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PostPosted: Thu Apr 10, 2008 6:00 pm 
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Here's an early test version of Little Nemo: Adventures In Slumberland by none other than Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata.

Bob Clampett's John Carpenter Of Mars.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 10, 2008 7:10 pm 
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Antoine Doinel wrote:
Here's an early test version of Little Nemo: Adventures In Slumberland by none other than Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata.

Thanks for posting this.
In the comments section one person (Tsuka) cites some French sources indicating that Miyazaki didn't work on that pilot. Then someone else (jerome) links to a longer version.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 07, 2008 12:36 pm 

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The animated adaptation of Peter S. Beagle's novel, The Last Unicorn , is a favourite of mine; I believe most of the overseas staff that worked on it later went and helped form Studio Ghibli.

Stay away from the recent R1 DVD, though. It's been censored.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 08, 2008 1:04 pm 
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I was in a second-hand store the other day and discovered that I can now own Wacky Races on DVD! A little research proves that Hanna-Barbera has been very forthcoming while I haven't been paying attention.

So, those in the know, the big question is this: where the hell are my god damned Laff-A-Lympics?

-Toilet Dcuk


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 09, 2008 3:54 pm 
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toiletduck! wrote:
So, those in the know, the big question is this: where the hell are my god damned Laff-A-Lympics?

I want Captain Caveman, too!


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 17, 2008 7:46 pm 

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Cobalt60 wrote:
Annie Mall wrote:
For anyone aware of the whole sordid business concerning Richard William's failed masterpiece, The Thief and the Cobbler, this deserves a standing ovation.

BTW the Wiki article is pretty good

There's a YouTube channel with three of the cuts (The two theatrical releases and the fan reconstruction) along with a ton of other rare stuff - Disney owns all rights except for the Miramax version, which has been retained by the Weinsteins.


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 27, 2008 10:53 pm 
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I recently asked in the "Identify This Film" thread about an animated short I recalled having the title "Imprint." I found it, in case anyone is interested, and it's as just as eerie as I remembered. I had just about given up searching but I tried one more route and there it was. I discovered that it is by Jacques Armand Cardon. Googling his name turned up the film on YouTube. I think watching it on a real display inevitably has a much better effect, but even seeing this blurry transfer (in full screen mode) sent chills up my spine. I vividly remembered every scene of this. This thing really etched itself in my mind when I saw it one time about 15 years ago.


Last edited by Gregory on Thu Oct 02, 2008 7:36 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 29, 2008 6:52 pm 

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Gregory wrote:
I recently asked in the "Identify This Film" thread about an animated short I recalled having the "Imprint." I found it, in case anyone is interested, and it's as just as eerie as I remembered. I had just about given up searching but I tried one more route and there it was. I discovered that it is by Jacques Armand Condon. Googling his name turned up the film on YouTube. I think watching it on real display inevitably has a much better effect, but even watching this blurry transfer (in full screen mode) sent chills up my spine. I vividly remembered every scene of this. This thing really etched itself in my mind when I saw it that one time about 15 years ago.

Wow, I've never seen that before, thanks.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 02, 2008 7:01 pm 
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Zobalob wrote:
Gregory wrote:
I recently asked in the "Identify This Film" thread about an animated short I recalled having the "Imprint." I found it, in case anyone is interested, and it's as just as eerie as I remembered. I had just about given up searching but I tried one more route and there it was. I discovered that it is by Jacques Armand Condon. Googling his name turned up the film on YouTube. I think watching it on real display inevitably has a much better effect, but even watching this blurry transfer (in full screen mode) sent chills up my spine. I vividly remembered every scene of this. This thing really etched itself in my mind when I saw it that one time about 15 years ago.

Wow, I've never seen that before, thanks.

