Back to the Table of Contents
Women in Animation
As several articles in this issue point out, women have often played a key
role in animation. Unfortunately, within the animation industry itself,
there remains a dearth of directors and others in key creative positions.
While this is starting to change, their participation pales in comparison
to the dominant role they play among independent animators, whose films
often constitutes half the offerings at major international animation festivals.
This is where women have also come into their own have been in the executive
ranks, both here and abroad.
Thus, as this issue is devoted largely to women in animation, it is not
surprising that we offer a selection of pieces by and about independent
animators Thus, Poland's Aleksandra Korejwo, in her first attempt at writing
an article in English, provides us with a startling autobiographical essay,
rich with poetry and imagery, that attempts to explain the sources of her
Rita Street explores the evocative films of Rose Bond, while William Moritz
profiles the popular, but now largely forgotten pioneer experimental filmmaker,
Mary Ellen Bute, and Giannalberto Bendazzi provides an appreciation of Claire
Parker, whose role in animation history has often been subsumed to her husband.
As Linda Simensky points out in her article, "Women in the Animation
Industry--Some Thoughts," the way women get to the executive suite
in today's animation industry often differs markedly from the way men get
there. This is clearly illustrated by my interview with Jim and Stephanie
Graziano, who both came to be major players in television animation by distinctly
Jill McGreal in her piece, "Out of the Animation Ghetto," reports
on how women, in both the executive and creative side of the business, are
transforming animation at Britain's innovative Channel 4. Marcin Gizycki,
meanwhile, explores the past and present roles women have and are playing
in Russia, Poland and the former Czechoslovakia in his piece, "Splendid
One of the more exciting and useful organizations around these days is Women
in Animation. Rita Street, its founder and leader, provides a brief memoir
on what led to its founding and explains its activities and aims.
The way women have been portrayed in animation has often been a subject
of concern in recent years, but that is certainly not a problem with regards
to UNICEF's Meena and Sara projects, which are being used to fight destructive
stereotypes seen in third world countries. Neill McKee and Christian Clark,
who are both active in these projects, report on them in "Meena and
Sara: Two Characters in Search of a Brighter Future for Women."
Our focus on women in this issue appropriately concludes with the second
of Frankie Kowalski's "Desert Island Series."
New to this issue is our first set of film reviews of James and the Giant
Peach and All Dogs Go To Heaven 2, by Wendy Jackson and Frankie
Kowalski, as well as our first festival coverage from Giannalberto Bendazzi,
who reports on Cartoons on the Bay, in Amalfi, Italy.
I always like to say that my interest in film and animation stems from being
an industry brat, my father having worked at Fleischer and Famous Studios
during the 1930s and 1940s. He was also a film buff, who had the pleasant
habit of renting old silent films to show to family and friends on Friday
nights. Although he died just before I turned 6, my older brother and I
both maintained a strong interest in film; thus, at age 12, he took me to
a series of films at New York's Museum of Modern Art, where I imbibed such
classics as Intolerance, All Quiet on the Western Front and Rashomon.
However, it wasn't until I happened on the Theodore Huff Memorial Film Society,
run by William K. Everson, who died on April 14, that my passion for films
and filmgoing really started to take focus. The Society, back in the 1950s,
held its screenings in somewhat seedy meeting halls that also hosted such
events as reunions of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade. More importantly, it
provided a place for film buffs and scholars to meet, discuss and argue
film. In those days before Cinema Studies became a respectable academic
discipline, the Huff Society was key to the education of many a budding
cinéaste, myself included.
I need not go into a litany of Bill's accomplishments or activities, which
including being a tenured professor of cinema studies at New York University,
despite being a high school dropout. Though animation was not his prime
focus, he was not averse to showing Chuck Jones or Friz Freleng cartoons
before they became fashionable.
I recall the time he was on an American Film Institute committee evaluating
my proposal to do an oral history interview with animation pioneer J.R.
Bray; to his (and my) surprise, he was the only one who knew who Bray was,
and essentially shamed the others into approving my grant. For that and
all the other kindnesses he showed me and others, I will always be grateful.
Animation World Magazine
[about | help
| home | firstname.lastname@example.org
| mail | register]
© 1996 Animation World Network