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Splendor in the Grass. The Roman Spring of Mrs. All Fall Down. Promise Her Anything. Bonnie and Clyde. The Only Game in Town. Heaven Can Wait. Kraft Television Theater. Westinghouse Studio One. Look Up and Live. The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis.
Alcoa Presents: One Step Beyond. Eugene O'Neill Theatre , Broadway. Academy Award. Best Picture. Best Actor. Best Original Screenplay shared with Robert Towne. Best Director shared with Buck Henry. Best Adapted Screenplay shared with Elaine May.
Best Director. Best Original Screenplay shared with Trevor Griffiths. Best Original Screenplay shared with Jeremy Pikser. Best Featured Actor in a Play. Golden Globe Awards. Best Actor - Motion Picture Drama. Iwerks Studio Directed by Ub Iwerks. Then Iwerks and Disney had a falling out in , and Iwerks opened his own animation studio. There, he created the bow tie-wearing Flip the Frog. Fiddlesticks is a simple bit of animation: It starts with Flip dancing and then playing the piano accompanied by a familiar-looking mouse in red shorts playing the violin.
But it is still an achievement. But it was Iwerks who showed that the burgeoning Technicolor process could be applied to the medium. Technicolor was faster and easier than previous coloring techniques for animation, and the finished product was easy for theaters to screen.
Fleischer Studios Directed by Dave Fleischer. Betty Boop, on the other hand, was created as a send-up of Jazz Age flappers, with a character design naughty enough to match the times. Watching this scene, in contrast with the Disney version of the folktale that would set the template for mainstream animated storytelling, the sheer experimentalism looks like an eerie dispatch from a different, much cooler timeline.
Here, Calloway seems to moonwalk along the animated landscape as Koko, arms out, singing a blues song about death and decay. When the witch casts her mirror over him, he becomes a ghost, at which point the rotoscoping gives seamlessly to impossible contortions.
Playful and surreal, it remains artistically daring nearly 90 years later. Radio Pictures Directed by Merian C. Cooper and Ernest B. Schoedsack, animated by Willis H. During the early stages of what would become King Kong , Merlan C. Cooper planned to film wild gorillas, intercutting it with footage of Komodo dragons so that it would appear as if the animals were engaged in a life-or-death battle. Thankfully, he figured out that it would be more economically feasible to go with animation, coming to that conclusion after viewing Creation, an overbudget and eventually canceled action-fantasy film helmed by stop-motion animator Willis H.
This moment in the classic would set up the next 90 years of blockbuster movies, everything from the work of Ray Harryhausen, to the animatronics of Stan Winston, to the inclusion of CGI. Disney himself agreed. Internally, the short featured an original song by Frank Churchill, Ted Sears, and Pinto Colvig, and the use of original music would become a convention of many Disney shorts that followed. Also, thanks largely to the work done by Freddie Moore, a hugely talented and influential artist at the studio, the storytelling and animation style at Disney began to shift.
One theater played the short for so long that it started adding whiskers to a poster for the short outside the auditorium; as the run went on, the whiskers would get longer and longer. It was also, not coincidentally, one of the first animated films to be fully storyboarded. And that story department would prove crucial in the years ahead as he marched toward a feature-length animated film.
Culturally, though, Three Little Pigs had an even larger impact. It became something of an anthem for a beleaguered country; its audio was played over the radio and its plot satirized in the newspaper. When fascism began bubbling up in Europe, the pigs with houses of straw and sticks were repurposed as a desperate warning call to Western nations not taking the Nazi threat seriously.
Mickey Mouse in color! You can even hear the overture as you swing. Truly a tremendous performance. The naval pugilist with forearms the size of watermelon had originated from E. By the mids Popeye was the most popular character in America, so it only made sense that Paramount Pictures would push Max Fleischer to produce a more ambitious short starring the spinach chomping strong man.
