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New DVD from The iotaCenter: Jules Engel: Selected Works, Volume I

Press Release from The iotaCenter

Los Angeles, The iotaCenter is proud to announce the release of the first DVD of the work of Jules Engel, JULES ENGEL SELECTED WORKS VOLUME 1.CA -- The DVD is the next release from iota's Kinetica Video Library, available through the iotaCenter Store at

Jules Engel bestowed many influences on the world of art and animation -- both commercial and independent -- as a painter, as a sculptor, and as a teacher, but perhaps his most enduring legacy has been through his pioneering efforts in the field of abstract experimental animation.

This first volume of Engel's work offers a selection of fifteen of his films ranging from one of his earliest experimental works (CARNIVAL, 1963) to one of his last (THE TOY SHOP, 1998). Arranged chronologically, it offers up one view of an artist's progression over almost four decades. Also included is an excerpt from JULES ENGEL: AN ARTIST FOR ALL SEASONS, a documentary from Janeann Dill, Ph.D, containing rare footage of his artwork and interviews.

Engel immigrated to the US from Hungary in 1930. Moving to Hollywood in 1937, he provided animation choreography for Disney's FANTASIA and also worked on BAMBI, before joining the Armed Forces and working in the First Motion Picture Unit on military films. As a founding member of United Productions of America studio (UPA), he helped to create characters such as Gerald McBoing-Boing, Madeline and Mr. Magoo, Engel finally began to gravitate toward more experimental work starting in the early 1960's with such award-winning films as ICARUS MONTGOLFIER WRIGHT (1960), CARNIVAL (1963), and COARAZE (1965).

It wasn't until the late 1960's and early 1970's that Engel began turning out a significant amount of purely abstract experimental animation -- often called "visual music." True to the spirit of this idiom, Engel animated first, and only added music afterward. Animation historian William Moritz notes that "occasionally, the music and visuals seem to synchronize very closely, but most often they work in parallel, alternately agreeing and disagreeing, each with its own integrity."

Engel's influence as a teacher and mentor was significant. By founding the Experimental Animation program at California Institute of the Arts, he not only influenced the development of this genre through his own art, but inspired countless students through his legendary mentorship. A small but impressive selection of his students includes Ellen Woodbury (THE LION KING), Henry Selick (CORALINE), Mark Osborne (KUNG FU PANDA), Steve Hillenburg (SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS), Mark Kirkland (THE SIMPSONS), and independent animators such as Adam Beckett, Kathy Rose, Joanna Priestley and Christine Panushka.

For more information on Jules Engel, please visit iotaCenter's Jules Engel profile page, which includes a complete filmography, bibliography (with many full text articles), biography, and much more: You can also make a donation to our ongoing Jules Engel project on our website, to help us preserve and digitize more of Jules' work and upload more articles and resources.

Films included in this volume:


PLUS: An excerpt from JULES ENGEL: AN ARTIST FOR ALL SEASONS, a documentary by Janeann Dill, PhD.