Thursday, February 07, 2008

Pre Anime

This is worth your notice:

Japan Society’s Dawn of Japanese Animation series offers an illuminating look at the innovative early days of animation from the land of Astro Boy. These are not the direct antecedents of anime or prototypes of Speed Racer. The series features films from the late ’20s through the ’40s that are more parallel to the early cartoons of the west.

What's interesting to me is how American live-action films, and later American animation, ended up dominating the global marketplace.

I can't help thinking this had to do with a couple of world wars where the United States ended up on the winning sides, and the fact that in the mid twentieth century, the U.S. of A. became the strongest military and industrial power on the planet.

When you dominate, you dominate.


Tom said...

I've seen some of these films, they are quite fascinating from a historical context.

As for US dominance, I mentioned a bit about that in my book Drawing the Line. That in the beginning, animated film was created in most of the world by small studios of artists, while American animation was planned on an industrial scale. Large assembly line studios sponsored by newspaper conglomerates and later Hollywood dream factories who exercised monopolistic control of the film process.

That coupled with mainland America's relative isolation from the political turmoil of the mid Twentieth Century and it was easy for the more nativist studios to be swamped by the avalanche of Hollywood product.

Anonymous said...

One other advantaqe the US films had... they were actually crafted with pleasing the audience as a primary goal.

If you've ever sat thru a show of films from (government subsidized) european studios you'd swear that the filmmakers had no clue that an audience would have to watch the result.

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