• Bill Plympton. Your Face, 1987, drawn on paper with colored pencils, Oscar nominationBill has been called, “The king of American independent animation” as he has been nominated for two Oscars, received numerous festival awards, had made his living as an independent animator, and is remarkably prolific and versatile. Before becoming an animator he had a successful career doing cartoons, caricatures and illustrations for print publications.
    Music is by Maureen McElheron. Her voice was slowed down in the studio to achieve that odd pitch/tone.
  • Ben Ridgeway. Cosmic Flower Unfolding, 2013, cg, Vimeo staff pick, has won several festival awards. Ben is a tenured professor at SF State.
  • George Griffin. You’re Outa Here (2009) music by Lorraine Feather. She is the daughter of the late jazz critic Leonard Feather and her godmother was the great jazz singer Billie Holliday. Lorraine say “I sent him all of my music, everything I had done up to that point” and he said, “If I’m going to make an animated film, the song that really does it for me is You’re Outa Here.” She continued, “He loved the energy of it and could see it as an animated short.” George lives in NYC and has worked in animation since the 1970s.
  • Bimbo’s Initiation, 1931, #37 in Jerry Beck’s book World’s Greatest Cartoons, Betty Boop has dog ears as her pal is Bimbo, a dog that walks on two legs and dresses as a human. This is an exceptional surreal work of art. Find out why this film is so highly rated.
  • Betty Boop, Bimbo and KoKo in Snow White, 1933, music by Cab Calloway, #19 in the book World’s Greatest Cartoons.
  • Popeye in Dream Walking, 1934, Olive has photos of both Popeye and Bluto by her bed and each guy has a photo of her in their bedrooms suggesting there was a reason for them to fight over her. “If not the best, certainly one of the top three, Popeyes of all time.” per IMDB.Note that Popeye lived in a rundown building (it was the depression era).
  • Mickey Mouse in Thru the Mirror, 1936 in Technicolor, directed by David Hand, is full of fast-paced action, has lavish artwork, a complex script, etc. Little touches like seeing all the details added to some backgrounds or a character walking behind a colored glass bottle in the foreground are minor touches, but impressive details when you realize artist had to draw and paint them. I still marvel at all the work that went into the complex images of playing cards in motion. They still impress me.
  • Merry Mannequins, by Ub Iwserks, 1937, a spectacular work of art deco art. It was a “Color Rhapsody” carton distributed by Columbia. The story is about two department store mannequins who fall in love, become engaged and plan to marry. Iwerks was the animator/director who created the first Mickey Mouse cartoons for Walt Disney (Walt was the producer).
  • Next, 1989, by Barry Purves, made at Aardman Animation, U.K, is Shakespeare auditioning to get into heaven. He acts out moments from each of his plays.
  • Roll ‘Em Lola, Fred Burns, 1974. It is a magnificent film by Fred Burns, made at USC in 1974 with music by George Winston. This remarkable work of art was beautifully restored by Casey Herbert.
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