First used in the Popeye short, For Better or Worser, the process gave off the illusion that two-dimensional characters were able to maneuver in a three-dimensional space. Over 80 years after its premiere, the process is still effective, the illusion not aging a day. The pair would be the grandest cartoons Fleischer ever produced — until they began work on the adventures of a mild-mannered reporter from Metropolis.
For years, Disney had wanted more realism and dimensionality in his cartoons, foremost by ensuring that both the backgrounds and characters moved — as in a sequence for the Oscar-winning Three Orphan Kittens from — and later by tasking animator Ken Anderson, effects animator Cy Young, lighting expert Hal Halvenston, and engineer Bill Garity to come up with a solution. A wordless ode to nature, the eight-and-a-half-minute film focuses on the titular mill and the animals that inhabit it as a summer storm approaches.
Instead of being jokey caricatures, the animals and their action are rendered in a more realistic manner. They are simplified for visual clarity but never personified like in other shorts. There is a reason that, for years, clips from the short would be used in Disney Halloween compilation specials. It really is that spooky.
Wells Building. There, you can see the multiplane camera that was used on The Old Mill , sitting right in the lobby. It is impossible to overstate the importance of this movie to animation. The first full-length Disney animated film and the first full-length cel animated feature, period, the hardest thing about including Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs on this list was trying to decide which sequence to highlight.
Snow White also turned the tables of influence a bit. It centers on a princess and her desire for a happy ending. The adorability quotient, courtesy of the woodland animals who gather to listen to Snow White, is extremely high. What one gets from watching all these bits of artistry working in tandem is a warmed heart and a lifted spirit. As the first full-length animated feature in the U. From its ample and ambitious use of the multiplane camera to its reliance on an anthropomorphized animal sidekick to its use of live-action models and celebrity voice-acting, the film planted many of the seeds that would be sown over the next half-century of animation.
Splitting the difference between stylization and realism, Pinocchio set the standard for water effects in hand-drawn animation and became the model most mainstream animation aspired to up until CG animation made photorealism the new benchmark.
Every single frame of the three-and-a-half-minute sequence shows water in motion, a crescendoing symphony of foaming ripples, whirling eddies, and crashing waves achieved through a combination of inked cels photographed over specially toned blue paper and white paint overlays. In fact, Disney himself saw the film as an ever-evolving, never-complete passion project. He wanted the film to have its segments switched in and out every few years.
It was Walt at his artsiest and most ambitious. Well, not hell exactly, but close. And Disney still managed to one-up it. Fantasia was meant to show how limitless animation was and how willing Disney, who had made his fortune with cuddly animated characters, was to experiment. Not only is the tone midnight black, but the ghouls and goblins summoned by this unspeakable evil are truly grotesque; there are even topless female witches, their bare breasts exposed. To those who were willing to get swept up in it, Fantasia proved a heady, hugely inspiring trip indeed.
And Walt would finally get his follow-up, of sorts, at the end of , upon the debut of Fantasia Shortly after Action Comics No. This was a substantially different task than Max and Dave Fleischer were used to, forcing them to trade caricatured humans and animals for realistic-looking characters. And yet the Fleischer Superman serial ended up as a definitive take on the Man of Steel.
Not only was it nominated for an Academy Award, but its influence on both Superman comics and action animation is undeniable. Amid financing troubles with Paramount Pictures, the Fleischers resigned from their own company having produced nine Superman shorts credited to Fleischer Studios, which was later renamed Famous Studios. They wanted to make something that could match Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs , which had been released two years earlier, as well as represent their distressed nation.
Princess Iron Fan expands on an interlude in which the mischievous Sun Wukong and his fellow travelers tangle with a demonic couple over a fan they need to continue on their way. Though not the first time Disney anthropomorphized animals and far from its last time taking the life of an animal parent, the feature Bambi stands apart.
The book was originally considered too grim for the company to adapt, but after the film was put on hold following the release of Fantasia , it was, of course, taken into production. He believes the impulse to include such sequences stemmed from residual guilt surrounding the tragic death of his mother, for which he possibly blamed himself.
