#7: A Re-Evaluation of “Snow White”

This past week in class, we watched the first animated feature film, Die Abenteur des Prinzen Achmed (The Adventures of Prince Achmed). Directed by Lotte Reiniger, it premiered in 1926 and was revolutionary in its use of the multiplane camera and cutout animation. “The multiplane camera was used to give an illusion of depth to traditional 2D animation. To achieve this, pieces of artwork were moved past the camera at various speeds and at various distances. Some areas of artwork were left transparent so that layers below could be seen behind them” (Cavalier, pg. 89).

Fast-forward eleven years and you’ve reached Walt Disney’s first feature-length animation film, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Seven DwarfsThe film was wildly successful both commercially and critically. It has gone down in animation history as a major advancement for the medium due to Disney’s work in combining rotoscope and hand-drawn animated characters, complex color palettes, real human feelings over the whole emotional spectrum and expansive landscaping through multiplane cameras.

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*Update for Midterm* #6: “Get A Horse” Is a Blend of the Old and the New in Animation

This past Sunday night, the 86th Annual Academy Awards premiered on ABC. After months of build-up and anticipation, the ceremony came and went without too many surprises. One of the biggest upsets of the night, however, occurred in a category that historically doesn’t garner much attention at all, no matter how shocking the results end up being. I’m referring to Best Animated Short Film. Get A Horse was the extremely popular and well received short that ran in theaters before Disney’s Frozen. The short film that ended up taking home the prize was a Fraco-Luxembourger production by the name of Mr. Hublot. While I don’t pretend to understand the minds of Academy voters, I’ll just take it on good faith that Mr. Hublot is a wonder to behold. But this post is about Get A Horse, so lets get back on track and discuss how this classically-inspired short captured the hearts of so many people with its blend of fundamental animation and modern-era storytelling.
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#5: FOX’s Animation Domination Crossovers

Animation Domination is a block of time on FOX television network on Sunday nights that shows adult cartoons. It was first aired during sweeps week in May 2005 with the introduction of American Dad and the three-year revival of Family Guy, supported by the comedic anchors of The Simpsons and King of the Hill. Since these properties are all owned by FOX, the possibilities for crossovers in a shared universe are unlimited. Animation makes the crossover potential more appealing and feasible due to the low-level of commitment from the stars of the other shows. Continue reading

#4: Letting Go to Embrace Womanhood in “Frozen”

If you’re in an animation class, chances are that you’ve seen and thoroughly enjoyed Disney’s latest princess tale, Frozen. Besides breaking records at the box office, the official soundtrack is also breaking records on the Billboard charts. One song in particular is the driving force behind the current obsession with Frozen. That song is, “Let It Go,” sung by the misunderstood queen Elsa, a.k.a. Idina Menzel.

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#3: “A Cat in Paris” is Actually About a Cat Burglar

a-cat-in-paris
“A Cat in Paris” is literally about a cat who lives in Paris named Dino. By day he stays with a lonely little girl named Zoe, and by night he is on the prowl with a thief named Nico. In the animation style of the film, we see that Zoe and Nico mirror character traits of a cat through their movements while representing the motives of a cat looking for a family in the city of love.
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#2: Flynn Rider Saves his Demographic in “Tangled”

Tangled-Logo

In most Disney princess films, the main focus is on the princess with the prince occasionally showing up to save the day. However, Disney’s 50th animated feature Tangled (2010) shakes up that age-old formula in favor of a new onscreen dynamic. In order to draw a larger male audience after the poor box office performance of 2009’s The Princess and the Frog, Tangled‘s marketing and overall narrative structure put the prince and the princess on equal ground. This technique would go on to benefit the film both financially and critically.
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#1: “Archer” Breathes New Life With a New Genre

Archer on FX

Archer on FX

Austin Powers and the popular French film series OSS 117 have already sufficiently covered the spoofing/parodying of the spy genre, with plenty of well deserved homages made specifically to the suavest of all spies, James Bond. But, in 2010, an up-and-coming cable channel proved that there is still plenty of room for secret agent laughs with the debut of Archer.
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