Artwork by Joanna Davidovich
Essay by Amid Amidi
Tex Avery. Chuck Jones. Bob Clampett. John Hubley. Bobe Cannon. Frank Tashlin. Friz Freleng. Bob McKimson. Emile Cohl. Winsor McCay. Ward Kimball. Jack Kinney. Hugh Harman. Rudolf Ising. Max Fleischer. Lotte Reiniger. Bill Hanna. Joe Barbera. Willis O’Brien. Otto Messmer. Walt Disney. Ray Harryhausen. Ub Iwerks.
Karel Zeman. Bretislav Pojar. Jiri Trnka. George Pal. Walerian Borowczyk. Osamu Tezuka. Bob Godfrey. George Dunning. Alexandre Alexeieff. Claire Parker. Stan Brakhage. John Whitney. Jan Lenica. Witold Giersz. Terry Gilliam. Vladimir Kristl. Lou Bunin. Dusan Vukotic. Boris Kolar. Fyodor Khitruk. Peter Sachs. Richard Williams. Yoji Kuri. Stan VanDerBeek. Ralph Bakshi. Gene Deitch. Len Glasser. Luzzati & Gianini. Norman McLaren. John Korty. Kihachiro Kawamoto. Ladislas Starewicz. Ryan Larkin. Ernest Pintoff. Fred Crippen. Jan Svankmajer. Len Lye. Hy Hirsh. Frederick Back. Oskar Fischinger. Jay Ward. Peter Foldes.
Bruce Bickford. Brad Bird. Trey Parker. Matt Stone. John Lasseter. Smith & Foulkes. Marv Newland. Michael Sporn. Yuri Norstein. Isao Takahata. William Kentridge. John Canemaker. Don Hertzfeldt. Koji Yamamura. Bill Plympton. PES. George Griffin. Joanna Quinn. Patrick Smith. JJ Villard. Nick Park. Raimund Krumme. Pritt Parn. Paul Fierlinger. Guilherme Marcondes. Peter Chung. Mike Judge. Koji Morimoto. Pete Docter. Caroline Leaf. Marcell Jankovics. Henry Selick. Richard Condie. Paul Vester. Bob Jaques. Sylvain Chomet. Phil Mulloy. Oscar Grillo. Hayao Miyazaki. Paul Driessen. Aaron Springer. Masaaki Yuasa. Tim Burton. John Kricfalusi. Andreas Hykade. Georges Schwizgebel. Jonas Odell. The Brothers Quay.
Bill Littlejohn. Rod Scribner. Irven Spence. Emery Hawkins. Bill Melendez. Pat Matthews. Tom Oreb. Dick Lundy. Frank Smith. Jimmy Murakami. Grim Natwick. Ken Harris. Ben Washam. Hawley Pratt. Paul Julian. Bob Givens. Pete Alvarado. Gene Hazelton. Bill Tytla. John Sibley. Hardie Gramatky. JP Miller. Jim Tyer. Lillian Friedman. Ty Wong. Pete Burness. John Gentilella. Don Morgan. Walt Peregoy. Ralph Hulett. Jim Bodrero. Art Babbitt. Jack Zander. Preston Blair. Jules Engel. Herb Klynn. Victor Haboush. Ray Aragon. Iwao Takamoto. Warren Foster. Mike Maltese. John Dunn. Abe Liss. Ted Parmelee. Maurice Noble. Ed Benedict. Eyvind Earle. Mary Blair. Ken Anderson. Bill Peet. Don DaGradi. Freddie Moore. Marc Davis. Milt Kahl. Frank Thomas. Ollie Johnston. Eric Larson. John Lounsbery. Bill Scott. Bill Hurtz. Art Heinemann. Gene Fleury. Bernyce Polifka. John McGrew. Phil Eastman. Bob Dranko. Phil DeGuard.
With artists like these working in the animation medium, the only question should be:
Why Anything Else?
Artwork by Jim Manocchio
Essay By David B. Levy
Most of us working in this industry know how lucky we are. An animation artist’s life is enriched by their work. This does not mean to suggest that animators are work-a-holics (although some clearly are).
Why cartoons? Oscar-nominated animation filmmaker Michael Sporn explained it best in a bonus feature on the DVD for his award-winning films White Wash and Champagne:
“Animation has the potential to be the greatest of all the arts. It combines drawing, painting, music, acting, photography, and computer art. Anything you can think of can be combined by the animator to be used at his or her disposal.”
The word “cartoons” conjures up a medium for children despite all the art and craft inherent in bringing to life any cartoon. I first encountered the bias against cartoons as a serious pursuit in a conversation with my high school guidance counselor. When I informed him of my decision to become an animator he asked, “What’s that?”
I replied, “You know, cartoons? Walt Disney? Bugs Bunny?”
“That’s kid stuff,” he said, dismissively.
I snapped back, “It’s for kids, but adults make it.”
Then he informed me that I needed a real career, one that I could count on. He suggested becoming a plumber or an electrician.
All these years later I think I finally understand his attitude. Cartoons are often loud, silly, and meant for children. Animation is a far broader term. I wouldn’t say that I work in cartoons. I would say I work in animation, sometimes on projects aimed at preschoolers, other times on projects geared to stoned college kids.
My guidance counselor was right about one thing. Animation is not an industry one can count on and many find it very difficult to break in to a first job let alone to build a career. An animation artist’s life, even after becoming established in a career, is often one of instability. Jobs are short term and sometimes few and far between. There’s usually no health insurance and often the animation artist does not work at any one job long enough to qualify for unemployment insurance. Such conditions naturally weed out those who are not fully committed to a life spent in this art form.
Acclaimed independent animator Patrick Smith recently spoke to my School of Visual Arts class, telling the students that he used to wake up at 6 AM and work on his own film until 9 AM and then go to work at MTV for a full day. He carried on this way for years until his first film, Drink, was complete. In this way Pat Smith showed his personal commitment to achieving something no matter what the industry might throw his way. Each of us has the potential to make our own luck, to pave the road for our own opportunities, and to make a very happy life for ourselves in animation or cartoons.
Artwork & essay by Eric Robles
Why Cartoons? Ever since I could remember, I have always related cartoons with some form of emotional reality. Whatever the characters were feeling, the end result left me with a feeling of pure enjoyment. Animation is my world and cartoons are my life.
Artwork & essay by Joey Ahlbum
Animation is like a drug, you make something move and you’re hooked. But then, just making things move is not enough, you want a bigger rush, so you try to tell a story or maybe make people laugh. Before you know it, you’ve spent a year animating Custer’s Last Stand complete with the 7th calvary and entire Cheyenne Nation.
I guess that’s WHY CARTOONS, because if you wanted to, you could animate just about anything you could imagine. By the time you finish, you might find yourself broke, no friends and living at home with your parents, but you just might have created an amazing piece of animation that’s never been seen before.