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LAST CHANCE! RefPack054: A Peek At The Featured Downloads

People who aren’t members of Animation Resources don’t understand how comprehensive our Reference Packs are. Over the next couple of weeks, we will be posting what each section of our current RefPack looks like, starting today with the Featured section. If you are a member of Animation Resources, click on this post to go to the Members Only page. If you aren’t a member yet, today is the perfect time to join! Our current Reference Pack is one of our best yet, and General and Student Members get access to a special Bonus Archive with even more material from past Reference Packs.

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Reference Pack

Every other month, Animation Resources shares a new Reference Pack with its members. They consist of an e-book packed with high resolution scans and video downloads set up for still frame study. Make sure you download the Reference Pack before it’s updated. When it’s gone, it’s gone!


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REFPACK054: October / November 2023

Ollie Harrington

Ollie Harrington’s Bootsie
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Volume One
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Ollie Harrington was described by writer Langston Hughes as "America’s greatest African-American cartoonist". Born in Valhalla, New York in 1912, he began cartooning in the 6th grade, drawing caricatures of a racist teacher at his school. He graduated from DeWitt Clinton High School in the Bronx in 1929.

Ollie Harrington

Harrington became a well known figure in the Harlem Renaissance of the 1930s largely due to his single panel cartoons for the Amsterdam News under the title, "Dark Laughter". The cartoon featured a character named Bootsie that Harrington described as "a well-fed but soulful character".

Bootsie was a typical African American man dealing with life in Harlem. The cartoon often dealt with issues of racial inequality, segregation and poverty. On the basis of his work, Harrington was accepted at Yale to complete his degree, but World War II intervened. He chronicled the life of an African American aviator in a comic called "Jive Gray" for the next decade, along with continuing the adventures of Bootsie in "Dark Laughter".

Ollie Harrington

During the war, the Pittsburgh Courier sent Harrington to Europe to draw political cartoons about life of African American soldiers on the front lines. There he met Walter White who was the executive secretary of the NAACP.

After the war, Harrington went to work for White at the NAACP acting as the head of the organization’s public relations department. He developed a project about racial violence and lynchings in the post-WWII South that culminated in a book titled, Terror In Tennessee. Harrington was an outspoken critic of the federal government’s inaction in preventing and prosecuting racial violence. He criticized capitalism as well, and contributed cartoons to Adam Clayton Powell’s People’s Voice, a left wing newspaper known for its pro-communist contributors.

Ollie Harrington

Harrington’s activities resulted in run-ins with the FBI and the House Un-American Activities Committee. To escape the political pressure he was experiencing, Harrington relocated to Paris in 1951 to join a community of black writers and artists that had gravitated there. In Paris he reunited with another figure from the Harlem Renaissance, Richard Wright, who shared Harrington’s anger at racism and the American government. When Wright died in 1960, Harrington suspected that he had been assassinated by figures from the American Embassy. He defected to East Germany and received political asylum there. In East Germany, he contributed to both the Daily Worker and Eulenspiegel (see Animation Resources’ earlier e-book on this magazine).

Ollie Harrington

Harrington’s work is forceful and hard hitting without being didactic. Instead, it’s brutally honest, showing both the good and bad of life as a black man living in pre-Civil Rights era America. His character, Bootsie never spoke out himself or commented on what was going on around him. Instead the people around him revealed themselves by the way that they perceived him. I think you’ll find that a lot of the issues raised in these old cartoons are still a relevant part of our modern lives.

REFPACK054: Ollie Harrington Vol. 1
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PDF / 104 Pages / 363 MB Download


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John Sutherland

The Littlest Giant
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John Sutherland Productions (1957)

John Sutherland was born in North Dakota, the son of a bank president. Droughts caused local ranchers to default on their loans and the banks managed by Sutherland’s father went bankrupt. His family relocated to California, where John enrolled in UCLA, studying political science and economics. Contacts at UCLA put him in contact with Walt Disney, who hired him to work as an assistant director, which was basically a production job. Later, Sutherland was moved to the story department, where he worked with the artists there to write dialogue and prepare recording scripts. He is said to have provided the voice for adult Bambi, but he got no credit for his voice work.

Sutherland left Disney on good terms shortly before the strike, and Disney recommended him to Darryl Zanuck, the head of 20th Century Fox. Zanuck sent him to Washington D.C. to serve as a director and producer of military training films. For a while, he worked on both coasts, producing films for the Army and Navy, while developing feature projects in Hollywood. But when the United States entered the war, the Department of Defense guaranteed him enough work for him to produce films full time for the government.

John Sutherland

In 1945, Sutherland opened his own studio, producing animated short films for United Artists as well as industrial and propaganda films. Between 1945 and the mid-1960s, his studio averaged about twenty films a year, many of them financed by a grant from Alfred P. Sloan, the head of General Motors. These films promoted the values of capitalism and the American way of life. Other films were financed by large corporations, like General Electric and U.S. Steel.

Sutherland’s films had high production values thanks to the top artists that worked under him. Carl Urbano directed the film we are sharing here, with Victor Haboush providing the design. The animators on this short include George Cannata, Ken O’Brien and Tom Ray, and the music is by Eugene Poddany. That’s a staff that would be the envy of any major animation studio.

John Sutherland

In the past, Animation Resources has shared quite a few industrial films by Sutherland as well as Jam Handy, Paul Fennell and UPA. These films were intended to be shown to a specific audience at a particular place and time. They weren’t intended to be saved and re-distributed like entertainment films. Because of this, information on them is scarce, and many haven’t survived. We’re happy to be able to share this wonderful example with you in this Reference Pack.

REFPACK054: The Littlest Giant 1957
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MP4 Video File / SD / 12:14 / 179 MB Download

Many thanks to Steve Stanchfield from Thunderbean Animation for sharing this rare film with us.


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Animation Resources is a 501(c)(3) non-profit arts organization dedicated to providing self study material to the worldwide animation community. Every month, we sponsor a program of interest to artists, and every other month, we share a book and up to an hour of rare animation with our members. If you are a creative person interested in the fields of animation, cartooning or illustration, you should be a member of Animation Resources!

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Student Membership Drive

Fall is time to save when you join Animation Resources as a student member. For the next couple of weeks our Student Membership will be discounted to only $60/year! Best of all, you will continue to get that savings every year you renew as a student for up to three years. Yes, this applies to full time educators too. Why should you join? Each day we’ll be highlighting more reasons why you should be a member of Animation Resources. Bookmark us and check back every day.


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Not Convinced Yet? Check out this SAMPLE REFERENCE PACK! It will give you a taste of what Animation Resources members get to download every other month!

There’s no better way to feed your creativity than to be a member of Animation Resources. Every other month, we share a Reference Pack that is chock full of downloadable e-books and still framable videos designed to expand your horizons and blow your mind. It’s easy to join. Just click on this link and you can sign up right now online.

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