ANIMATION WORLD MAGAZINE - ISSUE 3.6 - September 1998
The Animated Film Collector's Guide Clarification
In his review of my book, The Animated Film Collector's Guide (Townsend 3.5) Emru Townsend states that it "aims to be the collector's bible, replacing our dog-eared Whole Toon catalogs as reference material." The Whole Toon catalog was still defunct when I began writing, but it was never my intention to replace it with my book. The Animated Film Collector's Guide should be regarded as a supplement to, not a replacement of, Whole Toon.
I wrote my guide as a companion to Giannalberto Bendazzi's Cartoons and Leonard Maltin's Of Mice and Magic. After reading these books, I wanted to see the films described by Bendazzi and Maltin, but had a hard time locating them because, while a surprisingly large number are available on video, many are hidden away in compilations. Other titles are available only from obscure sources such as foreign, independent, and educational distributors, the filmmakers themselves, or are out-of-print. Most of the films available from these sources are not listed by Whole Toon., but comprise about half of the information in my book. The other half will lead you to Whole Toon., the best single place to buy animation on video.
Two More Additions
There are two additional books that can be recommended in terms of Jerry Beck's June article "The Essential Animation Reference Library" (Beck 3.3) While they probably don't have the production values of what Mr. Beck has listed, I think both these books would be helpful. One is How to Draw Animation Storyboards by Bob Singer, published by Comic Art Publications. While the production on this book, admittedly, is poor, the information it provides to the novice is very educational. It includes chapters on staging and planning storyboards for psychological effect and continuity to the script. It also contains storyboards by Singer, Moebius, Floro Dery, Will Meugniot and Alex Toth.
And speaking of Alex Toth...Alex Toth: By Design written by Alex Toth and Darrell McNeil, published by Gold Medal Publications, is an excellent visual history of Toth's career in animation including models of characters and props from many Hanna-Barbera series including Space Ghost, Jonny Quest, Sealab 2020, The Three Musketeers and Super Friends. Also included is a storyboard sequence from Super Friends. The massive amount of work Toth did in the field can be enlightening and intimidating at the same time. I hope you don't mind my referring to these additional books, but these should definitely be in the essential animation library.
Kudos on Asian Issue
I found the article "China-The Awakening Giant: Animation And Broadcasting In The Mainland" (Vallas 3.5) by Milt Vallas very informative and enjoyable as it reminded me of many experiences and hardships I have gone through in the past and continue to go through today. I have been working in China since 1990 and still return to China on a regular basis to conduct business for animation. I am thrilled every time I return to cities like Shanghai.
I want to thank you for finally publishing some serious pieces on animation production in Asia. There is a great deal of work and hard effort that is done over here and most of the Western public has no idea that the animation they are watching is produced in Asia. China is quickly becoming a powerhouse in this industry and will continue to grow. Later this month Beijing will host their animation convention where outside industries and local producers will get together and compare notes on the ever-expanding business of animation in China. I will be there.
Again, thanks for the article Milt!
In response to Andy Klein's review of Mulan (Klein 3.3):
Eddie Murphy was pretty darn funny in Mulan. If you ask me, he made that movie. To say he was not as funny as James Woods in Hercules is, well, pretty lame.
Mulan has more heart to it than Hercules. The fact that Mushu confesses to Mulan in her time of desperation was a great turning point for the character and gave a little more dimension than would be afforded otherwise. Mushu was a great lead-in for the audience and a mirror for Mulan.
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