From the Golden Age of hand-drawn cartoons to today’s computer-generated wizardry, animation remains at the crossroads of industrial efficiency and artistic freedom.
“Nothing in all of Hollywood’s catalogue of unique achievements ranks higher in technical skill or creative imagination than the production of today’s animated cartoon.” – Fred Quimby, MGM Cartoons
Originally posted by Michael Sporn Animation, these excerpts from Gene Byrnes’ 1950 book The Complete Guide to Cartooning show the entire process – from story to celluloid –of a single “Tom & Jerry” short, The Cat Concerto. Production on the cartoon’s 8-minute runtime required 15,000 individual drawings over the course of 18 months!
As Amid Amidi at Cartoon Brew points out, the amount of physical exertion that went into these classic Hollywood shorts had a direct impact on their frantic energy levels that still resonate with today’s audiences. All that time and effort clearly paid off: The Cat Concerto received the Academy Award for Best Short Subject – Cartoons in 1947.
Though the times and tools (and fashions) have changed, Sgt. Stubby‘s production line bears an awful lot of similarities to the workflow developed over 70 years ago:
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Sgt. Stubby: An American Hero is an upcoming computer-animated feature film based on the incredible true story of America’s most decorated dog. After being rescued off the streets by a young Soldier on the eve of World War I, Stubby is given a home, a family, and the chance to embark on the adventure that would define a century. For his valor and courage, Stubby is recognized as the first dog promoted to the rank of Sergeant in U.S. Army history.