texture and used a stylized type of animation similar to his earlier work. A lot of the distinctive design however came from the etchy line driven concept drawings (hubley3) of Lew Keller.
Another United productions of America project Hubley was a part of was Mr Magoo. The character designs were largely created by him. The interesting thing about Mr Magoo at the time was that they were using human characters which weren’t necessarily a new thing but it was dealt with in a realistic manner. For example characters like Popeye were human but were dealt with in a slapstick manner and could be squashed or broken into pieces where as Mr Magoo was moving into satire rather than slapstick. The later Magoo shorts broke away from this concept a bit but the earlier films were made with the intention that his actions should be as believable as a real human being. Hubley had said “I prefer subjects that involve human relations and problems, even at the expense of action” One of the things I really like about this is the background designs by Jules Engel which show space in a more literal detailed way but still showed an exploration for design.
I’ve also looked at a couple of Disney productions directed by Ward Kimball. He was one of Walts most liked and trusted artists. Although he had worked at Disney for his whole career he wanted to escape the restraints of being a Disney animator. He was assigned to work on the films “Adventures in music: Melody” and “Toot Whistle Plunk and Boom”. They both feature a professor owl who teaches musical concepts to a classroom of birds. He pushed the films into a style Disney had never done before. Apparently Kimball decided to modernize the look of the film while Walt Disney was visiting Europe so he wouldn’t have to explain it to him. For the first film he designed the whole thing himself but for the second Toot Whistle…he made sure everyone working for him understood his new modernist approach.
The design movement I have talked about that happened through 50’s animation I think is still an inspiration for today’s animation although technology has moved on so much there is not much room left for drawn animation. Over the last 30 years or so more of a diversity of style has emerged appealing to a wider audience rather than just for the children’s entertainment industry. There is a bigger demand for animation in different forms now such as video games, special effects, the internet and on mobile phones. Also animation festivals have become a great way of featuring short films showing new ideas and approaches to the art. This offers more imaginative scope for personal artistic expression.

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

Allegory Of American Pie By Don Mc Lean

Ask anyone what was the defining moment in the rock history of the 1960s was and all you will get is a one word answer: Woodstock. The three day rock festival that defined an era was only one of many music festivals of the '60s. But Woodstock has come to symbolize, "an era of peaceful, free- loving, drug- taking hippie youth, carefree before harsher realities hit..." (Layman 40). The Woodstock festival ended a century filled with many metamorphoses of rock'n'roll, from the era of pop music to the rebirth of folk music to the invention of acid rock. But some cynics say that rock'n'roll died with the death of Buddy Holly before the 60s even began. One such person is Don McLean. The poet behind the haunting epic song about the death of 'danceable' music, McLean wrote the ever popular song, "American Pie" (appendix 1). The most important song in rock'n'roll history, "American Pie", is the song about the demise of rock'n'roll after Buddy Holly's death and the heathenism of rock that resulted. Although McLean himself won't reveal any symbolism in his songs, "American Pie" is one of the most analyzed pieces of literature in modern society. Although not all of its secrets have been revealed, many "scholars" of the sixties will agree that the mystery of this song is one of the reasons it has become so successful- everyone wants to know the meanings of its allegories. Proof of "American Pie's" truth lies in the allegory of the song. Many People enjoy the song but have no idea what it means- Who is the Jester? What is the levee? When the deeper story is found, the importance of the song is unearthed. "American Pie" is not only a song, it is an epic poem about the course of rock'n'roll...

