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Animation Books

Post by walt1928 » November 4th, 2007, 7:42 pm

I am doing my thesis paper on animation and education, and was looking for books you would recommend on the history of animation (especailly eary, theories) or any other animation books. Thanks

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Post by Randall » November 5th, 2007, 12:38 am

This list would make a great start, depending on what you're looking for:

Walt in Wonderland
Walter Lantz Story
Hand Behind the Mouse
That's All Folks (Warner Bros. history)
Disney Animation: The Illusion of Life
Of Mice and Men (Maltin's essential book)
Winsor McCay (Canemaker book)
The Fleischer Story (by Leslie Carbaga)
Felix: The Twisted Tale of the World's Most Famous Cat
Hollywood Cartoons (Michael Barrier)

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Post by Ben » November 5th, 2007, 8:35 am

I think you're in the UK, right?

If you want a British bent, look for the excellent Halas & Batcherlor Cartoons and generally for Charles Solomon's The History Of Animation.

Gosh...there are so many books out there that all provide a unique angle. I know you have asked for my personal thoughts on a lot of other stuff, but if you can be more specific maybe we can slim things down and point you in a "narrower" direction?

:)

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Post by walt1928 » November 5th, 2007, 9:09 pm

Thanks, Im in the US, near Los Angeles. I have the books the art of Walt Disney, Disney's Art of Animation, Disney Animation, and my school library has acces to most journals, newspaper articles. I was looking for a connection between animation and visual culture (all the images/video we see during the day) and also a history book that might explain the persistence of vision and how it came about. Thanks again.

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Post by GeorgeC » November 5th, 2007, 9:58 pm

"Persistence of vision" ISN'T an animation term. It's a general film term.

Persistence of vision works on the general principal that your brain can only process so much visual information at once. When we see one image after another projected so fast, the brain tends to fill in the areas in-between frames... it sort of makes up the difference between frames and creates an illusion of movement. The brain is retaining information frame-to-frame on your retina because it can only process information so fast. Each individual frame of film is a still -- the animation/motion effect comes from blending successive frames togetheer.

Animation is an outgrowth of general film and doesn't exist without it unlike what some people seem to think. A lot of the principles of animation were pioneered in live-action and film experimentation by Melies and Muybridge before animation started becoming a legitimate outgrowth in the 1910s (Nineteen Teens).

Check out The Filmmaker's Handbook and any of the Eadweard Muybridge books. Muybridge is the fellow who basically discovered the early photographic principles that made both live-action and animated films possible.

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Post by Ben » November 6th, 2007, 9:57 am

walt1928 wrote:Thanks, Im in the US, near Los Angeles.
Oops! Mixed you up with someone else, sorry!


George is right...and that's <I>just</I> what I love about animation. You can take a photograph, you can shoot documentary style film or even video. BUT...animation is what takes the very idea, the "<I>concept</I>" of film, and uses it in the way that it only can.

You can see a play on the stage. You can film things with video. But (okay, flipbooks aside) animation does not work unless it is filmed, one frame at a time, and projected, one frame at a time, to create the persistence of vision, the very illusion that animation provides.

That's real magic. :)

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Post by walt1928 » November 9th, 2007, 10:33 am

Thanks for the help, I found some books at my school library and will look for some mentioned. I checked out Understanding Animation by Paul Wells, Animation in Asia and the Pacific, The Art of Animation from 1959 by Bob Thomas, and Before Mickey by Donal Crafton. I really dont like to write long papers so I chose animation which Im interested to make it easier and not as big of a burden.

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Post by droosan » November 10th, 2007, 5:46 am

A couple of titles not-yet-mentioned which fit your criteria:

Animating Culture: Hollywood Cartoons from the Sound Era by Eric Smoodin
.. an excellent study of how the 'golden-age' animated shorts both reflected, and influenced, the 'trends' of their times.

Animated Cartoons: How They Are Made .. Their Origin and Development by E.G. Lutz
.. originally published in 1920, this is the book used by Walt Disney and other animation pioneers to 'learn the craft'. The copy I have is a 'replica' edition published by Applewood Books in the mid-1990's. Of course, its explanations of animation principles is very out-of-date, so for a more modern treatise on 'technique', I'd suggest:

The Animator's Survival Kit: A Manual of Methods, Principles, and Formulas for Classical, Computer, Games, Stop Motion, and Internet Animators by Richard Williams
.. which is basically a compendium of the 'handout' course materials from Richard Williams' touring 'Master Classes'. Still, there's much valuable knowledge in here!

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Post by GeorgeC » December 30th, 2009, 10:54 pm

A revised edition of The Animator's Survival Kit just got released the first week of December/late November this year.

Trade only. $30, comes with DVD.

The book contains more information about animating animals and more about acting (I think -- I just glanced at the cover) and the DVD has a bit about Williams' masterclass on it.

Might be worth getting online.

I saw a copy of the book at Borders and wasn't even aware of a new edition!

Wish it came out in hardcover, too... Only the original edition had a hardcover (which I got) for a brief time. :(

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Post by ShyViolet » January 2nd, 2010, 6:17 pm

I think you might find this very helpful as a supplement; there is a specific focus on education, children and images:

The Mouse that Roared: Disney and the End of Innocence
by Henry Giroux

It focuses on animated films but also Disney culture in general and what Disney "teaches." There is a lot on hidden cultural messages in Disney films (more new than old) and Disney consumerism.

http://www.amazon.com/Mouse-that-Roared ... 983&sr=1-2

It's kind of hard to find in print but I'm sure your library has it; it's pretty well known in the Disney criticism canon. (Note: It really doesn't deal in the techniques of animation; it's much more theory heavy. Also, it doesn't exactly have a favorable view of the company, but it's very useful for context.)

EDIT: Actually it is in print: here's a link! (with an excerpt)

http://search.barnesandnoble.com/Mouse- ... roared#EXC


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