Archive | June, 2012

Oscar Animation: A Huff and a Puff (1933)

7 Jun

During the build-up to the Oscars back in February I posted a look back at the Best Animated Short category’s very first appearance at the Academy Awards on Spout. It was a lot of fun and you should read it (though it seems Disney has yanked two of the videos). So here’s the project: every Thursday I’ll round up the animated nominees that are available to watch online and re-evaluate the race. Watch along, and we’ll see the Academy’s taste change drastically from an obsession with Disney cartoons to the inevitable fascination with Pixar and Aardman.

To kick things off, here are the nominees from the 6th Academy Awards. As was the case the year before, two out of the three films so honored came right out of Disney Studios. Clearly head over heels, the Academy gave Walt this particular award every year from an entire decade. The lone non-Disney film up for the 1933 award was Universal’s The Merry Old Soul, facing off against the one-two punch of a Silly Symphony and a Mickey cartoon. On paper, it seems absurd: 8 years of a single studio dominating the award is a bit much. Yet just as Flowers and Trees really was far and away the best film in 1932, the second batch of animated nominees is further proof that Walt Disney not only pioneered American animation but produced some of the best cartoons ever to grace the silver screen. Continue reading