Despite its bleakness, the source novel was well received by critics and is considered both one of the first environmentalist novels and an anti-fascist allegory. As for the film, its most tangible effect, besides influencing similar death sequences in films including The Land Before Time and The Lion King , was on animal rights. Animated shorts based on fairy tales were a staple of animation in the first part of the 20th century.
For his MGM short Red Hot Riding Hood , he changed the script with one of his signature fourth-wall breaks: Instead of a straight adaptation of the story, the characters directly talk to the narrator and ask for a new take.
The short is the perfect amalgam of Averyisms, from meta-humor to pop-culture references, to gags with characters pulling objects out of thin air, to incredibly stretchy and contorting bodies. During World War II, nationalism took over multiple animation industries — hell, the first feature-length anime, Momotaro: Sacred Sailors , was about cute animals doing imperialism for the glory of Japan.
There are the ones that are simply about our favorite characters beating the shit out of now-uncomfortable racial caricatures Commando Duck or Bugs Bunny Nips the Nips. Mainly, it uses an Army Air Force base as an excuse for airplane shenanigans. Notably, it also bucks the trend as a Bugs Bunny short in which his adversary consistently gets the better of the wascally wabbit, and the role reversal can be surreal to watch at times.
In the final sequence, this paradoxically hits new heights as the plane plummets toward the ground. Bugs is made of putty, contorting in mortal agony. And it all caps off with one of the greatest punch lines in WB history. William Hanna and Joseph Barbera were, like their most famous creation, a match made in animation heaven. Hanna aspired to be a director and possessed a keen sense of timing.
With their Tom and Jerry shorts, their strengths always rose to the occasion, and the collaborators worked almost exclusively on the two natural enemies for 15 years after their debut short, Puss Gets the Boot. The Tom and Jerry cartoons were created with the highest craft at MGM, racking up numerous Academy Award nominations and wins in the process, and the escalating violence of the premise was lightning in a bottle for the studio. Like Looney Tunes , Tom and Jerry shorts solidified a type of animated violence that feels distinctly American.
Hubley joined the emerging United Productions of America studio, where he would go on to create the iconic Mr. He, together with other animators, would also break the mold in American animation and prove that animation could have as much variety as the imagination allows. The studio used single blocks of solid color and a few lines to indicate a location, influenced by the flattened perspectives and bright colors of Picasso, Matisse, and other modern painters.
This style would later be associated with Hanna-Barbera, which used the technique to save time and money, but it was UPA that made the choices that changed how animation was perceived. The creativity that was possible using limited animation was evident in Gerald McBoing-Boing , a short about a boy cursed to speak only in sound effects.
Produced by Hubley, directed by Bobe Cannon, and based on a story by Dr. Seuss, this short is the perfect showcase for the UPA style, masterfully using limited animation to deliver a modernist film that captures mood through a limited color palette and seamless editing between scenes. The color palette shifts to reflect his dejection, and when he runs away from home, he finds himself surrounded by black, a backdrop that evokes the woodcut backgrounds of the illustrator Lynd Ward.
Directed by Noburo Ofuji. In remaking the film, Ofuji deployed the unique method of using cutouts of transparent, colored cellophane and silhouetted shadow puppets, assembled on a multiplane animation table used to backlight the frames. This resulted in intentionally flat but fantastically layered frames, each swirling layer of water or sky remaining distinct even as the film quickly moves into visual chaos. Neighbours is one of the most important works by animator Norman McLaren and the first short to use live-action actors to make a stop-motion film, a technique called pixilation.
Not only does Neighbours build tension and offer a unique way of presenting his simple story; it forces the viewer to confront the relationship between animation and live-action film. Over the years, McLaren made many more contributions to the medium, mostly in his experiments combining animation with music. Eventually, he retired to a suburb of Montreal with the love of his life, Guy Glover, a man he met in and who supported him during bouts of depression.
