Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Literary Review 3: The Illusion Of Life

This incredible book written by Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston, two of the 9 old men, documents the history behind the Disney Studios, and the people who over years created the most memorable animated films of all time. This book explains how animators learned through experience what no one could of taught them but themselves. The book is full of references to the films, how they were made and how animators tackled and solved problems, and the techniques that were developed over the years as they aimed for a better picture. The amazing stories in the book, personality as an animation student are very inspiring, and I would recommend it to anyone who is intrested in the art form. The book has a small section on comedy and explains how Disney animators used the visual gags in their Silly Symphonies", "Walt soon learned that it was better to keep building on a gag, rather than having a small one after the other"


Understanding Animation by Paul Wells is a book that covers a very wide range of topics within animation. It includes a variety of case studies and thorough analysis and theories about animation. The book starts with Film Studies theories and a bit of its history , followed by Animated Films which talks about the Disney studios, Animation theory which compares orthodox and experimental animation, Narrative Strategies, 25 Ways to Start Laughing and Issues with Representation. The topic that I'm most intrested for my essay is 25 Ways to Start Laughing where the author goes in-depth talking about comedy. It includes the beginning of comedy and the different types, as well as theories of why we find certain things funny and how it has been used by animators in animation.

This book proves to be quite helpful since it covers comedy in a broad-way.

Literary Review 1: Prime Time Animation

Prime Time Animation: Televison animation and American culture by Carol A. Stabile and Mark Harrison is a book that talks about subjects such as the debates and issues that have arisen about the development of animation for television, and focuses mostly on the american television shows such as "The Simpsons", The Flinstones", "Ren and Stimpy", " South Park" and others. The book also refers to older cartoons and studios such as Hanna Barbera and analyses how the industry has adapted and changed through the decades, including the animation explosion of the 60s. The writers on this book try the explain the "prime times" of the cartoons series, using theories such as "double-coding" which explains why animation appeals to mixed age groups.

I chose this book because it mentioned one of the shows that I'm going to talk about in my essay and also touches on comedy. However it doesn't go much in-depth on the subjects so it won't be very helpful. Nevertheless it still a quite good book for people who maybe interested in the "prime times" of the certain cartoon series and the reasons for it.

Friday, 20 March 2009

Film/Series Review 4: South Park

South Park is an American sitcom created by Trey Parker and Matt Stone. The series is about 4 boys-Kyle, Stan, Cartman and Kenny, who live in a small town called South Park. The show usually satires topics that a lot of people would consider "Taboo" such as religion, politics, sexuality, drugs among many others. The show also parodies a lot of celebreties.

The characters themselves have a lot of personality, and I think that's what makes this show so appealing . Cartman is the most manipulative, selfish, greedy character ever created. He's always making fun of Kyle because he's Jewish and of Kenny because he's poor, and did I mention he hates hippies and "midgets". But what I like most about the show, apart from the excellent combination of personalities is the fact that the characters are children and no matter what they say, and no matter how bad it is, its only a child who is saying it, and I think that's how Parker and Stone get away with most of things they put on the show, and also it makes it a lot funnier.