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Drawn to the Movies

Animated Films

Animated features may represent some of the most popular family films of all time, but that is just one facet of animation's rich and colorful story. From the groundbreaking “Fantasia” to award-winning modern classics by Pixar to innovative short films by professionals and students alike, animated films encompass a scope and range of styles that continue to delight audiences with their ingenuity and unlimited imagination.

  • Directors Chris Williams and Byron Howard ("Bolt"), Mark Osborne and John Stevenson ("Kung Fu Panda") and Andrew Stanton ("WALL-E") discuss their films at the Academy's Animated Feature Symposium in February 2009. Watch Video
  • Animator James Baxter talks about "The Lion King" and the influence of Milt Kahl at the Academy's "Drawing on the Future: Mentorship in Animation" event in May 2008. Watch Video
  • Director Tomm Moore speaks about the creation of "The Secret of Kells" at the Academy's Animated Feature Symposium in March 2010. Watch Video
  • Directors Dean DeBlois and Chris Sanders recall the making of "How to Train Your Dragon" and "Lilo & Stitch" at the Academy's Animated Feature Symposium in February 2011. Watch Video
  • Janet Perlman, Wendy Tilby and Amanda Forbis remember the making of the short films "The Tender Tale of Cinderella Penguin" and "When the Day Breaks" at the Academy's 11th Marc Davis Lecture on Animation in October 2007. Watch Video

From the Academy Archive: Animated Short Excerpts from Marshall Plan Films

by Sandra Schulberg

After World War II, the Marshall Plan transferred over $13 billion of material and technical assistance to 18 European countries. To help explain to citizens how the plan worked, over 260 films were produced by European filmmakers between 1948-1953 at the Paris headquarters. The goal was to paint a convincing picture of a vision of a future in which Europeans could aspire to prosperity, American-style. Read more about the Academy Archive's Marshall Plan Collection.

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"The Shoemaker and the Hatter" (UK, 1950)

Produced and directed by John Halas; written by Joy Batchelor; production consultant: Philip Stapp

Made by the same husband and wife team that later turned Orwell's "Animal Farm" into a classic of animated storytelling. Two neighbors, a shoemaker and a hatter, argue about how best to recover their livelihoods after the war. The hatter believes in producing few hats at a high profit per hat, protected by tariff. The shoemaker sees the need for lots of shoes and wants to lower cost through mass production and make his profit through export and free trade. Preserved by the Academy Film Archive


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"Without Fear" (UK, 1951)

Producer: Philip Stapp (writer and animator of the nominated doc short "From Generation to Generation"); director: Peter Sachs

Even as the world grows smaller, Europe five years after World War II remains divided, and, even in the West, disunited. The narrator intones that "in our search for unity, we West Europeans can heed the siren song from the East: the promise of instant unity but without liberty. Or we can build our common defenses, and behind them work for a more prosperous, more just society. For freedom and unity can thrive only where there is a decent standard of living."

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