Warner Bros. Cartoons Directed by Chuck Jones. And, as written by Michael Maltese, it also serves as a lesson in how animation works and why each element of it matters. From there, the backdrops keep changing and Daffy keeps trying to adjust. But eventually everything goes haywire: The sound goes out, the frame collapses and nearly crushes Daffy, and even Daffy himself gets erased more than once by the butt end of a pencil that enters the frame, presumably via some God-like figure.
Every person who worked on Duck Amuck matters, this short tells us, because every piece of a story, if altered or absent, transforms the narrative. A lot of the works on this list are perfect cartoons, but seriously: This is a perfect cartoon. More than almost any other short film in this list, this one needs no introduction. Animation legend Chuck Jones at the height of his creative powers?
The final appearance of Elmer Fudd in a Jones-directed cartoon? Bugs Bunny in his best drag performance? Coyote and Road Runner shorts. The added time and effort show onscreen. For many people, including RuPaul , Bugs Bunny provided a first introduction to drag queens, and the wascally wabbit never did it better than here, riding atop a morbidly obese yet graceful steed as Brunhilde. World War II lasted 15 years for Japan, a period during which few foreign cartoons were accessible.
The effect was monumental. Recruiting aspiring animators was easy. Retention was harder. The so-called Toei University turned young hopefuls into accomplished professionals, creating a massive pool of talent dissatisfied with their wages. Toei built an animation workforce ripe for poaching, just in time for the anime TV boom of the s. Overseen by Reitherman in a film co-directed by several of his fellow Nine Old Men, the fight between Prince Phillip and Maleficent in her dragon form feels like a moment Disney had been building to throughout its history as a studio.
There is the expansive, richly painted background work of artist Eyvind Earle. Despite all this spectacle, Sleeping Beauty did not find its audience upon release, and it would signal the end of an era for Disney. In the future, the studio would adopt animation shortcuts and digital techniques, and Sleeping Beauty would stand as the last film the studio allowed to be built entirely by the hands of its creators.
Though not well known in the U. His work influenced directors as wide-ranging as Terry Gilliam and Wes Anderson, to say nothing of his contemporary Trnka. Trnka, who found letterbox presentation of films to be abhorrent, chose to shoot every single frame with two cameras, one in Academy ratio and the other in CinemaScope, essentially recording an in-camera pan-and-scan of the film simultaneously with the theatrical version. The result is a film that feels epic in ways few other animated films of the time did — and many took notice.
Produced by Jay Ward and Bill Scott. But beyond its timeless binge-worthiness, Fractured Fairy Tales has also cemented its place in animation history for defying industry norms and influencing generations of subsequent creators. Compared to the Hanna-Barbera re-creations of the family-sitcom format like The Flintstones and The Jetsons , the Rocky and Bullwinkle humor in general and Fractured Fairy Tales in particular felt jaggedly satirical and occasionally dark.
Te Wei is unlike anyone else featured on this list. The cartoonist and animator did not come to the medium out of passion for the art or a desire to further innovate it; rather, Wei entered the world of animation because a government official ordered him to.
Wei and his staff would develop the technique after being challenged by Chen Yi, a high-ranking government official, to create a short that resembled the water color paintings of Qi Baishi, who had just passed away. Chinese animation has such a rich history but has had to overcome many hurdles thanks to government interference or indifference.
This surprise success inspired the duo, who had already produced Academy Award—winning Tom and Jerry shorts for MGM, to create a groundbreaking adult-oriented cartoon series for prime-time TV. The Flintstones was not an instant hit, at least not with critics, but the show quickly grew an audience as it married the tropes and humor of beloved live-action sitcoms like The Honeymooners which Hanna considered the funniest show at the time with the kind of visual gags you could only achieve with animation.
The cartoon was the first to include laugh tracks and focus on family issues that got resolved with laughter by the end of each episode, and it would create the template for animated sitcoms that The Simpsons ran with decades later to become an animation juggernaut.
