On A Desert Island With. . . Three Men and a Lady

compiled by David Kilmer

This month, we picked four of this issue's contributors to participate. William Moritz is a professor who teaches animation at the California Institute of the Arts. He's also worked on All My Lost Loves, a thirty minute independent animated film funded in part by an AFI Grant. Maureen Furniss is an Assistant Professor and Director of the Film Studies Program at Chapman University in Orange, California. Her most recent project is the book, Art in Motion: Animation Aesthetics. Steven Dovas is director of his own company, Dovas Animation Ltd and Big Cheese at Meat Motion Media Inc. Most recently he was director and co-designer of "Mayhem," a 60 second British Dockers theatrical spot, and director of "Garbage Boy," a segment for Nickelodeon's Ka-Blam!, TV series. He has also directed and produced the short, Call Me Fishmael, and is currently in the midst of several new short films at various stages of development. He says to call him if you have a few spare grand you'd like to piss away. John Schnall is currently Assistant Director for Jumbo Pictures on P.B. and J. Otter, and Timing Supervisor for the same show, as well as Disney's Doug. He's also made 6 Tourette Syndrome PSAs and Short Films by Short People: The Great Switcheroo.

William Moritz's Choices:

1. Kang Jing Xiang (James Whitney).
2. Crac! (Frédéric Back).
3. Film No. 11 (Harry Smith).
4. Public Opinion (Lefj Marcussen).
5. Tale of Tales (Yuri Norstein).
6. Love Games (Oskar Fischinger).
7. Picnic aka Breakfast on the Grass(Priit Parn).
8. Screenplay (Barry Purves).
9. Weather-Beaten Melody (Hans Fischerkoesen).
10. The Mascot (Ladislas Starewicz).

Maureen Furniss' Picks

1. Free Radicals (Len Lye).
2. Roots (Barbel Neubauer).
3. Snow White (Fleischer Studios).
4. The Simpsons (almost any episode, but maybeBart the Genius, written by Jon Vitti; directed by David Silverman).
5. Mandala (Jordan Belson).
6. The Man Who Planted Trees (Frédéric Back).
7. Madeline (Bobe Cannon; UPA).
8. Song of the Prairie (Jiri Trnka).
9. Celebrity Death Match (almost any episode, but "Monica vs. Hilary" is one of my favorites; Eric Fogel).
10. The Furies (Sara Petty).

John Schnall's Picks

1. Hen His Wife (Igor Kovalyov).
2. Revolver (James Odell/Stig Berqvist).
3. Words, Words, Words (Michaela Pavlatova).
4. Darkness/Light/Darkness (Jan Svankmajer).
5. The Hunting of the Snark (Michael Sporn).
6. Two Sisters (Caroline Leaf).
7. Freedom of the Leg (Piotyr Dumala).
8. Everybody's Pregnant (Debra Solomon).
9. Suspicious Circumstances (Jim Blashfield).
10. Death Laughs Among Us (John Schnall). (C'mon, I may be trapped on a desert island, but you never know when I might run across some other castaway, and one should never miss the opportunity for a sale...)

Steven Dovas' Picks

In no particular order:
1. Havoc in Heaven - This feature-length Chinese folk-tale from the Shanghai Studio is berserk animation at its best. No subtitles, please. Clarity'd only ruin it for me.
2. Revolver - Stig Berqvist's cyclical meditation on time and repetition is striking and powerful and has proved frustratingly elusive. Even Stig doesn't seem to have a copy for me. Damn.
3. Wormholes - Steve Hillenberg's CalArts film, a berserkowitz take on the theory of relativity, alternately makes me howl and makes me wonder if someone's spiked my cocktail with hallucinogens. Hillenberg went on to work at Nickelodeon, but I wish his student films (this one and the other, about a monstrous girlscout selling cookies door-to-door) were available commercially. Or as a gift.
4. Hen His Wife - Igor Kovalyov's absurdist film always makes me laugh even though I have no idea what it's about.
5. Monkey Doodle - Who made this thing? Maddeningly bizarre, this B&W oddity is a guarantee to keep me occupied until the generator that runs the TV set dies.
6. The Betty Boop Definitive Collection - OK, so I'm bending the rules. I'm stuck on a desert island, smartypants, come rescue me and we'll debate about it. While we're at it, throw in Popeye The Sailor - the collection of three Technicolor shorts. So it's clear now, I'm a Fleischer partisan.
7.Griffiti - George Griffin's 90-minute collection of animated films is fascinating and multilayered enough to keep me distracted as the buzzards circle overhead.
8. The Complete Tex Avery - For that white-hot Hollywood Cartoon mainline injection.
9. The Thief and the Cobbler - Yes, I know. But hey, I'd even settle for the workprint. Silent, even, just to imagine how it might've been if that kind of animation were in a film that WORKED.
10. Waylon Wahl's Do-It-Yourself Series, vol 2: Raftbuilding Made Easy - All right, it's not REALLY animation, it's more motion graphics. Take up the issue with me as I float back into New York Harbor.

Ideally all these films would be on laser disc, so that I could lay them out on the beach to spell "HELP!"

Check out the AWN Store for videos of these films. You can also find video sources for many of these films in The Animated Film Collector's Guide: Worldwide Sources for Cartoons on Videotape and Laserdisc (1997, John Libbey & Co.), which is also available in the AWN Store.

David Kilmer is associate editor of Animation World Magazine.

Note: Readers may contact any Animation World Magazine contributor by sending an e-mail to

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