bobby bumps

Pioneers of Animation: Bray Productions

We’ve talked previously on this blog about the influence of cartoonist/animation pioneer Winsor McCay, but I’m going to mention it again (and again and again and again), as it would be nearly impossible to overstate his importance in promoting animation as a viable artistic medium. Films like Little Nemo (1911) and Gertie the Dinosaur (1914) directly inspired countless…

betty in blunderland

The early days of animation at Paramount, courtesy of the Fleischer brothers.

By 1927, Adolph Zukor, the Hollywood mogul behind the rapidly-expanding Paramount-Famous Lasky Corporation, had built a veritable entertainment empire. The studio had moved into a new, multimillion-dollar twenty-six acre lot off Melrose Avenue. They had amassed a chain of nearly two thousand theaters across the country, called Publix Theatres, in which to screen their many…

one froggy evening

Hello! ma baby, hello! my honey …

The ongoing Comedy Countdown at Wonders in the Dark is in full swing, and my second contribution to the event is now up on the site! By sheer coincidence, number 69 on the countdown is the 1955 animated short One Froggy Evening, directed by none other than the subject of our week-long animation celebration, Chuck Jones!…

Winsor McCay’s animated propaganda: The Sinking of the Lusitania

(This post was originally published on the sadly now-defunct site The Cinementals.) After the phenomenal success of Gertie the Dinosaur (1914), cartoonist Winsor McCay realized that he had found his passion in animation, and he was eager to create even more films. But his animated output was limited at the demand of his employer, publishing…