and gets other animals to help chase him away, and free his victims. Each of these cartoons uses dazzling depth effects, calibrated on layers of cels to simulate a moving camera, and each contains many joyous, beautiful, funny moments, so they survive the grim context in which they were created. Fischerkoesen went back to advertising films after the war, and won many prizes for his clever commercials.
Many other artists produced fine animation in this period, of whom three may be singled out, though they are only the tip of the iceberg. Hungarian George Pal worked in Germany before the Nazi era, then fled to Holland where he made puppet animation commercials for Philips. When he fled to the USA in 1940, his staff in Holland worked as inbetweeners and ink-and-paint artists for Fischerkoesen. Between 1940 and 1949 Pal produced Puppetoons for Paramount, including a series starring a black minstrel boy Jasper, and the classic Tubby the Tuba ( 1947), which approaches UPA in its non-violent, constructive story and contemporary musical score. Pal turned his animation skills to special effects for fantasy and science-fiction features after 1950.
Paul Grimault began making films in 1936. His 1943 L' Épouvantail ('The scarecrow') shares the protest allegory with Fischerkoesen, but lacks the German's charm and finesse. But Le Petit Soldat ('The little soldier', 1947), with a script by Jacques Prévert after Hans Christian Andersen, is a classic of sensitive animation for adults as well as children. His feature La Bergèe et le ramoneur ('The shepherdess and the chimneysweep'), also Prévert-Andersen, was shown in an incomplete hour-long form during the early 1950s to considerable praise; he was only able to finish it and release it under the title Le Roi et l'oiseau ('The king and the bird') in 1979.
In Japan, Noburo Ofuji ( 1900-74) made silent silhouette animation using layers of traditional semi-transparent Japanese paper, not only for delicate effects, as in the 1924 Haname-zaki ('Sitting beneath the cherry blossoms'), but also for dynamic action as in the 1927 Kujira ('The whale', remade in colour in 1953). His 1955 Yurei Sen ( The Phantom Ship) won a prize at the Venice Film Festival, and his final film was a feature-length Shaka no Shogai ('Life of Buddha', 1961).
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Bendazzi, Giannalberto ( 1994), Cartoons: One Hundred Years of Cinema Animation.
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Culhane, Shamus ( 1986), Talking Animals and Other People.
Edera, Bruno ( 1977), Full Length Animated Feature Films.
Thomas, Frank, and Johnston, Ollie ( 1981), Disney Animation: The Illusion of Life.
Vrielynck, Roger ( 1981), Le cinéma d'animation avant et après Walt Disney.
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Publication information: Book title: The Oxford History of World Cinema. Contributors: Geoffrey Nowell-Smith - Editor. Publisher: Oxford University Press. Place of publication: Oxford. Publication year: 1997. Page number: 275.
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