For years, Ray Pointer of Inkwell Images has been compiling the best of early American cartoon art and preserving animation history through a series of self-produced home video releases. Ray not only finds the best prints of this material, but showcases them in their proper historical context with facts, rare photos, advertising art and practical explainations of how the animation pioneers applied their craft.Ray’s latest release, BEFORE WALT, is a must-have for any serious student of animation history. All the important films, the important players and the vital facts are here. The films include the established firsts – Humorous Phases of Funny Faces (1906), Fantasmagorie (1907), Little Nemo (1911) – and prime examples of vintage Fleischer, Messmer, Terry – and yes, Walt Disney. Ray also includes an informative illustrated insert and his DVD contains bonus cartoons, animators biographies and a silent cartoon poster gallery.Next Saturday, as part of the Centennial of American Animation, Asifa-Hollywood is holding the premiere presentation of BEFORE WALT at their monthly screening on the AFI campus (details here). Ray will be on hand with copies of BEFORE WALT for sale, and will screen some special surprises not contained on the DVD.