May 21st, 2019

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Illustration: Mary Blair Song Book

Mary Blair Song Book

Mary Blair is one of the most popular golden age animation color stylists among today’s animation designers. This book was published in 1955, and it’s a great example of Blair at the height of her powers. The full color illustrations are great, but check out the duotones and the page layouts… It’s as if she can do no wrong! Her taste is impeccable.

Mary Blair Song Book
Mary Blair Song Book
Mary Blair Song Book
Mary Blair Song Book
Mary Blair Song Book
Mary Blair Song Book
Mary Blair Song Book
Mary Blair Song Book
Mary Blair Song Book
Mary Blair Song Book
Mary Blair Song Book
Mary Blair Song Book
Mary Blair Song Book
Mary Blair Song Book
Mary Blair Song Book
Mary Blair Song Book
Mary Blair Song Book
Mary Blair Song Book
Mary Blair Song Book
Mary Blair Song Book
Mary Blair Song Book
Mary Blair Song Book
Mary Blair Song Book
Mary Blair Song Book
Mary Blair Song Book
Mary Blair Song Book
Mary Blair Song Book
Mary Blair Song Book
Mary Blair Song Book
Mary Blair Song Book
Mary Blair Song Book
Mary Blair Song Book
Mary Blair Song Book
Mary Blair Song Book

Stephen Worth
Director
Animation Resources

IllustrationIllustration

This posting is part of a series of articles comprising an online exhibit spotlighting Illustration.

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Posted by admin @ 12:30 pm

May 20th, 2019

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Animation: Reiniger’s Prince Achmed

Reiniger Adventures of Prince Achmed
If you ask the average person what the first feature-length animated film was, just about everyone will answer Walt Disney’s “Snow White & the Seven Dwarfs”. But Disney’s film wasn’t the first animated feature by a longshot. Arguably, that honor belongs to Lotte Reiniger’s “Adventures of Prince Achmed”.

Lotte Reiniger
In 1923, Reiniger and her husband and business partner, Carl Koch began work on an ambitious project… a feature length silhouette puppet film based on “The One Thousand and One Nights”. She worked with animator Bertold Bartosch and background artist Walter Ruttman for three years on the film. The paper cutouts were jointed using wires and delicately arranged on top of a lightbox, where it was photographed frame by frame. Reiniger continued to animate her distinctive silhouette films up into the mid-1970s. She passed away in 1981.

Reiniger animates Adventures of Prince Achmed
Animation Resources volunteer, Eric Graf was perusing a local library book sale when he spotted an amazing find… a portfolio of prints from Reiniger’s landmark film. Published in Berlin in the year the film was released (1926), this group of images shows just how beautiful Reiniger’s work was… and how unique. Eric picked up the book for the collection and brought it by today. Thanks, Eric!

Our reader, Michael generously translated the synopsis for us…

Reiniger Adventures of Prince Achmed
Once upon a time there was a wizard who could control all the powers and elements of the world. One day, he made a mighty flying steed out of pure will and thought. Then he took it to the caliph’s palace and asked him to let him marry his daughter in exchange for the horse. The girl refused (she thought he was ugly), so the plan was dismissed, but her brother, Achmed, got angry and insulted the wizard. So the latter set up a trap for him: He offered him to have a ride on the horse to see how fast and strong it was. But as soon as he was in the saddle, the horse flew up into the sky and far away. Achmed managed at last to make it land on an island. There he found many beautiful women asking him to be their lover, but he denied as he wanted to find their queen, who – as he had heard – was a woman of exceptional beauty.

Reiniger Adventures of Prince Achmed
Achmed flew over the island on the magic horse and saw a lake shimmering in the night. While he was waiting there, a bird with beautiful feathers landed nearby and changed shape before his eyes: It transformed into Paribanu, the queen of the island, and she wanted to bathe there; around her were many gentle women. Achmed asked her to stay with him, but she was frightened and tried to flee; he, however, held on to her feathers and followed her through the thicket like the hunter follows the deer. He asked her to flee no longer and sat her onto the horse with him. Then they flew over numberless countries, until at last they found a lonely valley, where Achmed made a bed for her under a tree.

