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    You WIll Need To Reset Your Password!!!

    We just moved hosts on this system, and this has caused a few updates. One is the way we encode and store the encoded passwords.

    Your old passwords will NOT work. You will need to reset your password. This is normal. Just click on reset password from the log in screen. Should be smooth as silk to do...

    Sorry for the hassle.

    Dave Koch
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    Just lurking? Join the club, we'd love to have you in the Big Cartoon Forum! Sign up is easy- just enter your name and password.... or join using your Facebook account!

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    Other Side Of Maleficent

    I have been looking forward to Maleficent with equal amounts of anticipation and dread. On one hand, she is easily my favorite Disney villain, so cold and so pure, and I want desperately to see more of her and her back-story. On the other hand, she is easily my favorite Disney villain, and I would hate to see her parodied, taken lightly or ultimately destroyed in a film that does not understand this great character. The good news is that this film almost gets it right; but that is also the bad news.

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    BCDB Hits 150K Entries

    It took a while, but we are finally here! The Big Cartoon DataBase hit the milestone of 150,000 entries earlier today with the addition of the cartoon The Polish Language. This film was added to BCDB on May 9th, 2014 at 4:23 PM.

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    Warner Brings Back Animated Stone-Age Family

    Funnyman Will Ferrell and partner Adam McKay are working on bringing back everyone’s favorite stone-age family. The duo’s production company Gary Sanchez Productions is in development on a new Flintstones animated feature.

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    Disney To Feast In France

    The follow up to Disney’s 2013 Academy Award Winning short Paperman has been announced, and it will premiere at France’s Annecy International Animated Film Festival. Titled The Feast, the short looks to be based on the same stylized CG techniques used on last years Paperman, a more natural and hand-drawn look to computer animation.

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    Renegades of Animation: Pat Sullivan

    Pat Sullivan became famous worldwide for his creation of Felix the Cat. What most animation histories gloss over is Sullivan’s checkered past and longtime standing as a wildcat renegade. He didn’t follow the rules. And he made damn sure to fully protect his intellectual properties.

J. Stuart Blackton and, "The Enchanted Drawing" (1900)

Discussion in 'Silent Animation' started by sidestreetsam, Dec 31, 2013.

  1. sidestreetsam

    sidestreetsam Moderator Staff Member Forum Member New Member

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    ~ Howdy, Students of Animation!

    James Stuart Blackton (January 5, 1875 – August 13, 1941) (usually known as J. Stuart Blackton) was an Anglo-American film producer, most notable for making the first silent film that included animated sequences recorded on standard picture film – "The Enchanted Drawing" (1900) – and is because of that considered the father of American animation. Both stop-motion and drawn animation techniques were used in his films. He was also a director of silent film, and the founder of Vitagraph Studios.

    The history of American animated cartoons begins with Blackton, originally a magician and quick sketch artist who became a successful entrepreneur in the burgeoning film industry.

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  2. sidestreetsam

    sidestreetsam Moderator Staff Member Forum Member New Member

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    The transition to stop-motion was apparently accidental and occurred around 1905. According to Albert Smith, one day the crew was filming a complex series of stop-action effects on the roof while steam from the building's generator was billowing in the background. On playing the film back, Smith noticed the odd effect created by the steam puffs scooting across the screen and decided to reproduce it deliberately. A few films (some of which are lost) use this effect to represent invisible ghosts or to have toys come to life. In 1906, Blackton directed “Humorous Phases of Funny Faces”, which uses stop-motion as well as stick puppetry to produce a series of effects. After Blackton's hand draws two faces on a chalkboard, they appear to come to life and engage in antics. Most of the film uses live action effects instead of animation, but nevertheless this film had a huge effect in stimulating the creation of animated films in America.

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  3. sidestreetsam

    sidestreetsam Moderator Staff Member Forum Member New Member

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    ~ Greetings, Students!

    Further breakthroughs in animation were achieved in "The Haunted Hotel" (1907), another Vitagraph short directed by Blackton. The "Haunted Hotel" was mostly live-action, about a tourist spending the night in an inn run by invisible spirits. Most of the effects are also live-action (wires and such), but one scene of a dinner making itself was done using stop-motion, and was presented in a tight close-up that allowed budding animators to study it for technique.

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  4. sidestreetsam

    sidestreetsam Moderator Staff Member Forum Member New Member

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    Segundo Víctor Aurelio Chomón y Ruiz (17 October 1871 – 2 May 1929) was a pioneering Spanish film director. He produced many short films in France while working for Pathé Frères and has been compared to Georges Méliès, due to his frequent camera tricks and optical illusions. He is regarded as the most significant Spanish silent film director in an international context. In 1908 he filmed "The Electric Hotel" which utililized animation techniques he learned from both Blackton and Méliès.

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  5. sidestreetsam

    sidestreetsam Moderator Staff Member Forum Member New Member

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    Welcome, Students of Animation!

