Archive for the ‘carlo vinci’ Category

Monday, March 2nd, 2015

Exhibit: Carlo Vinci Shows Us How To Pick An Animation School

National Academy of Design 1931

Today, I read a post on Cartoon Brew titled When Angry Animation Students Attack. Apparently, an animation student became frustrated by the poor quality of instruction at his school, so he crapped out his final film and ended it with a credit for his professor that read, "Thanks for nothing."

This particular post resonated with me, because the most common question I’m asked by young artists is, "How should I pick an animation school?" They always expect me to recommend a specific school, but my answer usually surprises them.

Carlo Vinci Artist and AnimatorCarlo Vinci was one of the most talented animators who ever lived. When he passed away in 1993, he left behind a remarkable legacy. But of particular interest to students of animation was his collection of student work. Tucked away in a closet was a portfolio full of studies that chart his education. Vinci’s family is generously allowing the ASIFA-Hollywood Animation Archive to document this material with the intent of reconstructing his education as a model for current students of animation.

Today, I’d like to share a brochure with you… This is the course outline for National Academy of Design, the art school that Carlo Vinci attended… I hope you take the time to read over this material carefully, especially if you are a student looking to pursue a career in animation. It will help you know what to look for in an animation school.

National Academy of Design 1931

The Academy believes firmly in the development of individuality but denies that such development is helped by the ignoring of the universal heritage, the heritage of the graphic manifestations of Man’s temperament and impressions. It therefore approves careful consideration of the Art of the past and its correlation with the Art of the present. It encourages progressive experiment admitting the vitality of real Art under any form and condemning only ignorance, insincerity and the contempt which is born of them.

National Academy of Design 1931
National Academy of Design 1931
National Academy of Design 1931
National Academy of Design 1931

The students have at all time free access to the Academy’s large and valuable collection of standard and rare books on every branch of the fine arts… Of especial advantage to the student is the easy accessibility of the great collections in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the New York Historical Society, New York Public Library, Brooklyn Museum, the City Hall, the Hispanic Society, and the galleries of innumerable private collectors and art dealers in the city, where the best American works and art treasures from foreign countries may be studied to better advantage than anywhere else in America.


National Academy of Design 1931
National Academy of Design 1931


National Academy of Design 1931

The class schedule runs six days a week from 9 in the morning until 4 in the afternoon. First year studios in drawing from sculpture, life drawing, portrait painting, still life painting, and composition run from two to three hours apiece. Second year courses consist of life drawing, sculpture from life, portrait painting, etching, composition, and mural decoration. And three hour night courses are offered in sculpture, life drawing, drawing from sculpture and composition.

First year students receive lectures in anatomy, perspective and art history. Second year students attend lecture classes in color theory, various printing techniques, stained glass, mosaic and the history of art and architecture.


National Academy of Design 1931
National Academy of Design 1931

Note that students first draw from still life and sculpture, and only when they have proved their abilities, are they allowed to advance to drawing from life.

National Academy of Design 1931
National Academy of Design 1931
National Academy of Design 1931
National Academy of Design 1931


National Academy of Design 1931
National Academy of Design 1931
National Academy of Design 1931


>National Academy of Design 1931
National Academy of Design 1931


National Academy of Design 1931
National Academy of Design 1931
National Academy of Design 1931
National Academy of Design 1931
National Academy of Design 1931


Here’s the surprising answer… You don’t! Schools that specialize in animation as a trade do a lousy job of preparing you for a career in animation. While you’re a student, you should focus on your core art skills- drawing, design, composition and color. Look for a school that can give you a solid classical art background. Avoid ones that just teach computer programs. You don’t have to spend thousands of dollars to learn Maya!

Carlo Vinci was one of the greatest animators who ever lived, but he never took a class in animation. Instead, he spent three years of intense study to learn to be an artist. With the experience he gained at the National Academy of Design, he was able to learn animation and advance quickly on the job. It was the same for great animators like Marc Davis, Chuck Jones and Frank Thomas who studied at Chouinard on the West coast.


National Academy

Students at the National Academy of Design
around the time Vinci attended.

You have an advantage that the Golden Age animators didn’t have. Personal computers and inexpensive animation software make it easy to experiment and learn animation on your own. You have amazing resources on the web, like the $100,000 Animation Drawing Course, Mark Kennedy’s Seven Golden Camels and John Kricfalusi’s invaluable blog, All Kinds Of Stuff. You have no excuse for not learning to animate.

You can’t buy an education, but you may be able to buy a degree. Students graduate without any marketable skills from good colleges every year. But that isn’t the schools’ fault. Your education is your own responsibility. It’s not your professor’s job to MAKE you learn. Learning is a life-long occupation. Apply yourself.

If you can’t afford a university degree, you can still obtain a first class art education. Attend classes at your local community college and pick up copies of the Famous Artists painting, commercial art and cartooning sets on eBay. Self study is the key to becoming a great artist. Once you start to master the fundamental skills, THEN apply yourself to learning to animate.

