Tonight, Turner Classic Movies will be spending ten hours celebrating the history of animation, beginning at 8 p.m. Eastern with a program called “Back To The Drawing Board,” collecting 28 shorts made between 1911 and 1935 by cartoonist Windsor McCay, J.R. Bray’s groundbreaking Bray Studios, and the eclectic Van Beuren Studios. These animators and companies were the forerunners to studios like Disney and Fleischer—Dave and Max Fleischer actually apprenticed with Bray—and helped develop the basic gags and movements that defined the medium, by experimenting wildly from film to film. (For example of McKay’s experimentating, check out his animated version of a newsreel below, depicting the sinking of the Lusitania.) Following “Back To The Drawing Board,” TCM will be airing four animated features, cutting across the decades: Lotte Reiniger’s beautiful 1927 silhouette-art The Adventures Of Prince Ahmed; the Fleischer brothers’ 1939 version of Gulliver’s Travels; the landmark 1959 anime Magic Boy; and Chuck Jones’ 1969 adaptation of the classic Norman Juster/Jules Feiffer children’s novel The Phantom Tollbooth.
October 06, 2014 newsreel