AnimationTaco Logo Animation 1          First Semester
         ← Aug. 23 to Aug. 26 Sep. 6 to Sep. 9 →

         Aug. 29         

The History of Animation, Part 3,
Warner Brothers and Animation of the 1940's and 50's.

In the early 30's the movie industry was centered in New York City and because that was where all of the sound studios, movie studios and financing was, that was where the many animation studios were based. As the movie industry grew, it found that filming days were limited by the cold, dark winters of New York and the high cost of rental space needed to operate a film studio was also a problem. When one studio discovered that the sleepy little town of Los Angles had a lot of cheap land and almost 365 days of sunlight, the entire industry moved to California. Animators work indoors and don't need huge studios to film in, but they did need the movie industry, so they moved too. This was the time of the great studios like MGM, RKO and Warner Bros. This era wa also known as "The Golden Age of Animation" because the studios competed with each other and each one had it's own animation department. The intense competition lead to a very high level of animation quality, writing, and number of films produced.

Disney continued work on his feature films and developed the first "theme" park, Disneyland, based on his animated characters. Warner Brothers didn't sit back and let Disney take over animation. They contracted with Leon Schlesinger's Merrie Melodies. By the end of the decade, a new Schlesinger production team, including directors Friz Freleng, Tex Avery, Robert Clampett, and Chuck Jones was created. These masters of animation developed a wild, loose style that made their cartoons immensely popular worldwide and was the very opposite of Disney's careful, artistic animation.

In 1936, Tex Avery directed a string of cartoons, starring Porky Pig, which established the character as the studio's first bona fide star. In addition to Porky Pig, Warner Bros. cartoon characters Daffy Duck (who debuted in the 1937 short Porky's Duck Hunt) and Bugs Bunny (who debuted in the 1940 short A Wild Hare) also achieved star power.[104] By 1942, the Schlesinger studio had surpassed Walt Disney Studios as the most successful producer of animated shorts in the United States.[Wikipedia]

At the start of WW2 and the attack at Pearl Harbor, however, the industry came to a dead stop. The west coast at the time had a real fear of a Japanese invasion and many of the young men who populated the animation studios enlisted in the Army the day after Pearl Harbor. By the end of January, all of the studios had stopped all commercial work and had started pumping (with their reduced staff), propoganda films and military training films and this continued to the end of the war. The Disney studios, which happened to be very close to the sea front, were confiscated by the government. Walt Disney, who saw the other major studios not touched (and who happened to be owned by people who were Jewish) became very bitter over seeing his business torn apart and decided that when the war was over he would relocate out of Los Angeles and get as far away from the Jews of New York and Los Angeles as he could. He found some very cheap land in Florida and that was the start of Disney World.

  • WW2 Training film "Booby Traps"
    This cartoon was created by the Warner Bros. Animation studios under an Army training contract. Do you recognize the voice?
  • Banned WW2 Bugs Bunny Cartoon
    In this cartoon you can see how racial (anti-Japanese) stereotypes were played up in this cartoon, which was designed to ridicule the Japanese and the Japanese military. If you laugh and make fun of your enemy, you don't fear them as much and that's the point of this cartoon.
  • Disney Propoganda Cartoon "Hitler's Children-An Education for Death"
    This cartoon, on the other hand, was designed to create fear. Notice the looming shadows, dark colors and ominous music and the way the Nazis were portryaing as mindless robots.
  • Donald Duck was a Nazi!... another Disney WW2 Propoganda cartoons. This cartoon is banned in the European Union because of the Nazi symbol.
  • Class Distraction you think propoganda in cartoons is effective? Can an animator sway how a group is perceived by how he portrays it in an animation or do people see past that because they're just cartoons?

    Warner Bros eventually bought Schlesinger's cartoon unit in 1944, and in subsequent decades characters such as Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Tweety Bird, Sylvester, and Porky Pig became central to the company's image. Bugs in particular remains a mascot to Warner Bros.' various divisions and Six Flags (which Time Warner previously owned). The studio's 1947 cartoon Tweetie Pie, the first pairing of Sylvester and Tweety, was a phenomenal success, and Tweety would always be paired with Sylvester from that point as a result, because the duo carried a high amount of star power.[Wikipedia]

    Animation has always been a reflection of the wider culture and society.

    Cartoons in the early years weren't created for children, they were part of the grown-up movie experience and as such, had grown up themes interlaced with their humor. Sex, violance, drugs, drinking, and racism and stereotypes were a part of early cartoons. Some stereotypes in early cartoons are considered offensive in today's society and because of concerns for bad publicity and hurting people's feelings, the major studios have banned these cartoons from being shown. That doesn't mean that they didn't have wonderful animation and great stories and if you keep in mind that these cartoons are a product of their time, they are worth studying.

    (acticle, clips and links here)

    For instance, Coal Black and the Sebbin Dwarves, is a Warner Bros. parody of Snow White, and makes fun of a movie widely considered by animators to be one of the best cartoons ever made. Parody and satire was the bread and butter of Warner Bros. and Disney was an easy target. Unfortunately, their eye for parody got a bit rough and now those cartoons are not available to general public. At the time, if they had been asked, the studios wouldn't have cared because cartoons were considered disposable. Once they were aired, then there was no need to save them or worry about the future. Who would want to see them twice?

    Class Distractor- Do you think that animators today are more worried about being politically correct? Why or why not? Why do you think Adult Swim was split off from Nickelodeon? Do we create cartoons for everyone no matter what their background or age or do we animate for a particular audience?