Carl Orffs Philosophies In Music Education

While Carl Orff is a very seminal composer of the 20th century, his greatest success and influence has been in the field of Music Education. Born on July 10th in Munich, Germany in 1895, Orff refused to speak about his past almost as if he were ashamed of it. What we do know, however, is that Orff came from a Bavarian family who was very active in the German military. His father's regiment band would often play through some of the young Orff's first attempts at composing. Although Orff was adamant about the secrecy of his past, Moser's Musik Lexicon says that he studied in the Munich Academy of Music until 1914. Orff then served in the military in the first world war. After the war, he held various positions in the Mannheim and Darmstadt opera houses then returned home to Munich to further study music. In 1925, and for the rest of his life, Orff was the head of a department and co-founder of the Guenther School for gymnastics, music, and dance in Munich where he worked with musical beginners. This is where he developed his Music Education theories. In 1937, Orff's Carmina Burana premiered in Frankfurt, Germany. Needless to say, it was a great success. With the success of Carmina Burana, Orff orphaned all of his previous works except for Catulli Carmina and the En trata which were rewritten to be acceptable by Orff. One of Orff's most admired composers was Monteverdi. In fact, much of Orff's work was based on ancient material. Orff said: I am often asked why I nearly always select old material, fairy tales and legends for my stage works. I do not look upon them as old, but rather as valid material. The time element disappears, and only the spiritual power remains. My...

Johann Sebastian Bach Biography

Throughout the history of music, many great composers, theorists, and instrumentalists have left indelible marks and influences that people today look back on to admire and aspire to. No exception to this idiom is Johann Sebastian Bach, whose impact on music was unforgettable to say the least. People today look back to his writings and works to both learn and admire. He truly can be considered a music history great. Bach, who came from a family of over 53 musicians, was nothing short of a virtuosic instrumentalist as well as a masterful composer. Born in Eisenach, Germany, on March 21, 1685, he was the son of a masterful violinist, Johann Ambrosius Bach, who taught his son the basic skills for string playing. Along with this string playing, Bach began to play the organ which is the instrument he would later on be noted for in history. His instruction on the organ came from the player at Eisenach's most important church. He instructed the young boy rather rigorously until his skills surpassed anyone?s expectations for someone of such a young age. Bach suffered early trauma when his parents died in 1695. He went to go live with his older brother, Johann Christoph, who also was a professional organist at Ohrdruf. He continued his younger brother's education on that instrument, as well as introducing him to the harpsichord. The rigorous training on these instruments combined with Bach?s masterful skill paid off for him at an early age. After several years of studying with his older brother, he received a scholarship to study in Luneberg, Germany, which is located on the northern tip of the country. As a result, he left his brother?s tutelage and went to go and study there. The teenage years brought Bach to several parts of Germany where he...


Michelangelo was pessimistic in his poetry and an optimist in his artwork. Michelangelo?s artwork consisted of paintings and sculptures that showed humanity in it?s natural state. Michelangelo?s poetry was pessimistic in his response to Strazzi even though he was complementing him. Michelangelo?s sculpture brought out his optimism. Michelangelo was optimistic in completing The Tomb of Pope Julius II and persevered through it?s many revisions trying to complete his vision. Sculpture was Michelangelo?s main goal and the love of his life. Since his art portrayed both optimism and pessimism, Michelangelo was in touch with his positive and negative sides, showing that he had a great and stable personality. Michelangelo?s artwork consisted of paintings and sculptures that showed humanity in it?s natural state. Michelangelo Buonarroti was called to Rome in 1505 by Pope Julius II to create for him a monumental tomb. We have no clear sense of what the tomb was to look like, since over the years it went through at least five conceptual revisions. The tomb was to have three levels; the bottom level was to have sculpted figures representing Victory and bond slaves. The second level was to have statues of Moses and Saint Paul as well as symbolic figures of the active and contemplative life- representative of the human striving for, and reception of, knowledge. The third level, it is assumed, was to have an effigy of the deceased pope. The tomb of Pope Julius II was never finished. What was finished of the tomb represents a twenty-year span of frustrating delays and revised schemes. Michelangelo had hardly begun work on the pope?s tomb when Julius commanded him to fresco the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel to complete the work done in the previous century under Sixtus IV. The overall organization consists of four large triangles at...