Just want to second this and thanks to Gregory for the link. Have shown it to others and they were wow'ed also. Interesting that this is Cardon's only credit on IMDb, I wonder if that was his sole animation effort. Based on the strength of L'Empreinte, I'd certainly like to see more of his work.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 02, 2008 7:45 pm 
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Quot wrote:
Interesting that this is Cardon's only credit on IMDb, I wonder if that was his sole animation effort. Based on the strength of L'Empreinte, I'd certainly like to see more of his work.

As far as I can tell, it was. I think he mostly did cartoons and illustrations but was also involved in some non-animated television work.
By the way, I wrote the post above really hastily and actually misspelled Cardon's name (now fixed).
I'm glad people have enjoyed this, even though the blurriness of the video makes it hard to see some of the details, such as what happens with the pillow.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2008 10:32 pm 
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Lino wrote:
I think this could be a very nice idea. You could use this thread kind of like an interactive journal where one can write about 20th century produced animation feature films, shorts and TV series that have managed to make an impression on you recently.

I've long been pushing for an Ub Iwerks collection, perhaps for an Eclipse series. He's easily made enough impact to be noted. That's my pick for animation, which Criterion hasn't seen since Akira.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 18, 2009 12:45 pm 
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I bought the DVD of DIsney's Tomorrowland mainly out of scholarly interest in two of the films on the second disc. It took me a long time to get around to watching the three on the first disc, but they all had their moments, especially Mars and Beyond which has a couple of sequences that are among most remarkable things I've ever seen from Disney.
Here are the two, from YouTube, although a larger image and sharper detail is needed to fully appreciate them, especially the second.
These are two very different imaginings of what life on Mars would be like. The first is unabashedly silly and the second is downright surreal. I don't use the term lightly: these scenes strike me as a cross between some of Norman McLaren's surreal/phantasy work and, in another medium, Jim Woodring's deeply imaginary yet palpably physical world of organisms that are born, kill, digest their food, and die.
Both of these segments are highly inventive and a real joy to watch.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 18, 2009 3:07 pm 
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Here is a small gem that I do not remember seeing discussed. It is a 2-DVD set of all 43 extant animated shorts that Emile Cohl created for Gaumont. All of these films were made between 1908 and 1910, and represent a small catalogue of animated techniques. In the supplementary section, there are another 14 films that Emile Cohl went on to make for other companies, as well as two little featurettes/documentaries (in French only).

The release is actually flagged as the second part in Gaumont's "Early Cinema" series, which began with the barnstorming 7-Disc set of films by Alice Guy, Louis Feuillade and Leonce Perret (released last year).

The e-tailer that is linked above appears to specialize in animation, and they were easy, (English-)friendly and fast to deal with.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 18, 2009 6:47 pm 

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That looks very promising. i look forward to getting it.

Does anyone have a recommended source for the early Max & Dave Fleischer Inkwell cartoons.

there seems to be a "Best DVD" that is out of print, with nothing new to take its place.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 04, 2009 12:12 pm 
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Can anyone recommend this collection of Yuri Norstein's films? If anything else he did is at all on the level of Tale of Tales, I'd be willing to pay this much.


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PostPosted: Fri May 14, 2010 5:07 pm 
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Adam wrote:
That looks very promising. i look forward to getting it.

Does anyone have a recommended source for the early Max & Dave Fleischer Inkwell cartoons.

there seems to be a "Best DVD" that is out of print, with nothing new to take its place.

I have this crazy cheap Giant 600 Cartoon Collection 12DVD thing, and it's a real treasure. There's a few Fleischers in it. In My Merry Oldsmobile (1931) was fascinating....they talk about "old" cars here. Kids In The Shoe (1935) has a musical sequence which outright proves that Rock And Roll did not begin in the 50s. Greedy Humpty Dumpty (1936) was downright disturbing.

The collection was something like 6 bucks, and the prints aren't great, not surprisingly. But it's 60 hours of immense fun, even with commercials of the day thrown in here and there. (By accident?)


