Thursday, March 03, 2005

Animation and other fun stuff

Since I was a kid I've been a fan of cartoons (or animation, since that is probably more accurate). I have fond memories of sitting in the living room of my parents house watching hours of POPEYE, FARMER ALFALFA and other b&w cartoons originally made for theatres. Eventually, these were pushed aside by material made for the emerging TV market. Stuff like RUFF & READY, CRUSADER RABBIT and the numerous creations of Hanna & Babara (like HUCKLEBERRY HOUND & YOGI BEAR).

Even as I grew older I never lost my love of the art form, but found that it actually expanded to include material found only in animation festivals or at conventions. I've added two links over on the right to sites which cover some of this stuff, both of them by folks known and respected for the knowledge. I actually had the opportunity to meet both of these gentleman, back in another life.

Leonard Maltin, long before he began popping up on ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT, was teaching courses on the history of animation at the New School in Manhattan. The very first time I ever met Elayne Riggs (then Wechsler) we attended one of these classes. The class was interesting, although I don't remember now which cartoons he showed. It was on St. Patrick's Day, I believe, and I think we went out for Chinese later, but that's another story.

I also know that it was Elayne who introduced me to Jerry Beck. This was at an animation festival held at the old Thalia uptown. I believe that Jerry and his partner Will Friedwald were both in attendance.

Jerry's site, CARTOON RESEARCH is of course dedicated to animation and the history of the art form. Leonard's is much more diverse, but still has links to animation history (including Jerry's site), as well as film history in general. I probably check out the Maltin site on a more regular basis, but both have aided me in looking up references I'd never have found on my own.
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