Characters passed across the same backgrounds over and over again. Limited animation was pioneered by the UPA studio as a stylistic alternative to the more detailed realism of Disney and Warner Bros. Mushi Production Directed by Osamu Tezuka. Techniques like partial animation, abstract backgrounds, animation loops, and camera movement on still images all convey motion with as little animation as possible.
Or new. Or unique to Japan. Unfamiliar with the costs involved, buyers made low offers based on known quantities such as animation imports. By accepting an amount he knew fell far short, Tezuka set a harmful precedent that became industry standard. The ripple effect of that decision continues today; where Tezuka switched suppliers to save five yen per cel, animators now receive starvation wages to work in crunch conditions without benefits.
Astro Boy was also the first anime series to be broadcast on U. TV, imported by Fred Ladd, whose work carries its own complicated legacy. It set the precedent for treating imported anime as raw materials. Renamed characters, liberal translation, heavy-handed editing, bowdlerization, and filled silences as in this sequence, entirely without words in Japanese were hallmarks of anime localization until the aughts. But his contributions to the field were instrumental, and his influence remains immense, as the artist responsible for everything from the proto-kaiju that attacks New York in The Beast From 20, Fathoms to Bubo the mechanical owl in Clash of the Titans.
Harryhausen did no less than define a whole generation of moviegoing wonder, bringing to screen flying saucers and fighting centaurs and dinosaurs, all of it decades before the advent of computer-generated imagery. The intricate sequence, which took four months to film, looks so good because Harryhausen was able to sync the actions of his models up with the actions of the actors, making for an entirely convincing sword fight. First he shot the actors, who had rehearsed with stunt doubles and were then filmed performing their half of the fight, then he layered in his skeleton warriors, each of which had five appendages, into the film with their halves of the fight.
In the end, the fight was a landmark special effect. Those stop-motion skeletons shared the screen with the stars, but more importantly, they interacted with them. The hybridization of animation and live-action photography had existed long before Mary Poppins. Walt Disney himself had made a series of shorts using the technology before he ever invented Mickey Mouse or Oswald the Lucky Rabbit.
And he would return to the idea decades later in Mary Poppins , during a sequence in which Bert Dick Van Dyke and Mary Julie Andrews and the children escape into a chalk drawing. While in this animated wonderland, they dance, they sing catchy tunes by the Sherman Brothers, and they interact with a small platoon of animated penguin waiters, as charmingly animated by Disney legends Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston.
It feels like something of a throwback today, but for the time was incredibly cutting edge, mostly thanks to the interactivity between the humans and animated characters and the way the sequence was put together in an era long before blue-screen technology or the kind of compositing popularized by Star Wars.
This feat was accomplished using a combination of sodium vapor lights and a specially designed Technicolor camera responsible for only two strips of film, with a special prism that would capture the sodium vapor light on one strip and everything else on the other.
Incredibly, Technicolor was never able to replicate the prism again, leading to decades of cumbersome, overtly intricate solutions to the same problem. You can tell that Disney wanted to push things forward, and push things he did. Legend has it that notoriously contentious Mary Poppins author P.
Travers hated the animated sequence and after the world premiere even urged Disney to cut it. His reply? Travers might not have been a fan, but the sequence stands as a favorite of animation fans the world over.
Videocraft International, Ltd. Something about the stop-motion makes it fascinating, year after year, to the very young: the characters are hypertactile, all hair and fur, the story simple but elemental. The interchange between American and Asian animation outfits, including the problem of who exactly does what labor, would endure — as would that adorable, nasal-voiced reindeer. Directed by Marv Newland. Jokes aside, few students can say their school project played in theaters across the U.
But the film lives on, getting a makeover in a frame-for-frame HD re-creation in The catchy tune and the originality of the animated music-video concept inspired a wave of Saturday-morning cartoons to follow suit by incorporating bands and music, like that time Scooby Doo met the Monkees.