But in the meantime, the wizard was not idle, searching for his horse with magic webs, in which he caught the picture of the faraway valley. Then he transformed into a kangaroo, that strange jumping animal of the desert, and in the next moment he was with Achmed and Paribandu. He lured Achmed into a deep canyon, in which a horrible snake lived. While Achmed was fighting that snake, trying to save his life, the wizard kidnapped the girl and escaped with the flying horse.

In China he wanted to sell her as a slave. A very powerful emperor lived there; he had a hump-backed jester, who amused him with his pranks and his chimes. The emperor liked Paribandu and gave many sacks of treasures to the wizards for her. Big was the emperor, and fat. Beautiful he was not. When he approached Paribandu and wanted to make her his lover, she pushed him away, crying: “No, you monster!” That made the emperor angry, so he called his jester and told him: “Do with her what you want! You can kill her, but you may also take her as your wife if you want!” “Ah, marriage! We make marriage!” the hump-backed one called out and danced with joy.

Meanwhile, the wizard was flying back to the island on birds that he had made out of the sacks of gold from the emperor. On the island, Achmed was mourning the loss of his lover, but the wizard gave Achmed to those birds: They tore him away like vultures tear a corpse away. When they found a wasteland where the earth was gaping and spewing out horror, they layed him down shackled under a big rock.

Reiniger Adventures of Prince Achmed
A flaming abyss opened next to Prince Achmed. A hideous woman rose out of it and stepped towards him. Was she going to kill him? He walked up to her and told her who had brought him there, and that the great wizard’s animals had kidnapped him. When she heard that, she shouted: “He is my enemy, let us fight him together!” She called the monsters that served her, for she was very powerful, as powerful as the wizard. She ordered them to dive into the core of the earth and fetch weapons with which they could fight the wizard. Now she was friendly to Achmed, took him by the hand and freed him. Look how they soared through magic might, walking through the air with ease, as if they were walking on level ground. The prince shouted: “O look, down there is Paribanu, dressed for a celebration. Oh, she is going to be married with that hunch-backed jester! Let’s go down there quickly and save her!”

Down they swooped like birds of prey, grabbing that noble girl. How they lay in each other’s arms, Paribanu and Achmed!
But listen! The beating of wings, what does it mean? New dangers! Hosts of black creatures, horrible animals with flapping wings! “O Paribanu!” “These are the spirits of Wak-Wak, my home country. They will not tolerate my staying away from home, they will take me with them! O, the horror!” So the demons took to the air with their prey, and again Prince Achmed stood there alone, separated from his lover. He was furious, and in his anger he forced one of the birds to serve him. Racing after Paribanu, he saw the magic island from far away. The gate of Wak-Wak, and next to it endlessly high mountains. He flew into the gate, and through it.

Then, suddenly, the gates closed, and a voice told the Prince that he was not allowed to enter. “Have you heard of Aladin and his lamp,” the voice said,
“only that lamp can be your salvation!” Achmed stopped short, trying to recall what he knw about that name: Aladdin! Aladdin!

What monster is this? Many-armed, abominable! Big as a mountain! And look, there is a man in its claws! The prince took his magic weapons to kill it. He shot arrow after arrow, until it dropped dead. He asked the man who he was. It was Aladin, the man he was looking for! He told Achmed his story: “I used to live a quiet life in the caliph’s city. While I was working in my workshop one day, a stranger of noble appearance came in and asked me to follow him to a place where immense treasures could be found. He lead me to a cave and bade me descend to the depths of the earth. There, between shiny stones, I found the marvelous lamp. “Give it to me, scoundrel!” the stranger shouted; he was waiting at the cave’s entrance. When I refused, he left me behind in darkness and desparation. But I, lighting the lamp, became the master of its spirits. They helped me escape. They served me and did whatever I ordered them to do. I gave them the order to build a palace, more beautiful than any palace I had seen before. And before the sun set, they had accomplished that feat. I went to the caliph’s daughter and led her home with me as my wife. But in the evening, everything had disappeared – she, the lover, as well as the incredible palace and, with it, the lamp.