If you follow this advice, you’ll never have to make excuses for your lack of skill as an animator, and you’ll never need to blame anyone else for your lack of education. Best of all, your education will form the foundation for any creative endeavor you undertake.

Stephen Worth
Animation Resources


This posting is part of an online series of articles dealing with Instruction.


This posting is part of a series of articles comprising an online exhibit entitled Theory.

Friday, February 27th, 2015

Design: Terry-Toons’ Temperamental Lion

Today, we digitized some great Terrytoons model sheets that Carlo Vinci’s family loaned to us…

Terrytoons Model Sheet
Terrytoons Model Sheet
Terrytoons Model Sheet
Terrytoons Model Sheet
Terrytoons Model Sheet

This one is particularly interesting to me…

Terrytoons Model Sheet

…because it’s from one of the very best Terrytoons of the time, "The Temperamental Lion". Connie Rasinski created the goofy Bert Lahr lion character as the "King of the Jungle" for the classic cartoon "Doomsday" (1938) as well as "The Nutty Network" (1939). The model was adapted a bit in the late 1940s for "The Lyin’ Lion", a film that includes some funny Jim Tyer animation…

Terrytoons Model Sheet

…but the character was never better animated than he was by Carlo Vinci in this short… Check out his great scene of the lion singing!

Terrytoons Temperamental Lion
Terrytoons Temperamental Lion
Terrytoons Temperamental Lion
Terrytoons Temperamental Lion
Terrytoons Temperamental Lion
Terrytoons Temperamental Lion

The Temperamental Lion (Terry/1940)
(Quicktime 7 / 14.5 megs)

Many thanks to the Vinci family for sharing their treasures with us!

Stephen Worth
Animation Resources

Animated CartoonsAnimated Cartoons

This posting is part of the online Encyclopedia of Cartooning under the subject heading, Animation.

Wednesday, November 3rd, 2010

Biography: Carlo Vinci

This posting is a stub. You can contribute to this entry by providing information through the comments link at the bottom of this post. Please organize your information following the main category headers below….

Carlo VinciCarlo VinciBirth/Death

Born: February 27, 1906, New York City

Died: September 30, 1993, Thousand Oaks, CA



Bio Summary

Carlo Vinci (originally Vinciguerra), a pioneer of the animation industry for over 50 years, animated hundreds of characters such as Mighty Mouse, Tom & Jerry, Donald Duck, Ruff and Reddy, Quick Draw McGraw, Huckleberry Hound, Yogi Bear, the Jetsons, Scooby Doo and the Flintstones. He became known, to quote John Kricfalusi, as the master of the Flinstones. Carlo Vinci could be counted on to deliver quality work at a remarkably fast pace, no matter what he was asked to do. He retired at the rip old age of 72, loved by all in the industry. Carlo passed away on September 30, 1993, leaving behind his wife, Margaret, four children and ten grandchildren.

Early Life/Family

Carlo Vinci was born February 27, 1906, in New York City. A few weeks later in March of 1906, the very first animated cartoon, “Humorous Phases of Funny Faces” was produced. That was destiny in the making! He was the only child of Italian immigrants. His father, Andrea was a barber, and his mother, Maria was a dressmaker, making custom-made dresses before they were available in department stores. In 1938, Carlo met Margaret Leonardi, the love of his life, and the two were married in 1939. They remained married for the next 54 years.


Carlo showed artistic talent at a very early age, and was nurtured throughout his childhood so much so that after he graduated high school, he was awarded a scholarship at the National Academy of Design. He studied day and night for four years and graduated with honors. In 1929, he was awarded a silver medal, the highest award for craftsmanship from the Tiffany Foundation Fellowship.

Career Outline

He spent his first years as an artist in commercial art from 1921 to 1932. He drew murals, landscapes for homes and business offices and also did commercial stained glass. In 1933, during the depression, Carlo heard about the animation industry and wanting a better way to support his family, applied for a job at the Terrytoons Studios. He was paid $75 a week (a lot of money for the time) and in less than a year he became an exceptional animator, specializing in dancing sequences and scenes that required acting and graceful movement.

In 1955, Joe Barbera, a fellow animator at Terry, (now in California and the head of the MGM animation studio along with Bill Hanna) offered Carlo a job. He packed up his wife, four children and dog and drove out to Culver City, California to animate Tom and Jerry and Droopy cartoons. Soon after, there was a bump in the road when MGM decided to close down their animation studio. Joe Barbera helped Carlo get a job at Walt Disney Studios. He worked there for two years on TV projects, and also free-lanced as an animator for Paul Fennell, who was doing animated commercials for television. In the meantime, Joe and Bill were preparing to open their own studio.

Then in 1957, Hanna-Barbera opened, and Joe immediately hired Carlo as one of his first three animators. A few years later in 1960, the Flinstones premiered on television and Carlo animated the first Flinstone cartoon single-handedly. This was the first time a cartoon series was on prime-time television, making television history. He worked on many of the Flintstones episodes, animating an entire 24 minute episode by himself every six weeks. Carlo was featured in LIFE magazine (see below) with a full page photo, featuring him acting out his drawing of Fred Flinstone.