But if the Archies started the trend, Josie and the Pussycats perfected it with their mega-groovy intro sequence. Featuring an all-women rock band including Valerie Brown, the first Black woman main character in a cartoon, Josie and the Pussycats — which debuted half an hour before the Harlem Globetrotters TV series, the first majority Black cast in an animated show — set the scene for later girl-power animated classics like Jem and the Holograms.
Osamu Dezaki was a lion among animators, renowned for his work on such anime as Astro Boy , Dororo , Lupin the Third , and Space Adventure Cobra and whose signature techniques have since become inseparable from the visual language of Japanese animation. A few short years after the Western auteurist revolution of films like Easy Rider and Midnight Cowboy came a cast of characters that could have been mistaken for Jay Ward kiddie cartoons — until they opened their potty mouths or shed their hippy togs to reveal full feline tits and ass.
In what is perhaps the most memorable of many memorable scenes, you see everything that earned Fritz the Cat its reputation: campus feminists being lured into a dirty bathtub orgy, plenty of drug use, and bumbling cops who in this universe are, of course, pigs. Nearly 50 years later, it still evokes the fresh, rebellious excitement of a kid doodling a wang on a bathroom stall for the first time, giddily sordid.
The Jackson 5ive and The Harlem Globetrotters , which preceded it, were based on existing people. Scholastic Rock, Inc. Produced by George Newall and Thomas Yohe. Schoolhouse Rock! The animation was just as elegant in its simplicity. Many generations have been exposed to Schoolhouse Rock! To see images from it are to have them forever seared on the brain. Who could forget the giant blue-skinned Draag, with their lidless red eyes and a tendency to keep humans called Oms as pets, sometimes indulging the much-smaller species and sometimes subjecting its members to random acts of capricious cruelty?
Fantastic Planet is an all-purpose allegory about oppression that at varying times has been read as having a message about slavery, about animal rights, and about the Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia. Mushi Production Directed by Eiichi Yamamoto. Belladonna of Sadness was singular at the time of its release in , addressing historical misogyny and the ways that it can compromise or, in some cases, annihilate the bodies of women.
Jeanne has more in common with the tempting snake than the average woman, but the fatalism of her story, and the way it is rendered through oozing, wretched, red and black paint and a gaze of furious intent contains within it an elemental rage toward those who attempt to fracture the psyche of women everywhere. Belladonna climaxes, in a way, in its prolonged orgy sequence, which plays in direct opposition to earlier scenes of rape. Jeanne draws the villagers, who believe in God, into a world of animal lust and primal instinct, illuminating a central hypocrisy in those who lift up a higher power only to crush those who are deemed filthy or different.
Three years before the sci-fi boom led by Star Wars , Space Battleship Yamato sent a salvaged warship through space to save Earth from alien attack. Space Battleship Yamato Starts! So the director, the prominent manga artist Leiji Matsumoto, was horrified to learn this sequence had aired with a military march. Using real wartime iconography in a sci-fi setting to tell a very human story required a careful balance — easily tipped by a militaristic soundtrack. He won the fight, changed the cue, and Yamato went on to become one of the most influential anime of all time, both in Japan and in the U.
But neither did more overtly antiwar sequences. At one point, the protagonist weeps for his enemies while surrounded by dead allies, wondering if violence was necessary. Star Blazers created audio to keep the dead alive and the hero firm in his beliefs. The U. Nippon Animation Directed by Isao Takahata.
Space Battleship Yamato signaled the beginnings of fandom as we know it, with teenagers turning up at the studio to show their enthusiasm. At the time, most TV anime were about sports or sci-fi, starring boys or beautiful women. Heidi , scheduled opposite Yamato and achieving identical ratings, highlighted the business case for TV anime targeting girls. It also made the case for prestige TV animation.