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PostPosted: Fri May 14, 2010 7:52 pm 
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harry : I think Tale of Tales is Norstein's best work and that nothing really compare. His first films are propaganda, then adaptation of folklore (Heron and the Crane being my favorite, and the one I like to share with people) and then it get deeper in his two last films (that is, until his feature film release!). But I think it's all worth it, even if a complete Norstein collection is really short. Beware though, If this collection is anything like the Masters of Russian Animation collection, the subtitles are burned-in.


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PostPosted: Sat May 15, 2010 12:27 am 
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I actually like Hedgehog in the Fog even more than Tale of Tales.

The collection is _easily_ worth the price being asked.


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PostPosted: Sat May 15, 2010 8:57 pm 

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I too prefer Hedgehog in the Fog to Tale of Tales, although they're both so mind-numbingly good it's hardly worth making the distinction. Those are his only films I've seen thus far, but I'm eager to see more. I don't own the collection so I can't speak for its quality, but it seems like a no-brainer.

I've been watching tons of short animations, lately, both old and new. I've been paying them more attention than features, actually, and it's been well worth the effort. I've discovered dozens of filmmakers and animators, many of whom are so obscure or peripheral they're hardly even mentioned here, where we specialize in the eclectic and neglected. I've discovered some astounding films and I'll probably post some recommendations or links somewhere down the line, once I've organized my thoughts a bit (I'm still wading through all the films -- almost there). I've seen some rich, astounding, memorable films, and it's a pity they're so casually overlooked or so difficult to track down.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 19, 2010 7:57 am 
Whilst it was posted month or so back, so I'm not sure if you will notice this karmajuice, but just thought I'd say that I for one would be interested to read more about the animations you've been wathing in recent times, finding it very difficult to track down obscure animation outside of the occasional box sets and other less wholesome sources.

Its a great shame that as of yet (to my knowledge at least) no one has made use of the great potential for using legal downloads and bought special features as a way to make independent shorts films a financially viable form that can fund new works and ensure they are legitimately available to purchase in high quality for a wider audience.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 19, 2010 4:26 pm 

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Fear not, I have noticed it.

I'll warn you now, purchasing these films legally is a chore on the rare occasion that it's even possible. Even if you find a collection of shorts, they're rarely assembled cohesively. Occasionally you'll find a set dedicated to a particular filmmaker's output, but most collections feature an array of unrelated films and you often have to take the good with the bad. In many cases, the very very very bad.

I'll start off with some genuinely great sets you can buy legally (or films you can watch online, legally). Many of these are Region 2, and while I own them I am not quite region-free yet, so I have a dozen sets I haven't watched. But I recommend them based on the quality of their content and the praise I've heard elsewhere.

First off, the National Film Board of Canada. Anyone who has spent any time watching animation shorts has doubtlessly heard of them, but their history is so varied and rich that there is always more to be discovered. Fortunately, their website hosts their films online for free. Not DVD quality, of course, but available and very watchable. The site also features their strong documentary tradition, as well as short making-of videos of some films.

My favorite NFB animators include:

-Norman McLaren (who I'll say more about in a bit)
-Cordell Barker (The Cat Came Back, Strange Invaders, and his most recent, Runaway)
-Ryan Larkin (Walking, Street Musique; also check out Chris Landreth's Oscar-winning docu-animation Ryan)
-Paul Driessen (The Killing of an Egg, An Old Box, The End of the World in Four Seasons, The Water People; but not all of his films were made at the NFB)
-Pierre Hebert (who I've just discovered, but who looks very promising)
-And a few stand-out animations: When the Day Breaks (Tilby/Forbis), Le Chapeau (Cournoyer), Every Child (Fedorenko), Night Angel (Drouin/Pojar). These films represent only a fraction of their output, of course, based on personal taste. I heartily recommend exploring the site, and you'll often find yourself stumbling into NFB films even while looking elsewhere. It's always a pleasant surprise.

