The Null Device

Posts matching tags 'animation'



A 1939 magazine article about the censorship of animated cartoons, and exactly the sorts of things the Hays Office (which handled film censorship in the U.S. at the time) demanded cut from cartoons. For example, a cartoon cow was made to wear a skirt covering its udders, a sombrero-wearing bandit is required to end up in jail (crime, you see, must unambiguously be seen to not pay), and a scene with a stereotypical black (as in African-American) angel placing pushpins on a globe labelled "Harlem" and mentioning "De Lawd" had to be altered, not because of the racial stereotypes (which, in 1939, were perfectly fine) but because it was considered too sacrilegious.

It's interesting to note that the article states at the beginning that animated cartoons were subjected to stricter censorship regulations than live-action films because it was assumed that anything animated was for children, who needed to be protected. Similar justifications were used for comic books (with the Comics Code, which was in force until publishers started ignoring it in the 1960s or so, and had similarly puritanical scope), and in current video game censorship in Australia.

(via Boing Boing) animation authoritarianism cartoons censorship culture history media 0


LiveJournal user icon of the day:

(Note: for the full effect, make sure you have animated images enabled.)

(via rhodri) animation bizarre children horror images wtf 7


The Annoying Thing, an animation of a frog making motorbike noises, which has become one of the biggest-selling ringtones in the UK (and is all over TV ads). Anyway, it is somewhat amusing, at least if you haven't seen it millions of times already. (May not be worksafe, if computer-rendered humanoid frog genitals offend)

animation crazy frog the annoying thing 4


Kikkoman: the Movie (Flash animation). The odd thing is, this probably isn't much weirder than some Japanese TV ads. (via Graham)

animation flash japan kikkoman weird 0


Film Festival: This afternoon, I went along to the screening of a collection of animations by the Brothers Quay. The brothers, for those not in the know, are reclusive American-born identical twins based in England, and known for their surreal animations, which are rather inspired by eastern European animators (such as Jan Svankmajer). A lot of their material is done on commission (including music videos and a MTV station ID), but is no less bizarre for that.

The screening had a number of short films, mostly made with models, puppets and such. Two of the animations (starring a stuffed toy rabbit and a vaguely monstrous little-girl mannequin) were videos for His Name Is Alive; they certainly had the 4AD look down pat, looking like the cinematic equivalent of v23's cover artwork. One was set to a piece by Karlheinz Stockhausen (whose atonal music matched the incomprehensibilist aesthetics of the brothers), and was about a woman in a mental hospital writing letters, never delivered, to her husband (or so I discovered at the end). Another was an exploration of anamorphism in painting, and was surprisingly comprehensible.

Which brings me to a point. At the risk of sounding like an uncultured philistine, I must say that I didn't enjoy the animations as much as I was hoping, because I found much of the stories pointless and incomprehensible. (In one, a homunculus is wobbling a ladder inside a vaguely Escheresque wooden structure. It droops, its hands become detached and start zooming the ladder back and forth along the landscape. Not once is the ladder used for anything other than moving around; one gets the feeling that either escape from or exploration of the structure would be futile because everything is ultimately meaningless in the Quays' worlds.) Though, I suppose it's an acquired taste, and connoiseurship makes anything interesting. Perhaps I should have read up on them beforehand.

I also bought a ticket for the Jeunet and Caro shorts coming up later in the festival. They should be good.

animation art art-wank brothers quay film 0

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