    Back in the '70 the Speed Gonzales cartoons were recalled by Warner Bros because some executives thought the depiction of Speedy as a Mexican was a negative stereotype. What they didn't understand was that Mexicans and Mexican-Americans loved Speedy. He was smart, chivelrous, always got the girl, and always won over the gringo cat. What's not to like?

    Here's a list of (the best cartoon ever made, as voted by the animation professionals, and cartoon chosen as the best is What's Opera, Doc, by Warner Bros).

    Just keep in mind when you watch cartoons, whether they're old classics or new animations, one of the guiding principles of animators is exaggeration. Sometimes that means that animators go over the edge and create exaggerations that are based on stereotypes. Be aware that what is not offensive in one context and time might become offensive later on.

  • Practical Exercise- Find examples of each of the12 Principles of Animation in the "Harum Scarum" cartoon.


    Harum Scarum, one of the first Bugs Bunny Cartoons.

    Bugs Bunny was voted by TV Guide as the greatest cartoon character of all time.

             Aug. 31         

    Introduction to Adobe Flash.

    What is Flash?
    Adobe Flash (formerly Macromedia Flash) is a multimedia platform used to add animation, video, and interactivity to Web pages. Flash is frequently used for advertisements and games. More recently, it has been positioned as a tool for the so-called "Rich Internet Application" ("RIA"). Flash manipulates vector and raster graphics to provide animation of text, drawings, and still images. It supports bidirectional streaming of audio and video, and it can capture user input via mouse, keyboard, microphone, and camera. Flash contains an Object-oriented language called ActionScript. Flash content may be displayed on various computer systems and devices, using Adobe Flash Player, which is available free for common Web browsers, some mobile phones and a few other electronic devices (using Flash Lite).[Wikipedia]

    How to set up a file.
    Open the Flash Applicaton. In the center window, you'll see the New File menu. Click on New File. Set your properties to 720x480 pixels and 30 FPS. Set your window to Animator (Window ← Workspace ← Animator).

    File properties.

    How do I set up the properties for a new project?

    Parts of the Flash workspace.- This is an overview of the parts of the Flash Program. We will go into minute detail with each section later.

  • Setting the Workspace to "Animation". (Window←Workspace←Animator)
  • Timeline
  • Stage
  • Properites
  • Library
  • Motion Editor
  • Color/Swatches
  • Scene
  • Align/Transform
  • Motion Presets
  • Toolbar
  • How to move, adjust, remove and recover palettes.

    Practical Exercise--Making a quick Classic Motion Tween, just so we can see how it all works together.

             Aug. 31         

    The History of Animation, Part 4,
    Late '50's and Atomic Modern.

    Animation in the '60's to mid '80's was a dying industry. Animation had gotten too expensive to make quality cartoons by hand and so the cartoons made by studios such as Hannah-Barbera weren't high quality animation. Much of the tweening work was farmed out to the Far East, mostly to Taiwan and Japan. The stories weren't very good, the writing was trite, and the characters often didn't have Disney's elusive "appeal". The best cartoons of the time were the Pink Panther series and Rocky and Bullwinkle. Stop Motion animation had almost totally died out in the US, with some still being done in the UK and in Europe.

    It was a sad time for Animation, and we will avert our eyes and not talk too much about it.

    But all was not lost... in the late '80's there was a resurgance in the craft of animation and now some people feel that we are in a new "golden era". I think they're right.

    We'll move on to more recent animation history next week, but this week we're going to finish up with a bit more about Flash and we'll take our first test and turn in the first sketchbook.

    Practical Exercise--Making a Classic Motion Tween.

    Flash lessons

  • Timeline basics. What is a keyframe, what is a frame, what is a layer.
  • How to add a blank keyframe (F7)
  • How to copy a preceding keyframe (F6)
  • How to add a frame (F5)
  • How to delete a keyframe (filled or blank) (Shift+F6)
  • How to delete a frame (Shift + F5)
  • How to add and delete layers
  • Renaming Layers
  • Layer Folders
  • Tool Basics, the black arrow Selection Tool, the Paint Brush.

             Sep. 1         

    Copyright Law

  • Ethics, Plagerism, and Copyright laws as they effect animation, game design and film making.
  • Practical Exercise--Making a Classic Motion Tween.

    Flash lessons

  • Refining your motion. Adding keyframes inside an existing Classic Motion Tween by either moving the symbol in the stage or by adding a keyframe using F6.
  • Choosing basic colors for the PaintBrush. Using the PaintBucket.
  • What is a Fill and what is a Stroke
  • The fill in Flash is created by the PaintBrush and PaintBucket Tool. The stroke created by the Pencil Tool and the InkBottle Tool.
  • The Color Palette basics

             Sep. 2         

    Practical Exercise--Making a Classic Motion Tween.

    Flash lessons

  • Layer review. Adding, deleting and renaming layers.
  • Layer order in Flash. What is furthest down in the stack of layers if furthest away from you. If you have a scene where you have a sky, mountains, a middle ground of a house, and a person standing right next to the front of the scene, then your bottom layer would be the sky, the next layer up would be the mountains, the next layer the house and the closest object to you, the viewer, would be the top layer.
  • Moving and rearranging layers
  • Test #1. This will be on Animation Vocabulary #1. You are also responsible for everything on this webpage.


    Vocab #1 Test Today

    Turn in Sketchbooks with
    Assignment #1 today.


    Assign Vocab. #2 summative grade test on Friday, Sept. 9.

    Sketchbook Home is here and the Assignment 2 is here. It is due Friday, Sept. 9.


             Lynne Wilde, Instructor .:. school email .:. 763-274-3140 .:. © 2016