These were dubbed and aired around the world, popularizing this anime style. He chose to make movies instead. Soyuzmultfilm Directed by Yuri Norstein. A little hedgehog is on his way to meet his friend the bear when he spots a white horse in the evening fog and decides to investigate. The horse disappears, and the hedgehog encounters all manner of frights in the fog before eventually finding his way to the bear.
Even when the danger has passed, he cannot shake the image of the horse in the fog from his mind. Neither will anyone who watches this astonishing film. Despite working with paper cutouts — a form that has more in common with stop-motion than traditional 2-D animation — he brings incredible dimensionality to his films through a variety of tricks, such as his own unique version of the multiplane camera.
With Hedgehog in the Fog , he stumped his colleagues around the world with extraordinary environmental effects. How do the animals actually fade into and out of the fog? How did he replicate the fuzziness of fog so effectively with glass and celluloid? The answer is that he painstakingly manipulated an extremely thin layer of paper between the camera and the planes of the scenes. Directed by Caroline Leaf. But the artist most often credited with inventing the technique is pioneering Canadian filmmaker Caroline Leaf, who first used it to make her wondrous short The Street , based on the story by Mordecai Richler.
Leaf has made use of various innovative approaches to animation throughout her career, creating images with sand or by scratching directly on the emulsion of the film itself. The result, in The Street which was also up for an Oscar , is a handcrafted look that conveys the subjectivity and, in the fluidity of how the figures and scenes shift from one moment to the next, the haziness of the recollected past.
Big things have small beginnings, and from the folds of this tiny roiling pustule spawns an entire planetary ecosystem of mammoth monstrosities with squinting eyes and gnashing teeth. Hanna-Barbera Directed by Charles A.
In the mids, Hanna-Barbera was unstoppable. Midway through what would be a year reign as one of the most prolific animation studios in television history, the studio made hay by embracing limited animation, a low-budget technique that only required animators to animate what they absolutely had to, and embraced recycled footage whenever possible.
The longevity of Super Friends — like many Hanna-Barbera properties, the series would regularly be retooled and renamed — means that wider trends in the television landscape of the time can be seen in its segments. The introduction of Black Vulcan, the first Black superhero on television, is one of them.
Directed by Suzan Pitt. Both films glide across an abstract reality of moving images that could only be wrought by the bare hands of their creators. She spent her entire career experimenting with form while finding inspiration through the natural world, and Asparagus is overwhelmed with florid images of vegetation that resemble genitalia, a not-so-subtle metaphor for life and its possibilities of creation. Pitt animates her film with a gliding, dreamy quality of shape-shifting and effervescent movement.
She refuses to cut hard from one image to the next, instead opting for something more fluid with a seductive, liquid effect of disguised image wipes, which give the short a sinking, hallucinatory aura. In Asparagus , when doors and windows open, within those images there are only more images to slip into even further, as if Pitt envisioned her minute short as Alice falling down the rabbit hole if the falling never stopped. Pitt died in , but the influence of her artistry and of Asparagus in particular are undeniable in the fields of experimental animation, visual art, and film to the extent that a community formed in her orbit over the years.
Grimault eventually obtained the rights to the film and was finally able to complete the film as he originally intended. And boy, were those intentions bizarre. And then the giant robot appears. The surrealist film, particularly this sequence, is a noted influence on Ghibli co-founders Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata, with Miyazaki explaining how the film made him more aware of how to use space in a vertical manner.
When Ichiro Itano was 20 years old, he decided one night to strap 50 fireworks onto his motorbike, light them with a Zippo, and start speeding down his local beach at 80 miles an hour. Because he was told it was dangerous. In the midst of all the smoke, light, and sound emanating from the fireworks, the young daredevil and animator gained the inspiration for what would become one of the most iconic sequences in animation. Since the s, it has been one of the most copied sequences in animation, many attempting to mimic or even outdo the innovator.