Regarding Norman McLaren, I recently bought the Masters Edition DVD (and have only had time to glance at it, so I'll try to provide a more thorough recommendation once I've explored it more). By all appearances, though, it's a thoroughly comprehensive set featuring most of his films (I don't believe it has quite all of them), including various tests, unfinished films, and other extras. It's pricey at $90, but I got it for about fifty when it was on sale, so I'd keep an eye on it. He's not the most obscure animator, of course, but he's among the greatest of experimental animators, and his work is both diverse and brilliant.

I'll divide most of my other recommendations by nationality. Most will be recommended by filmmaker, but in a few cases I'll recommend individual animations, if the filmmaker has only just started out or only has a limited output (which is often the case in independent animation, since the films take so long to make).

Russian Animators:
-Yuri Norstein - Because he must be mentioned. Available on DVD, though as I said above I'm unsure of the quality.
-Mikhail Aldashin - Contemporary. Uses various styles and has excellent timing and a feel for comedic/humanistic nuance. Of his films, I have seen Poumse. . ., The Other Side, and Christmas, the latter two being my favorites. The style of Christmas brings to mind religious icons. Don't know of any legal means to acquire his films yet.
-Ivan Maximov - Contemporary. Very consistent style, depicting various "people" (of various bizarre shapes) performing their daily eccentric tasks. Many of his films can be downloaded from his website in pretty good quality. I particularly recommend Rain Down from Above, Wind Along the Coast, and The Additional Capabilities of the Snout. Some may say his films get redundant, but I find them extremely charming.
-Fyodor Khitruk - Worked mostly in the 60s/70s. Utilizes various styles, most of them bringing to mind UPA or late Chuck Jones. Some films can be bought on the Masters of Russian animation DVDs, but there's also a fairly comprehensive torrent of his films which I can PM to anyone and seed. They lack subtitles, but most of the films lack dialogue. My favorite may be Lion and Ox, which is more somber and painterly.
-Konstantin Bronzit - Contemporary. Not as consistently good as those listed above, but when he gets it right he really excels. His Au Bout du Monde is a delightful comic construction. The God is irreverent fun. His work is generally comic and he uses timing and caricature very well. I don't know of any legal means to acquire his films, unfortunately.

It seems like I don't have as much time as I thought, so I'll have to cut this off here, but I will definitely continue posting because I haven't even gotten into European, Japanese, American, avant-garde, and old studio animation. So consider this a jumping off point.

Keep in mind, I recommend these filmmakers based on those which made the strongest impression on me. There are plenty more out there and many of them are worthwhile. I suggest researching online and will recommend a few resources in later posts. You're also welcome to ask me for more anytime and I'll do what I can.

Again, many of these are not available on DVD. I'll let you know whenever I'm aware of one, even if it's only available through import. In most other cases, I have copies of the films on my computer which I can share. I can also provide links online, but would prefer to share the files I have since they tend to be higher quality. I will do this through PM because I don't want to take up space with links. Of course I don't encourage this, but in many cases it is the only means available.

Quote:
Its a great shame that as of yet (to my knowledge at least) no one has made use of the great potential for using legal downloads and bought special features as a way to make independent shorts films a financially viable form that can fund new works and ensure they are legitimately available to purchase in high quality for a wider audience.

I agree. It seems like a Mubi/Auteurs-esque site would be plausible, where you could pay for high quality streaming or possibly iTunes-style downloads. If they can do it with features, shouldn't it be easier to do it with shorts? The filmmakers could make a percentage of the sales, funding other films, and a network would allow for new discoveries. Definitely something I've thought about.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 30, 2010 9:36 pm 

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Found some time to supplement my previous post. This one I'll dedicate to some animators from western Europe. I have to divide Europe in two because some of the best animation in the world comes from Eastern Europe, and it's a region I'm better versed in, so it merits a post of its own. I believe all the filmmakers I've listed are still alive, and most of them are still making films. I know of a few older European animators, but would like to be more familiar with their work before I recommend them.