    In May 1902 Méliès made his most famous film, "A Trip to the Moon". The film includes the celebrated scene in which a spaceship hits the man in the moon in the eye; it was loosely based on Jules Verne's From the Earth to the Moon and H. G. Wells' The First Men in the Moon. In the film Méliès stars as Professor Barbenfouillis, a character similar to the astronomer he played in The Astronomer's Dream in 1898. Professor Barbenfouillis is president of the Astronomer's Club and oversees an expedition to the Moon. A space vehicle in the form of a large artillery shell is built in his laboratory, and he uses it to lead six men on a voyage to the moon. The vehicle is shot out of a large cannon and hits the Man in the Moon in the eye. The six men explore the moon's surface before going to sleep. As they dream, constellations dance around them and they are attacked by a group of moon men, played by acrobats from the Folies Bergère. They are chased back to their space-ship and then somehow fall from the moon back to earth, landing in the ocean (where a superimposed fish tank creates the illusion of the deep ocean). Eventually the six men return to their laboratory and are celebrated by adoring supporters. At 14 minutes, it was Méliès's longest film up to that date and cost 10,000 francs to produce.

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  6. sidestreetsam

    sidestreetsam Moderator Staff Member Forum Member New Member

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    Here's a link to Winsor MaCay's first animation acheivement "Little Nemo" (1911). When I was 13 I purchased an 8mm film copy of this film and a copy of "Gertie the Trained Dinosaur"(1914) from Blackhawk Films. I used to run these two over and over on my little Kodak projector!

    McCay was an early animation pioneer. Between 1911 and 1921 McCay self-financed and animated ten films, some of which survive only as fragments.

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  7. sidestreetsam

    sidestreetsam Moderator Staff Member Forum Member New Member

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    How a Mosquito Operates (1912), also known as The Story of a Mosquito, is a silent animated film by American cartoonist and animator Winsor McCay. The six-minute short, about a giant mosquito who torments a sleeping man, is one of the earliest animated films and is noted for the high technical quality of its naturalistic animation, considered far ahead of its contemporaries.

    McCay had a reputation for the technical dexterity of his cartooning, displayed most famously in the children's comic strip Little Nemo in Slumberland (1905–1911). He delved into the infant art of film animation in 1911 with Little Nemo, and followed that film's success with How a Mosquito Operates. McCay gives the animation naturalistic timing, motion, and weight, and displays a more coherent story and developed character than in Nemo.

    How a Mosquito Operates was enthusiastically received when McCay first unveiled it as part of his "chalk talk" vaudeville act, and in a theatrical release that soon followed. In 1914 McCay further developed the character animation he introduced in Mosquito with his best-known animated work, Gertie the Dinosaur.

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  8. sidestreetsam

    sidestreetsam Moderator Staff Member Forum Member New Member

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    Gertie the Dinosaur is a 1914 animated short film by American cartoonist and animator Winsor McCay. It is the earliest animated film to feature a dinosaur. McCay first used the film before live audiences as an interactive part of his vaudeville act; the frisky, childlike Gertie did tricks at the command of her master.

    McCay's employer William Randolph Hearst later curtailed McCay's vaudeville activities, so McCay added a live-action introductory sequence to the film for its theatrical release. McCay abandoned a sequel, Gertie on Tour (c. 1921), after producing about a minute of footage.

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  9. sidestreetsam

    sidestreetsam Moderator Staff Member Forum Member New Member

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    Begun in 1916, "The Sinking of the Lusitania" was McCay's follow-up to Gertie. The film was not a fantasy but a detailed, realistic recreation of the 1915 German torpedoing of the RMS Lusitania. The event counted 128 Americans among its 1,198 dead, and was a factor leading to the American entry into World War I.

    The film followed McCay's earlier successes in animation: Little Nemo (1911); How a Mosquito Operates (1912); and Gertie the Dinosaur (1914). The earlier films were drawn on rice paper, onto which backgrounds had to be laboriously traced; The Sinking of the Lusitania was the first film McCay made using the new, more efficient cel technology. McCay and his assistants spent twenty-two months making the film. His subsequent animation output suffered setbacks, as the film was not as commercially successful as his earlier efforts, and Hearst put increased pressure on McCay to devote his time to editorial drawings.

    McCay's self-financed Lusitania took nearly two years to complete. With the assistance of John Fitzsimmons and Cincinnati cartoonist William Apthorp "Ap" Adams, McCay spent his off hours drawing the film on sheets of cellulose acetate (or "cels") with white and black India ink at McCay's home. It was the first film McCay made using cels, a technology animator Earl Hurd had patented in 1914; it saved work by allowing dynamic drawings to be made on one or more layers, which could be laid over a static background layer, relieving animators of the tedium of retracing static images onto drawing after drawing. McCay had the cels photographed at the Vitagraph studios. The film was naturalistically animated, and made use of dramatic camera angles that would have been impossible in a live-action film.

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  10. sidestreetsam

    sidestreetsam Moderator Staff Member Forum Member New Member

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    McCay continued to produce animated films using cels. By 1921, he had completed six, though three were likely never shown commercially to audiences and have survived only in fragments. Here is the only known remaining scene from "The Centaurs" (1921).

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  11. sidestreetsam

    sidestreetsam Moderator Staff Member Forum Member New Member

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    Here is a link to "Flip's Circus" (1918-1921) from McCay's own work print. The only existing footage and never commercially released.

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  12. sidestreetsam

    sidestreetsam Moderator Staff Member Forum Member New Member

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    Here's a link to another amzing animation creation from Winsor McCay. "Dreams of a Rarebit Fiend: Bug Vaudeville" (1921). Apparently this film was originally part of the earlier short, "Flips Circus".

  13. sidestreetsam

    sidestreetsam Moderator Staff Member Forum Member New Member

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    Long considered a lost film this is the only existing fragment of Winsor McCay's "Gertie on Tour" (1921), his planned sequel to "Gertie the Dinosaur" (1914).

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