Oscar Wilde

Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wills Wilde was born in Dublin Ireland on October 16, 1854. He is one of the most talented and most controversial writers of his time. He was well known for his wit, flamboyance, and creative genius and with his little dramatic training showing his natural talent for stage and theatre. He is termed a martyr by some and may be the first true self-publicist and was known for his style of dress and odd behavior. Wilde, 1882 His Father, William Wilde, was a highly accredited doctor and his mother, Jane Francesca Elgee, was a writer of revolutionary poems. Oscar had a brother William Charles Kingsbury along with his father's three illegitimate children, Henry, Emily, and Mary. His sister, Isola Emily Francesca died in 1867 at only ten years of age from a sudden fever, greatly affecting Oscar and his family. He kept a lock of her hair in an envelope and later wrote the poem 'Requiescat' in her memory. Oscar and his brother William both attended the Protora Royal School at Enniskillen. He had little in common with the other children. He disliked games and took more interest in flowers and sunsets. He was extremely passionate about anything that had to do with ancient Greece and with Classics. Wilde during school years In 1871, he was awarded a Royal School Scholarship to Trinity College in Dublin and received many awards and earned the highest honor the college offered to an undergraduate, the Foundation Scholarship. In 1874, he also won the College's Berkley Gold Medal for Greek and was awarded a Demyship to Magdalen College, Oxford. After graduating from Oxford, Oscar moved to London with his friend Frank Miles, a well-known portrait painter of the time. In 1878 his poem Ravenna was published, for which he won the...

The History Of Greek Theater

Theater and drama in Ancient Greece took form in about 5th century BCE, with the Sopocles, the great writer of tragedy. In his plays and those of the same genre, heroes and the ideals of life were depicted and glorified. It was believed that man should live for honor and fame, his action was courageous and glorious and his life would climax in a great and noble death. Originally, the hero's recognition was created by selfish behaviors and little thought of service to others. As the Greeks grew toward city-states and colonization, it became the destiny and ambition of the hero to gain honor by serving his city. The second major characteristic of the early Greek world was the supernatural. The two worlds were not separate, as the gods lived in the same world as the men, and they interfered in the men's lives as they chose to. It was the gods who sent suffering and evil to men. In the plays of Sophocles, the gods brought about the hero's downfall because of a tragic flaw in the character of the hero. In Greek tragedy, suffering brought knowledge of worldly matters and of the individual. Aristotle attempted to explain how an audience could observe tragic events and still have a pleasurable experience. Aristotle, by searching the works of writers of Greek tragedy, Aeschulus, Euripides and Sophocles (whose Oedipus Rex he considered the finest of all Greek tragedies), arrived at his definition of tragedy. This explanation has a profound influence for more than twenty centuries on those writing tragedies, most significantly Shakespeare. Aristotle's analysis of tragedy began with a description of the effect such a work had on the audience as a "catharsis" or purging of the emotions. He decided that catharsis was the purging of two specific emotions, pity and...

Scholarship Essay About Goals

Ever since I was a young kid I have always been interested with aircraft. I was so curious of how airplane's fly. I remember taking my toys apart to see how it works. As a kid I wanted to go to the airport to watch the airplanes land and fly and pondered how this happens. Other kids wanted to go to the amusement places. As I grew older I became more and more interested in aircraft and the technology behind it. I always involved myself with aviation early on. I read books and magazines on aviation, took museum tours, built model airplanes. When I was younger my father would take me to aircraft repair facilities where I would watch in great fascination. In my teens, went up to the military bases and befriended many soldiers involved with aircraft and asked them numerous questions. I got to meet many aeronautics engineers and borrowed their old textbooks and read them till the wee hours of the morning. As technology improved with information superhighway, I logged on the web. Stayed up for hours and hours searching through web pages and web pages of information about aircraft and technology. I started my elementary school in the Philippines, then we moved to U.S. and continued my high school education and graduated. Enrolled at the CCSF to pursue my college education and now I am in the 2nd year in CCSF taking aeronautics. My goal now is to obtain my AS degree from the City College of San Francisco (CCSF) so I can transfer to a University and get a Bachelors degree and to continue for my Masters degree in Aeronautics Engineering. I will strive hard to reach the peak level of my career which is a Professor and hopefully to be an aeronautic professor so...