Denmark:
- Michael Dudok de Wit - One of my all-time favorite animators. He has a very limited output with only four director credits listed on IMDB, but he has also done commercial work and animation on other projects (like Piet Kroon's wonderful T.R.A.N.S.I.T.). His style tends to favor the spare use of watercolors and slim characters with brushstroke simplicity. His sense of timing is perfect and very distinctive; his characters move beautifully, whether they're calm or frantic. Often cues the motion in his films to the score. His best films suggest, by modest means, a kind of transcendence. My favorite is The Monk and the Fish, but Father and Daughter (an Oscar-winner) and The Aroma of Tea (moving toward abstraction) are just as beautiful. His other film, Tom Sweep, is fun if less ambitious; it was meant to be the first of a series of animations featuring the character. All of his films can be found online without much trouble, though the quality may leave something to be desired. His only film readily available on DVD is probably Father and Daughter, which you can probably find on an Oscar-winner DVD.

France:
- Jeremy Clapin - I've watched two of his films (Good Vibrations and Une Histoire Vertebrale) and while neither particularly impressed me, he's still clearly someone to watch. He has wit and a knack for betraying expectations. I watched Skhizein just now and must say it's a stronger piece than his previous work. I have a few reservations toward it -- its tone is all too familiar -- but its merits outweigh these easily. It's also available on a limited edition DVD, if you're so inclined.
- Gobelins school - I don't know a great deal about the institution, but as far as I can tell it's a school for animation. Every so often I stumble across a student animation bearing the school's name, and I've been consistently impressed. They tend to be very short, comedy-driven pieces meant to promote their creators, so they do lack some substance. Still, their timing and pace are incredible, and they often have a wit comparable to Pixar. What they lack in sophistication they make up for in anarchic fun. Oktapodi, Pyrats, and Le Building are the three that come to mind quickest.

Italy:
- Bruno Bozzetto - The only Italian animator I'm currently aware of. Most famous for his feature-length Allegro Non Troppo, which is frequently astounding but also quite uneven. It's essentially a collection of shorts done to music like Fantasia (something it humorously admits), with a rather silly but charming and self-referential live-action framework holding it together. I highly recommend the film, even if some of its segments are weaker. He also did other shorts, however; Baby Story, Life in a Tin, and Grasshoppers are some stand-outs. Allegro Non Troppo and ten of his shorts are available on R1 DVD in a pretty nice package.

More recently I understand he's done some stuff with Flash, but I haven't delved into this work yet. Probably well worth looking, though. At his worst he's still a likable animator.

Germany:
- Andreas Hykade - One of the most mature and complex animators out there. His early We Lived in Grass is great, but The Runt and Ring of Fire are on an entirely different level. Yet the two couldn't be more different. The Runt uses bright colors to striking effect, contrasting with the desperate quiet of the story. Ring of Fire uses the western to deconstruct male sexuality, throwing us into a mad sexual carnival in black and white. Overwhelmingly good. Fantastic use of music and narration. One of my favorite animators working today.
He has a new animation as well, Love and Theft which is an elaborate and impressive homage to his various inspirations. Through morphing animation he visualizes how his inspirations are digested into his own unique style. All of his films are available for free on his wesbite in pretty solid quality.

