Why I Like Animation

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People ask me on occasion why I like animation. It’s a difficult question to answer, and one that I’ve rarely (if ever) answered to my own satisfaction. To me, art is something as natural and necessary as breathing or eating. Why wouldn’t I like animation would seem to be a more appropriate question. Well, I may have finally found a better answer.

Tonight, at ASIFA-Hollywood’s “Evening with John Canemaker” event, John screened six classic animated shorts that he finds inspiring for one reason or another. Put together, these six films are the perfect explanation for why I like (love?) cartoons. Animation, at its best, is a visual medium unlike any other, one that is filled with limitless creative possibilities, and these films illustrate the point more vividly and efficiently than anything I could ever say. So the next time somebody asks me why I enjoy animation, I’ll just give them a list of the following films:

The Fleischer short MYSTERIOUS MOSE (1930)
The Disney short THE BAND CONCERT (1935)
FOX HUNT – Anthony Gross and Hector Hoppin (1936)
FLAT HATTING – John Hubley (1946)
FREE RADICALS – Len Lye (1957)
THE TEMPEST (scenes from an unfinished film) – George Dunning (ca. mid-1970s)

(Image courtesy of Cartoon Retro)