The circus also helped lead to the rise of sakuga culture in anime, where fans become familiar with the work of individual animators, following them from series to series, elevating them to superstar status. He transformed a folktale into dark comedy about a tree stump baby with a taste for human flesh. He depicted two cutlets of meat having a grand and fully consummated romance before getting fried up for dinner.
In it, tooth-clicking profiles formed out of produce, kitchen equipment, and office gear take turns devouring one another and then regurgitating the increasingly chewed-up bits. A staunch advocate for the medium, Bluth wanted to make movies that refused to cut those corners and showed what animation could be at a time when the form was at a box-office low.
He trips and falls and gesticulates, all while covered in a scarlet cord, dangling with real weight; a touch of painstaking realism in a fantasy world. This iconic sequence proved you could sell action figures and pop songs at the same time and demonstrated two game-changing innovations: transforming mecha and virtual idols.
These visits became regular, and he was working there part time before even starting his mechanical engineering degree. In , he designed a line of toys that transformed smoothly from robots to cars or airplanes and back again, grounded in real world mechanics. These would become Transformers , opening up the most profitable new mecha toy possibilities since Getter Robo first combined robots in But the idol content was just as groundbreaking.
This framework was never applied to fictional characters until Minmay. The soundtrack sold music. Miss DJ sold Minmay. Nevertheless, it built a dedicated fan following and shaped the animation landscape as Star Blazers had before it. Alongside executive producer Peter Keefe, Koplar heavily edited the series, removing the more violent and gruesome aspects of GoLion and rewriting the script so that it could be appropriate for American children.
He and his staff would also change the name of the robot from GoLion to Voltron, Defender of the Universe. A legit pop-culture phenomenon, Voltron is an example where — in the U. It was the No. More than anything, Voltron paved the way for other anime series to appear on American televisions like Dragon Ball Z, and tokusatsu shows like Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. Warner Records Directed by Steve Barron.
Despite the response, lead singer Morten Harket knew they had a hit on their hands; it just needed that extra something to push it over the top. Enter Jeff Ayeroff, then—creative director of Warner Bros. After shooting the live-action scenes in London, Patterson and Reckinger took the footage and spent 16 weeks creating the rest of the video. Drawing on the experience of creating his student film Commuter , Patterson and Reckinger drew over 2, drawings, bringing them to life in the style of a flickering, comic-book-like animation with rotoscoping the first music video to make use of the technique.
The result was nothing short of revolutionary, unlike anything television audiences had seen until then; catapulting the song to No. The video became so popular that viewers would leave MTV on in the background, just waiting for the chance of it coming on.
However, the idyllic ending of The Big Snit shrouds its bleak antiwar message in a colorful collage of flowers and flying Scrabble pieces. The short ends on a relatively high note, despite these dark undertones. Directed by The Brothers Quay. Siblings Stephen and Timothy Quay were born in Pennsylvania, but their aesthetic feels so innately European in its influences that they might as well be from across the Atlantic in spirit. Regardless, their work, which combines stop-motion and live-action footage with a dark sensibility, feels both familiar in its touchpoints and fresh in how it builds on those references toward something new.
In their best-known work, the short Street of Crocodiles , a puppet inside a curio box is freed from his strings by a man looking down through a viewing window from the outside. Pixar may be one of the most recognized brands in animation today, but its icon status found its start in a little lamp that could. Luxo Jr. At the time, Pixar was a new, small studio where John Lasseter and a team of part-time animators were working with very little funding and low expectations.
Though Luxo Jr. At the time of its release in , the short was the first work of animation to use procedural animation and marked a breakthrough in CGI , using shadow mapping to show shifting light and shadow animated objects. Its emotional realism established inanimate objects as having lifelike qualities that could inspire both comedy and drama. Later that year, Luxo Jr. Studio Ghibli Directed by Hayao Miyazaki.
Totoro has some fun with making water fall on the umbrella before his ride comes: an enormous bus shaped like a cat. Or rather, a cat shaped like a bus?
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