Over the years he was recognized as an accomplished artist and received many awards. He also drew for comic books and later in his career illustrated ads for HARPER magazine drawing the Flinstones characters. In his retirement he continued drawing and painting, especially portraits of his children, their spouses, and grandchildren. He never stopped learning and growing as an artist. As a final challenge, toward the end of his life he began to sculpt.

Comments On Style

From John K on Carlo Vinci Dancing:

Carlo Vinci
Click to see a larger view.

Carlo moves things as if he invented animation himself and had never seen anyone else’s animation. He made up all his own rules. He doesn’t use simple lines of action like the Disney animators did. Instead he uses zigzagged poses that to most animators would seem awkward. I used to notice that about his Flintstone poses when I was a kid and I loved it. I learned early that the kind of stuff I liked most didn’t fit a mold. It had to be skilled, but also needed to stand out and be a little “off”- like Carlo Vinci.

Here is some of Carlo’s “full-animation” from a 40s Terrytoon. He was using his broken-wrist/collapsing joints theories way back when. The Terrytoons directors always gave him the dance scenes and you can spot his style a mile away.

Carlo Vinci

Carlo Vinci
Click on the image above to see Mighty Mouse In Krakatoa (1945 / Quicktime / 13.5 mb).

From John K on Flintstones Animators:

Carlo Vinci
Click on the image to see a movie of Carlo Vinci scenes.

Carlo Vinci is the master of Flintstone. He handles him clean, smooth, without shame. Here’s how to spot him… Carlo loves drawing crooked poses with the characters’ appendages- the head, the hands, the pelvic girdle- all pointing different directions. Keep your eyes peeled for socially unacceptable (in some circles) wrist actions. He likes to flip the wrist around- have the hand up, then flip down, then twist around, fingers wiggling, taking turns sticking up- it’s truly a joy to watch.

He utilizes the butt generously. Remember the old Yogi Bear cartoons? The ones where Yogi bops up and down to bongo beats? That’s Carlo. He’s always thinking of you. In Carlo’s hands, Fred’s butt is a sensative emoting creature. He also draws quite a few meaty expressions on the characters, whereas some other animators are stingy with their expressions. Carlo did great stuff for Terrytoons, but I think he was made for Hanna Barbera. His animation style combined with Ed Benedict’s designs created a whole new entertainment experience. Count on Carlo to deliver a quality package to you. -John Kricfalusi


Renaissance artists: Michelangelo, Raphael, Leonardo Da Vinci.


Carlo was known for his great sense of humor, was always the life of the party wherever he went, a great dancer and loved opera.


Joe Barbera on his first job as an animator…

Joe BarberaJoe BarberaI worked in a bank, and at night I would go home and draw cartoons. It seemed to titillate me when I would see a magazine like a Colliers or a Life or a Judge. So I began drawing cartoons and suddenly they began to buy them. It was very bad times, and finally the bank closed its doors… So, I’m strolling down the street and I meet a fraternity brother, and he says, “Go across the street to 729 7th Avenue and tell them you’re an animator.” I didn’t even know what that meant. So I went in and I had four magazines with me which had my printed material in it. It made enough of an impression on them to decide to hire me.

They walked me into a room and sat me down at a desk with a light board and gave me a scene which had about thirty pages in it, and I stared at it. I didn’t know what the heck it was all about. But fortunately, a fella next to me- named Carlo Vinci said, “You don’t know what to do, do ya?” I said, “Noooo…” So he said, “Well, I’ll show ya…” He put drawing one down and drawing three and showed me the job of an Inbetweener. He said, “You have to make that drawing inbetween these two drawings.” He described motion to a degree, and that’s how I got started in that end of the business.



Terrytoons 1933-1955

MGM (Tom & Jerry) 1955-1957

Disney (Donald Duck) 1957

Hanna-Barbera 1957-1982

  • Ruff and Reddy
  • Huckleberry Hound
  • Yogi Bear
  • Quick Draw McGraw
  • Jetsons
  • Scooby Doo
  • Charlotte’s Web


    National Academy Gallery, New York City
    American Art Gallery, New York City,
    Grand Central Gallery, New York City

    Tiffany Foundation Fellowship and Silver Medal, 1929

    Related Links

    Carlo Vinci’s Model Sheets & "The Temperamental Lion" (1940)

    From John Kricfalusi’s ALL KINDS OF STUFF:

    Flintstone Flyer: Carlo Vinci
    More Flintstone Flyer: Carlo Vinci
    Krakatoa Katie: Carlo Vinci Dancing
    I Want You To Love Carlo Vinci
    Slow But Sure

    Bibliographic References

    Carlo Vinci in Life Magazine
    Carlo Vinci in Life Magazine, November 21st, 1960

    Contributors To This Listing
    Paul & John Vinci, John Kricfalusi, Stephen Worth

    To make additions or corrections to this listing, please click on COMMENTS below…