I’ve been a fan of the crazy independent cartoons of Sally Cruikshank since Quasi at the Quackardero first burst on the screen back in the 1970s. At a time “underground comics” were at their peak – here came an underground cartoon animator. Evoking the surreal worlds of 1930s Van Beuren and Fleischer rubber hose masterpieces, Cruikshank has carried the torch for depression-era “funny animal” cartoons ever since. I’m delighted that The Museum of Modern Art is hosting a tribute to Cruikshank this Friday featuring newly preserved prints of her cel-animation classics, including 1975′s Quasi (since elected to the National Film Registry in 2009), Make Me Psychic (1978), and Face Like a Frog (1987, featuring an original soundtrack by Oingo Boingo), plus a sampling of her commercial movie credits, Sesame Street spots and several of her own versions of Fleischer’s Screen Songs – using doo-wop music of the 1950s.
Sally Cruikshank will be introducing her films at the screening on Friday, October 26, 2012, 7:15 p.m. (A repeat showing sans Ms. Cruikshank will also occur on Monday, October 29th, 2012 at 4:00pm). This tribute is part of MoMA’s Preservation Festival which includes many restored cartoon shorts interspersed among the many programs. Both the Cruikshank tribute and the Preservation Festival are highly recommended!