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Muybridge's Complete Human and Animal Locomotion: New Volume 1 - Eadweard Muybridge [Amazon.com]
Because of the stylistic similarities between comic strips and early animated movies, "cartoon" came to refer to animation, and this is the sense in which "cartoon" is most commonly used today. These are usually shown on television or in cinemas and are created by showing illustrated images in rapid succession to give the impression of movement. In this meaning, the word cartoon is sometimes shortened to toon (which may be a corruption of "Looney Tunes" and was popularized by the movie Who Framed Roger Rabbit). Although the term can be applied to any animated presentation, it is most often used in reference to programs for children, featuring anthropomorphized animals, superheroes, the adventures of child protagonists, and other related genres. Animated material which does not fit the traditional conventions of Western animation, such as Japanese anime can also be called cartoons. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cartoon#Motion_pictures
Wallace & Gromit
Wallace & Gromit - A Grand Day Out (1992) - Nick Park [Amazon.com]
Nominated for an Academy Award in 1990, the first short-film adventure of Wallace & Gromit was this 24-minute comedy, created by clay animator Nick Park over a six-year period at the National Film & Television School in London, and at the Aardman Animation studios that Park boosted to international acclaim. In their debut adventure, Wallace and his furry pal Gromit find themselves desperate for "a nice bit of Gorgonzola," but their refrigerator's empty and the local cheese shop is closed for a holiday! Undeterred, Wallace comes up with an extreme solution to the cheese shortage: since the moon is made of cheese (we all know that's true, right?), he decides to build a rocket ship and blast off for a cheesy lunar picnic! Gromit's only too happy to help, and before long the inventive duo is on the moon, where they encounter a clever appliance that's part oven, part robot, part lunar skiing enthusiast ... well, you just have to see the movie to understand how any of this whimsical lunar-cy can make any sense! It's a grand tale of wonderful discoveries, fantastic inventions--and really great cheese! --Jeff Shannon
Ren & Stimpy
Ren & Stimpy Show: Have Yourself a Stinky Little Christmas (1991) - Vincent Waller, John Kricfalusi [Amazon.com]
Ren and Stimpy are the title characters of two cartoon TV series created by Canadian animator John Kricfalusi. Ren Höek, a neurotic "asthma-hound" chihuahua, and Stimpson J. Cat, a fat simpleton cat wander around in nonsensical adventures reminiscent of the golden age of cartoons.
While a product of the children's cable network Nickelodeon, The Ren & Stimpy Show had a reputation for subversiveness. In fact, the show pushed the bounds of good taste further than any cartoon had to its day; its level of gross-out humor was only exceeded by the antics of Beavis and Butthead or The Brothers Grunt. And though sometimes seen as low-brow, the series also cleverly lampooned culture and made many viewers and studio executives uncomfortable. Nickelodeon eventually fired Kricfalusi from his own creation and systematically censored the cartoon down to little more than a remnant of its former self. Eventually, several episodes were deemed unairable and have never been broadcast by Nickelodeon again.
Fantasia (1940) - Ford Beebe, Bill RobertsFantasia (1940) - Ford Beebe, Bill Roberts [Amazon.com]
Groundbreaking on several counts, not the least of which was an innovative use of animation and stereophonic sound, this ambitious Disney feature has lost nothing to time since its release in 1940. Classical music was interpreted by Disney animators, resulting in surreal fantasy and playful escapism. Leopold Stokowski and the Philadelphia Orchestra provided the music for eight segments by the composers Tchaikovsky, Moussorgsky, Stravinsky, Beethoven, Ponchielli, Bach, Dukas, and Schubert. Not all the sequences were created equally, but a few are simply glorious, such as "Night on Bald Mountain," "The Sorcerer's Apprentice," and "The Nutcracker Suite." The animation ranges from subtly delicate to fiercely bold. The screen bursts with color and action as creatures transmute and convention is thrust aside. The painstaking detail and saturated hues are unique to this film, unmatched even by more advanced technology. --Rochelle O'Gorman, amazon.com
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