The stranger had done that, but who was he? The great wizard!

Reiniger Adventures of Prince Achmed
“So I got up and fled the caliph’s wrath. Travelling over the sea in a tiny boat, i got into a storm. I was whirled around, I was almost smashed against rocks, then I was thrown on the coast. I saw a tree with fruit that could help me recover. But as I reached out for it, the tree rose to the height of a mountain and threw off branches and leaves: It was a monster! That was when you found me, Prince Achmed, and when you saved me!”

When Aladdin had finished his story, the witch appeared and told them that Paribanu was in danger. She said that the spirits of Wak-Wak were revolting against her and only Aladin’s lamp could save her. “So you must fight the wizard!” both Aladdin and Achmed begged her, “wrench the lamp from his hands and kill him, the villain!” Already the witch got up and wove magic circles in order to catch the wizard. Not before long he was with them, angry and raging.

Now began a fight like the earth has never seen one, never before and never after it. In a lion’s shape, the wizard jumped at the witch in order to pin her on the ground, but she turned into a snake. He, however, took the shape of a poisonous scorpion, which she countered by changing into a rooster. Many shapes they turned into, but neither of them was stronger than the other. Until at last, the witch tore the fire down from the skies, engulfing the wizard in flames. He, too, had power over the flames, and threw many a fire towards her, but finally, finally he got weak and burned. The villainous enemy was destroyed! Now the lamp belonged to them.

Victory, victory! Now they had to hurry to Paribanu’s rescue. Numberless were the demons that attacked them. But numberless were also the good spirits that came streaming out of Aladdin’s lamp to fight them. And so the black power of the demons was broken forever that day, they fled desperately to the recesses of the earth. They were free now, all of them: Paribanu and Achmed, Dinarsade and Aladdin!

Once more they summoned the lamp’s spirits and bade them carry them to the palace they had built in one night and that the wizard had whisked away from the ground. Happily the spirits obliged. Look what made them so glad, while it was flying through the air, light as a cloud, but still artfully created, with numberless galleries and stairs and proud towers. In front of them the house landed like an animal that was meant to carry their burden. They entered the palace, and it flew up again to bring them back to the caliph’s city. There, they were greeted with measureless joy. How long they had been away, and what adventures their eyes had seen!

But the caliph embraced them all as his children, Paribanu the beautiful, who was now the wife of Achmed, the noble son, and Aladdin, his lovely daughter Dinarsade’s husband. The caliph lifted his hands and blessed them all.

THE PLATES
Reiniger Adventures of Prince Achmed
Reiniger Adventures of Prince Achmed
1. Achmed on the magic horse

Reiniger Adventures of Prince Achmed
2. At the caliph’s court

Reiniger Adventures of Prince Achmed
3. The magic horse takes Achmed into the air with it…

Reiniger Adventures of Prince Achmed
4. …so the wizard is taken prisoner

Reiniger Adventures of Prince Achmed
5. Achmed with Paribanu’s servants

Reiniger Adventures of Prince Achmed
6. Paribanu flying to the forest lake in her feathery costume

Reiniger Adventures of Prince Achmed
7. Her nightly bath

Reiniger Adventures of Prince Achmed
8. Achmed following Paribanu

Reiniger Adventures of Prince Achmed
9. The lovers in the mountains

Reiniger Adventures of Prince Achmed
10. Achmed and Paribanu

Re<br />
iniger Adventures of Prince Achmed
11. Achmed fighting with the snake in the canyon

Reiniger Adventures of Prince Achmed
12. The emperor of China’s jester playing the chimes

Reiniger Adventures of Prince Achmed
13. Paribanu is sold to the emperor

Reiniger Adventures of Prince Achmed
14. The emperor pressing Paribanu

Reiniger Adventures of Prince Achmed
15. The wizard turns the sacks of gold into birds

Reiniger Adventures of Prince Achmed
16. The hunchback plays the flute for Paribanu

