Friday, 20 February 2009

Literary Review 4 - Cartoon Modern - Style and Design in Fifties Animation

Cartoon Modern – Style and Design in Fifties Animation

Amid Amidi

Cartoon Modern is a fascinating book which looks at animation in the fifties, and how modern design has affected the animation of development in this era. The book looks at each of the major studios and animators of this time, and discusses their unique styles and how each has created distinctive and memorable animation throughout the years. The author discusses how studios in this era overcame the financial challenges that they faced by embracing cheaper design techniques, creating cartoony-designs in their animations. However, rather than creating sub-standard animation, the animators featured in this book successfully created memorable characters and designs which have influenced the vision of animation today.

It is very much a visually-inspiring book, and would appeal to any fan who appreciates the original works of studios like MGM, Hanna-Barbera and Disney. The book has a lot of high-quality images of each respective studios work, from concept sketches to stills from their films, and discusses the design process behind each, and what makes them so distinctive. Although it does not specifically discuss Tom and Jerry in particular, I found this quite helpful and interesting to read when researching for my essay as the author discusses both Hanna-Barbera and MGM, and the style and work of each studio. I found it helpful to further understand the history behind each studio, and their particular design choices, as the designs of the characters in their films are important to create comedy in their films.

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