"Why is Marjorie Belcher the world's most durable film star? Because she was the model for Walt Disney's Snow White and for the Blue Fairy in 'Pinochio'.... This is one of the many odd facts to be gleaned from Michael Barrier's account of the development of Hollywood animation. Bet you didn't know, for example, that Sneezy the dwarf was originally to have been Deafy—until someone, long before the days of political correctness, spotted the unconscious slur. Or that Pluto was at first to have been called Rover.... His book is rich in nuggets that bring the era, from roughly 1910 to the mid-1960's, vividly to life."— The Economist
"This long awaited book by Michael Barrier, a pioneer in the field of animation studies, raises the bar for serious analysis of Hollywood animation and animators during the `Golden Age' of the 30s, 40s, and 50s. Barrier's research is rich and impeccable, his arguments articulate, and his uncompromising, astringent conclusions will be a source of scholarly debate and discussion for years to come."—John Canemaker, animator and author of Before the Animation Begins, Tex Avery: The MGM Years, Felix: The Twisted Tale of the World's Most Famous Cat, and professor and head of animation studies at New York University Tisch School of the Arts
"The highly readable result is niether weighted down with scholarly discourse nor demeaned by trivial anecdotes. Hollywood Cartoons might well become the standard survey in its area. All libraries should consider for purchase." —Neal Baker, Library Journal
"Barrier's book is a major contribution to our understanding of the work of not only the Disney animators, but also of men like Max and Dave Fleischer, Bill Hanna and Joe Barbera, John Hubley, and the brilliant Warner Bros. crew, especially Tex Avery, Friz Freleng and Chuck Jones.... The book is likely to become a standard history of American animation up to Disney's death in 1996."— Palm Beach Florida News
"Barrier's book is a major contribution to our understanding of the work of not only the Disney animators, but also of men like Max and Dave Fleischer, Bill Hanna and Joe Barbera, John Hubley, and the brilliant Warner Bros. crew, especially Tex Avery, Friz Feleng and Chuck Jones.... The book is likely to become a standard history of American animation up to Disney's death in 1966."—Charles Matthews, The Washington Post
"A substantial history of animated cartoons, both seven-minute shorts and feature films, Hollywood Cartoons gives proper weight to a subject often considered frivolous.... Michael Barrier's Hollywood Cartoons draws from the deepest reservoir of firsthand recollections gathered from producers, directors, animators, background artists, musicians, even ink-and-paint specialists from roughly 1920 to 1966.... Barrier makes palpable the rigors of an animator's task, and thereby enhances our appreciation, indeed awe, of their accomplishments."— The Plain Dealer
"A very detailed account of animated cartoons, strongly emphasizing the influence and personality of Walt Disney.... This genre's history is still undercovered, so cartoon expert Barrier's book should come as a welcome addition to researchers and fans.... The author takes an interesting tack in contrasting Disney's self-image with views of his associates and friends."— Kirkus Reviews
"Michael Barrier's meticulously researched yet enchantingly innocent Hollywood Cartoons: American Animation in its Golden Age restores much of the magic to the cartoon kingdom. This definitive depiction of our most American medium will leave all but the most hardened Disnophobe shouting Yabba-Dabba-Doo!"—Jacob M. Appel, The Boston Book Review
"Barrier has given the reader a comprehensive— yet finely detailed— survey of the American animated cartoon over the decades. For the film buff, or mor specifically, for the cartoon enthusiast, his book will be a welome addition to the home reference shelf."— Richmond Times-Dispatch
In Hollywood Cartoons, Michael Barrier takes us on a glorious guided tour of American animation in the 1930s, '40s, and '50s, to meet the legendary artists and entrepreneurs who created Bugs Bunny, Betty Boop, Mickey Mouse, Wile E. Coyote, Donald Duck, Tom and Jerry, and many other cartoon favorites.
Beginning with black-and-white silent cartoons, Barrier offers an insightful account, taking us inside early New York studios and such Hollywood giants as Disney, Warner Bros., and MGM. Barrier excels at illuminating the creative side of animation—revealing how stories are put together, how animators develop a character, how technical innovations enhance the "realism" of cartoons. Here too are colorful portraits of the giants of the field, from Walt and Roy Disney and their animators, to Bill Hanna and Joe Barbera.
Based on hundreds of interviews with veteran animators, Hollywood Cartoons gives us the definitive inside look at this colorful era and at the creative process behind these marvelous cartoons.
"This definitive depiction of our most American medium will leave all but the most hardened Disnophobe shouting Yabba-Dabba-Doo!"— The Boston Book Review
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