Circus Circus Enterprises Case Studies

Executive Summary: Circus Circus Enterprises is a leader and will continue to be in the gaming industry. In recent years, they have seen a decline in profit and revenue; management tends to blame the decrease on continuing disruptions from remodeling, expansion, and increased competition. Consequently, Circus has reported decreases in its net income for 1997 and 1998 and management believes this trend will continue as competition heightens. Currently the company is involved in several joint ventures, its brand of casino entertainment has traditionally catered to the low rollers and family vacationers through its theme park. Circus should continue to expand its existing operations into new market segments. This shift will allow them to attract the up scale gambler. Overview Circus Circus Enterprises, Inc founded in 1974 is in the business of entertainment, with its core strength in casino gambling. The company?s asset base, operating cash flow, profit margin, multiple markets and customers, rank it as one of the gaming industry leaders. Partners William G. Bennett an aggressive cost cutter and William N. Pennington purchased Circus Circus in 1974 as a small and unprofitable casino. It went public in 1983, from 1993 to 1997; the average return on capital invested was 16.5%. Circus Circus operates several properties in Las Vegas, Reno, Laughlin, and one in Mississippi, as well as 50% ownership in three other casinos and a theme park. On January 31,1998 Circus reported net income of 89.9 million and revenues of 1.35 billion, this is a down from 100 million on 1.3 billion in 1997. Management sees this decline in revenue due to the rapid and extensive expansion and the increased competition that Circus is facing. Well established in the casino gaming industry the corporation has its focus in the entertainment business and has particularly a popular theme resort concept....

Effect Of Civil War On American Economy

The Economies of the North and South, 1861-1865 In 1861, a great war in American history began. It was a civil war between the north and south that was by no means civil. This war would have great repercussions upon the economy of this country and the states within it. The American Civil War began with secession, creating a divided union of sorts, and sparked an incredibly cataclysmic four years. Although the actual war began with secession, this was not the only driving force. The economy of the Southern states, the Confederacy, greatly if not entirely depended on the institution of slavery. The Confederacy was heavily reliant on agriculture, and they used the profits made from the sale of such raw materials to purchase finished goods to use and enjoy. Their major export was cotton, which thrived on the warm river deltas and could easily be shipped to major ocean ports from towns on the Mississippi and numerous river cities. Slavery was a key part of this, as slaves were the ones who harvested and planted the cotton. Being such an enormous unpaid work force, the profits made were extraordinarily high and the price for the unfinished goods drastically low in comparison; especially since he invention of the cotton gin in 1793 which made the work all that much easier and quicker. In contrast, the economical structure of the Northern states, the Union, was vastly dependent on industry. Slavery did not exist in most of the Union, as there was no demand for it due to the type of industrial development taking place. As the Union had a paid work force, the profits made were lower and the cost of the finished manufactured item higher. In turn, the Union used the profits and purchased raw materials to use. This cycle...

Evaluation Of The Effectiveness Of Trade Embargoes

Although I am a strong critic of the use and effectiveness of economic sanctions, such as trade embargoes, for the sake of this assignment, I will present both their theoretical advantages and their disadvantages based upon my research. Trade embargoes and blockades have traditionally been used to entice nations to alter their behavior or to punish them for certain behavior. The intentions behind these policies are generally noble, at least on the surface. However, these policies can have side effects. For example, FDR's blockade of raw materials against the Japanese in Manchuria in the 1930s arguably led to the bombing of Pearl Harbor, which resulted in U.S. involvement in World War II. The decades-long embargo against Cuba not only did not lead to the topple of the communist regime there, but may have strengthened Castro's hold on the island and has created animosity toward the United States in Latin America and much suffering by the people of Cuba. Various studies have concluded that embargoes and other economic sanctions generally have not been effective from a utilitarian or policy perspective, yet these policies continue. Evaluation of the effectiveness of Trade Embargoes Strengths Trade embargoes and other sanctions can give the sender government the appearance of taking strong measures in response to a given situation without resorting to violence. Sanctions can be imposed in conjunction with other measures to achieve conflict prevention and mitigation goals. Sanctions may be ineffective: goals may be too elusive, the means too gentle, or cooperation from other countries insufficient. It is usually difficult to determine whether embargoes were an effective deterrent against future misdeeds: embargoes may contribute to a successful outcome, but can rarely achieve ambitious objectives alone. Some regimes are highly resistant to external pressures to reform. At the same time, trade sanctions may narrow the...