Reiniger Adventures of Prince Achmed
17. Achmed with the witch

Reiniger Adventures of Prince Achmed
18. Paribanu in her wedding attire

Reiniger Adventures of Prince Achmed
19. The wedding procession

Reiniger Adventures of Prince Achmed
20. Achmed shooting the monster

Reiniger Adventures of Prince Achmed
21. The monster threatening Aladdin

Reiniger Adventures of Prince Achmed
22. Aladdin tells Achmed his story

Reiniger Adventures of Prince Achmed
23. The wizard calls on Aladdin in his workshop

Reiniger Adventures of Prince Achmed
24. The wizard leads Aladdin past the caliph’s palace

Reiniger Adventures of Prince Achmed
25. Dinarsade, the caliph’s daughter, playing chess

Reiniger Adventures of Prince Achmed
26. Aladdin discovers the magic lamp in the cave

Reiniger Adventures of Prince Achmed
27. Aladdin greets Dinarsade

Reiniger Adventures of Prince Achmed
28. Aladdin at sea in the storm

Reiniger Adventures of Prince Achmed
29. The battle between the witch and the wizard

Reiniger Adventures of Prince Achmed
30. The wizard and the witch fighting in the shape of a vulture and a rooster

Reiniger Adventures of Prince Achmed
31. Aladdin fights the demons of Wak-Wak with his magic lamp

Reiniger Adventures of Prince Achmed
32. The homecoming

Achmed DVDAchmed DVD

This important film is available at Amazon… The Adventures of Prince Achmed

Stephen Worth
Director
Animation Resources

Animated CartoonsAnimated Cartoons

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

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Posted by admin @ 11:09 am

May 15th, 2019

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THIS WEEKEND! May 18-19: Animation Resources at CTN Road Trip!

CTN Road Trip

Animation Resources continues its fruitful association with the Creative Talent Network again by participating in the CTN Road Trip in Burbank. We met a lot of great people last year and saw a lot of wonderful art. We’ll be there again this year on April 18th and 19th. Here is the website for the event. If you’re interested in animation and the arts, come on out and say hello!

A world of creativity and imagination will be revealed at the Downtown Burbank Arts Festival featuring 200 world-famous animators, trendsetting indie creators, cosplayers recreating favorite animated characters, live entertainment, and much more on San Fernando Boulevard between Burbank Town Center and the Holiday Inn on Saturday and Sunday, May 18-19 with extended hours from 11am to 7pm. The event is free and open to the public.

The Downtown Burbank Arts Festival brings together groundbreaking digital and special effects animators selling their personal work, along with inventive artisans selling handmade housewares such as candles and ceramics, fashion and accessory designers, body products, and visual art for a one-of-a-kind festival experience unique to Southern California. Annually attracting more than 20,000 attendees, all are invited to experience the creative process, mingle with artists, and browse more than 400 shops and restaurants in Downtown Burbank.

New this year is the Jackalope Indie Artisan Fair, which will be curating the festival’s 100 indie craft exhibitors. Los Angeles-based Jackalope Indie Artisan Fair specializes in uniting local culture with high-quality artisans that are carefully selected for the ultimate in handmade shopping experience.

The Creative Talent Network will once again anchor the popular animation portion of the festival with the CTN Road Trip. The Road Trip will unite more than 100 visual effects, video-gaming, character designers, illustrators, and storyboard artists for the fourth straight year.

In addition to discovering hundreds of exclusive artworks on display, the festival offers the rare opportunity to interact with top artists from the world of animation, enjoy cosplayers from books and films, join in a Doodle Run, attend Storytime and artist showcases, explore virtual worlds, engage with roaming musicians, participate in a Career Camp for promising young artists, and share experiences online via @jackalopeartfair, @creativetalentnetwork and @downtownburbank for the chance to win special prizes.

For more information, see… https://ctnroadtripburbank.com

Road Trip Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/events/2498675860147527/

Instagram https://www.instagram.com/creativetalentnetwork/

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Posted by Stephen Worth @ 12:00 pm