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Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Animation Salon: SAY SOMETHING DAMMIT! March 21

Woodbury University has graciously invited ASIFA-Hollywood to host events at their newly opened Fletcher Jones Foundation Auditorium. These events are free and open to the animation community.


Saturday, March 21st, 2009 7:30pm
Admission FREE
Woodbury University
7500 Glenoaks Bl
Burbank, CA 91510

Jean Francois de Troy, "Reading from Moliere" 1728

On Saturday, March 21st at 7:30pm, we will be holding an Animation Salon to encourage animated filmmakers to...


Yesterday at Animation Nation, Don Bluth asked, "How did traditional animation come to be viewed by almost every American household as children's entertainment?"

It's a good question... one that we will be discussing this Saturday March 21st at 7:30pm at Woodbury University.

Say Something Dammit
Animation didn't start out as a vehicle for fairy tales and trite moral platitudes. Pioneers like Winsor McCay saw animation as an outgrowth of print cartooning, a powerful medium for challenging social comment going all the way back to Thomas Nast.

In the years since McCay, animation has proven itself to be effective for education and persuasion. Animated propaganda films helped to win World War II, and animated commercials have sold billions of dollars worth of products.

Say Something Dammit
Say Something Dammit
In some countries, animation is a powerful tool of persuasion and enlightenment. Even though animation is by its very nature collaborative, some filmmakers have been able to use it as a medium of personal expression.

Why has it come to be perceived as children's entertainment then?

Say Something Dammit
Not that children's entertainment is necessarily a bad thing. There have been animators who have pushed the envelope to create kids' TV that not only entertains, but has something interesting to say as well. But on the whole, animation that has a point is the exception, not the rule.

This Saturday, we will be screening some examples of animated films that successfully merge entertainment with meaningful comment on life and the world around us.

Say Something Dammit
Some of them take a wide ranging view, tackling immense subjects...

Say Something Dammit
...Others take the opposite approach, using a small scale to make a large point. Both are valid.

But when it comes to feature animation, films with something to say are as rare as hen's teeth. Sprinkled in amongst the talking dogs and fairy tale princesses are occasional sparks of life. But often those sparks are extinguished before the film even reaches the theater.

Say Something Dammit
For instance, do you know about the hidden link between Disney's Fox and the Hound...

Say Something Dammit
...and Ralph Bakshi's Coonskin?

Say Something Dammit
You'll find out the secret if you attend ASIFA-Hollywood's Animation Salon at Woodbury this Saturday night!

Say Something Dammit
Don't miss it!

Here as a little sneak peek is a clip from Bakshi's Coonskin. This sequence was designed by Mark Kausler and animated by Charlie Downs and John Walker. Here is a bit of Mark Kausler's storyboard for the sequence...

Say Something Dammit
Say Something Dammit
And here is the sequence as it appears in the film...

Malcolm the Cockroach
from Ralph Bakshi's "Coonskin" (1975)

(Quicktime 7 / 6.5 MB)

PLEASE NOTE The text and media files on the ASIFA-Hollywood Animation Archive Blog are not to be duplicated, redistributed or hosted on other websites without the prior written permission of the Board of Directors of ASIFA-Hollywood.

We'll be discussing and screening examples related to these and many more topics at Woodbury University on March 21st. I hope you can join us.

Saturday, March 21st, 2009 7:30pm
Admission FREE to the animation community
Woodbury University
School of Business / Fletcher Jones Foundation Theater
7500 Glenoaks Bl
Burbank, CA 91510

(Click for printable map)

Stephen Worth
Animation Archive

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At 4:39 AM, Blogger Shelley Noble said...

Well said, better said than I tried a few years ago. I wish more people would have more to say with the projects they choose to work on, or at least if they do, have more courage to say it.

I know practical concerns can get in the way. But if someone has something meaningful inside, I hope they can find a way to express it.

Then we'll all have better things to watch.


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