Sunday Evening Cartoons
March 4, 2018 5:47 PM   Subscribe

Sam Henderson's "Magic Whistle" blog usually highlights scans of comic books, newspaper comics and magazine cartoons (with a content warning for girlie magazine content), but on the weekend he gets animated with the Rainy Day Sunshine Fun-Time Sunday Low-Res Cartoon Show. The collected cartoons each week usually vary widely in age, familiarity and quality, but this week's group are all considered excellent by one standard; they've all won the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film.

The first Academy Award in the category went out in the 5th ceremony in 1932, to a Walt Disney 'Silly Symphony' of ambulatory foliage, "Flowers and Trees" (the first cartoon done in 'three-strip' Technicolor).

1947's Oscar went to "Tweety Pie", the first cartoon to 'team up' Tweety and Sylvester, directed by Isadore 'Friz' Freleng, taking over a concept from Bob Clampett when he left the Warner Bros. studio.

In 1952, "Johann Mouse" was the seventh (and last) Oscar-winning Tom & Jerry cartoon directed by William Hanna & Joseph Barbera for MGM (and the second to use a classical music theme). The human narrator was a heavily accented Hans Conried.

The Oscar for 1954 went to "When Magoo Flew", the first of two Mr. Magoo cartoons to be so honored, and the second honor for the UPA studio (the first was "Gerald McBoingBoing" in 1950).

1960's award winner was "Munro", about a 4-year-old boy mistakenly drafted into the army. Written by Jules Feiffer, it was the first cartoon directed by UPA/Terrytoons veteran Gene Deitch at Rembrandt Films in Prague, Czechoslovakia (now Czech Republic) and was the first Oscar winner made outside the U.S.A.

In 1963, "The Critic" featured the voice of Mel Brooks as a cranky old man reacting to an abstract animation, directed by Ernest Pintoff.

1965's "The Dot and the Line", took abstract animation much more seriously for the Oscar as Chuck Jones (known for animating characters like Bugs Bunny and the Grinch) worked from a book written by Norton Juster (known for "The Phantom Tollbooth") in which the characters were all geometric shapes.

1967's "The Box" was the only Academy Award winner for Fred Wolf and Murikami-Wolf Films, whose other work included the Harry Nilsson collaboration "The Point". With no dialogue or backgrounds and a jazz percussion soundtrack, it's about a man who walks into a bar with a mysterious box.

In 1974, Will Vinton and Bob Gardiner brought 'Claymation' to the Oscars with "Closed Mondays", in which a drunken old man wanders into a museum - a similar setup as "The Critic", but the static art comes to life (and life turns into art).

And in 2000, Don Hertzfeldt won for "Rejected", a collection of short TV spots he claimed were commissioned but never aired. It began with the memetic "My spoon is too big!" and went downhill from there, but still was good enough for the Oscars.
posted by oneswellfoop (2 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
I can't exactly pinpoint why, but Don Hertzfeldt has the most "Famous Animator" name I have ever heard. Like, before I even knew what a Don Hertzfeldt Cartoon looked like, I was like, "Oh yes, of course, Don Hertzfeldt, the famous animator. Didn't he work with Fritz Freleng?"

The answer, of course, is "No," but my hypothesis is Don Hertzfeldt is an animator by the magnetic power of his name alone. In some other universe Bryan Hertzfeldt is a middle manager with the vague sense that his life could have gone a different direction.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 7:02 PM on March 4, 2018 [1 favorite]

I am a banana.
posted by krisjohn at 9:24 PM on March 4, 2018 [1 favorite]

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