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The History of the Silent Era in American Animated Film

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Katie Pyon

on 6 June 2013

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Transcript of The History of the Silent Era in American Animated Film

The History of The Silent Era in American Animated Film The Beginnings The Enchanted Drawing (1900) - claimed to be the first animated American film. Directed by J. Stuart Blackton, the two minute film is about a man, starring Blackton, who draws a portrait of a man, a bottle of wine, and a glass, and well, you'll see in the film. It is considered to be the "prototype of animation" (McLaughlin).

By: Katie Pyon Continued Humorous Phases of Funny Faces (1906) - Directed and animated by Blackton, this later film demonstrates frame by frame progressions of animations as compared to his earlier work in The Enchanted Drawing. The animation in this film is drawn directly onto a blackboard with chalk. Blackton cleverly uses extreme facial expressions to cue the audience's emotions that helps the storyline. Felix the Cat Blackton is known as the "first true animator" ("The Silent Era"). Created by Pat Sullivan and Otto Messmer. Felix first appeared in a Paramount Pictures short, Feline Follies. The character of Felix was based on an animated Charlie Chapman ("The Silent Era"). Following the premiere on November 9, 1919, merchandise and promotions flooded the office as Felix later starred in 182 other feature films ("The Silent Era"). Felix the Cat and Mickey Mouse are two of the most iconic silent era cartoon characters. Background Time Period: 1900-1920s

Monumental Animators: J. Stuart Blackton, Pat Sullivan and Otto Messmer (Felix the Cat), and Walt Disney Silent Film of Walt Disney Mickey Mouse! Plane Crazy (1928) - Mickey Mouse's debut on the big screen
Krazy Kat Based upon the popular newspaper comic strip. by the same name, Krazy Kat featured in 231 films ("Krazy"). The comic strip was so popular that International Films Service, Bray Productions, Winkler Pictures, and Columbia Pictures studios released feature shorts of Krazy Kat over a span of 23 years ("Krazy"). Krazy Kat Goes A-Wooing (1916) Later that same year Disney produced Steamboat Willie starring Mickey Mouse (Gormley). Disney tried to incorporate his own voice into Mickey's dialogue which led to interest in the endless possibilities of having sound in films (Dirks). Steamboat Willie broke the boundaries of silent animated films ("The Silent Age"). Why I Chose This Topic I have a passion for watching movies. I may have not watched all of the classic "oldies" but I appreciate how they have influenced and sparked the new ideas and techniques of movies today. I remember in earlier in the year Mrs. Edgar gave the class a mini lecture of the Disney Princesses. She helped us understand the background information behind the Disney movies and by not just telling us what the movies were simply about. I wanted to research movies that came before the "Disney Era", the period of time where people immediately only thought of Disney movies when they think of 'early animations'. Watching some of the animated shorts from the 1900s made me realize how experimental and ambitious the works may have looked to others of that time period. They were fighting the norm. We may view them as primitive or boring, however I see the spark and power that they have left for us to fuel and grow. This project helped me understand the earlier animated works of the film industry.

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