England:
- Mark Baker - This discovery came as a complete surprise. I'd never heard of him before, but I became very enamored of the two films I saw. Jolly Roger is great, but The Hill Farm is the best of the two. He creates distinctive characters, usually by pushing types to extremes; character repetition is key, and an interruption of this repetition often fuels the climax. He has a wonderful eye for details and uses sound with raw efficiency. He occasionally ventures into dead-pan, absurd humor, but never at the expense of the beautiful setting he constructs. The Hill Farm may be a masterpiece.
- Brothers Quay - These fellows are well known on these boards, but they should be mentioned. Certainly you should look them up if you haven't already; their stuff is available via the BFI, Kino, and Zeitgeist. I have only seen Street of Crocodiles and The Piano Tuner of Earthquakes, but their work is fascinating and often brilliant.
- Phil Mulloy - Makes crude, dark, juvenile, violent, psychosexual animations with a roughness which brings to mind cave paintings. A lot of his work is either reductive or obvious to a fault, but he often manages some inventive or striking imagery. The Chain, Cowboys, and Intolerance are good places to start.
- Barry Purves - Probably the best puppet animator this side of the Czech Republic. I've only seen a handful (Screen Play is astoundingly choreographed), but the films I haven't seen sound complex, confrontational, and intriguing. A quick search shows no DVD availability, but I find that hard to believe. There may be something in the UK.
- Ruth Lingford - I've only seen two of her animations (Death and the Mother, Pleasures of War) and they are dark, somber meditations on death, dedication, violence, sacrifice, and sexuality. Visually arresting, with the stark, spare use of sound. While these two are stylistically very similar, her other animations allegedly feature an array of styles. I look forward to exploring her work more.
- Suzie Templeton - Puppet animator. Peter and the Wolf, Dog. Her shorter works are on her site.
- Bolex Brothers - I haven't seen their feature-length Tom Thumb, but I loved The Saint Inspector. The brothers are the producers, from what I understand, so their productions feature various directors.

Switzerland:
- Georges Schwizgebel - A highly-regarded animator who animates in the paint-on-glass style. Some of his films have a morphing, stream-of-consciousness quality. I have mixed feelings about those; some succeed, others don't fare as well. By far my favorite is L'Homme sans ombre, which I fervently recommend. Aside from the beauty of the story, the colors are bold and the perspective shifts and transitions are jaw-drop material.

Belgium:
- Raoul Servais - Another of my favorite animators, even if I've only seen a handful of his work. A surrealist with an inexhaustible imagination and a visual style which is bold, inventive, and diverse. Siren and Chromophobia are the two short works I've seen and I adore both. He seems to have a pre-occupation with oppressive forces and how people react to them, but he brings a strong, fresh approach to the material. I've also seen his feature, Taxandria, which mixes painted environments with live actors using a technique of his own invention. The film has problems (the narrative itself is serviceable, but an 80s-style fantasy film framework is forced upon it, featuring some arbitrary child actor), but it excels in other areas. The painted world of Taxandria is gorgeous (and an elaborate homage to Paul Delvaux) and the film is full of original, idiosyncratic details.

Again, this little survey is by no means comprehensive. I am speaking only from my own experience, so there are doubtlessly grievous omissions. I've also refrained from mentioning some animators, either because I haven't seen enough of their work or because their work didn't leave a substantial enough impression. But hopefully this functions as a strong starting point -- these are among the best animators I've happened across.

More regions to follow when I have more time. I hope someone is benefiting from this!


Last edited by karmajuice on Fri Apr 01, 2011 2:18 am, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 01, 2010 12:08 pm 
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karmajuice wrote:
- Bruno Bozzetto - The only Italian animator I'm currently aware of. Most famous for his feature-length Allegro Non Troppo, which is frequently astounding but also quite uneven. It's essentially a collection of shorts done to music like Fantasia (something it humorously admits), with a rather silly but charming and self-referential live-action framework holding it together. I highly recommend the film, even if some of its segments are weaker.

I can't speak for the other segments in this feature, but the "Bolero" sequence is one of my favorite pieces of animation - absolutely riveting!

Here's a link to a blog containing some stills.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 01, 2010 1:54 pm 

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"Bolero" is by far the best sequence. I suspect it's the whole film's raison d'etre, because it's the most ambitious segment -- where most of the film parodies Fantasia, this segment arguably surpasses it. Don't expect more of the same if you watch the other segments, though. Most of them are much shorter and some are almost like throwaway gags. The tone varies wildly from segment to segment.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 18, 2010 2:35 am 
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Bozzetto's "Bolero" is on YouTube and, boy, is it weird. Some stunning animation here. Incidentally, am I the only one who often gets creeped out by 70's animation?


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