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Animation: John Sutherland’s Rhapsody of Steel

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REFPACK027: April / May 2018

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HD QUALITY VIDEO:
Rhapsody of Steel

“Rhapsody Of Steel”
John Sutherland / 1959

John Sutherland’s studio was very influential in the mid-1950s, employing some of the best designers in the business. This film is no exception. Legendary stylists Eyvind Earle (Sleeping Beauty, Pigs is Pigs) and Maurice Noble (Duck Dodgers, How The Grinch Stole Christmas) collaborated on Rhapsody of Steel, and you can see evidence of both of their hands everywhere in this film. (Earle in the landscapes and textures, Noble in the bold primary and secondary colors…)

Time Magazine said of this film…

Rhapsody of Steel, a 23-minute animated cartoon that cost $300,000, is one of those rare industrial films with enough specific quality and general interest to play the commercial circuits. In the next few months it will be shown as an added attraction in several thousand U.S. movie houses. Made by former Disney Staffer John Sutherland, Rhapsody sets out to tell a sort of child’s history of steel from the first meteor that ever hit the earth to the first manned rocket that leaves it, and most of the time Moviemaker Sutherland proves a slick entertainer and a painless pedagogue. Unhappily, the music of Oscar-Winning Dmitri Tiomkin, who is probably the world’s loudest composer, bangs away on the sound track like a trip hammer. But the picture’s pace is brisk, its tricks of animation are better than cute, and the plug, when the sponsor slips it in on the final frame, is modestly understated: “A presentation of U.S. Steel.”

Thanks to Advisory Board member Steve Stanchfield for sharing this fantastic film with Animation Resources. Steve’s video company, Thunderbean Animation is doing great work uncovering and restoring rare animated films. We appreciate his support of our Animation Archive Project.

REFPACK027: Rhapsody Of Steel
M4V Video File / 22:24 / HD / 743 MB Download


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Here is a read-along storybook adaptation of John Sutherland’s industrial film, Rhapsody of Steel (1959). This book suffers from little tiny pictures and oceans of white space, so I’ve enlarged a bunch of the pictures so you can see them better.

John Sutherland Rhapsody of SteelJohn Sutherland Rhapsody of Steel
John Sutherland Rhapsody of Steel
John Sutherland Rhapsody of Steel
John Sutherland Rhapsody of Steel
John Sutherland Rhapsody of Steel
John Sutherland Rhapsody of Steel

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John Sutherland Rhapsody of Steel
John Sutherland Rhapsody of Steel
John Sutherland Rhapsody of Steel
John Sutherland Rhapsody of Steel
John Sutherland Rhapsody of Steel
John Sutherland Rhapsody of Steel
John Sutherland Rhapsody of Steel


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John Sutherland Rhapsody of Steel
John Sutherland Rhapsody of Steel
John Sutherland Rhapsody of Steel
John Sutherland Rhapsody of Steel
John Sutherland Rhapsody of Steel
John Sutherland Rhapsody of Steel
John Sutherland Rhapsody of Steel
John Sutherland Rhapsody of Steel
John Sutherland Rhapsody of Steel

Animated CartoonsAnimated Cartoons

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


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