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Animation History
Animation: The Whole Story
Animation: The Whole Story
Animation Book Review

Howard Beckerman is an animation historian and instructor in NYC who has spent more than 30 years working everywhere in the industry. His voluminous memory for everything germane to animation is without equal. He is the "Yoda" of animation, and he will train you, young jedi. It is with this preface that we proudly present to you this informative tome that not only will hand-hold you through the basics, but teach you the very foundations that the art of animation is based on — that animation is the art of movement, and *not* merely the movement of art.

PopeyeThe book includes a world history of animation, how to design characters, write stories, do the animation, get it onto film or video and all about working in the field or doing your own productions. He also provides practical advice on how to set up and run a studio. For example, he points out that there are three main aspects to running a successful studio: landing jobs, being able to do the work required, and getting paid for the work that's been done. He then points out that as a general rule, an individual shouldn't attempt to do more than two of those functions. It's good advice, and a small example of the wisdom that's packed into this book. Whether you are a newcomer to the field or a seasoned veteran, this book deserves a spot on your shelf.

Reviewed by Brian Cirulnick, October 2003

Cartoons: One Hundred Years of Cinema Animation
Cartoons: One Hundred Years of Cinema Animation
Animation Book Review

Most animation history books seem to begin and end in Hollywood with Disney and Warner Brothers. This book gives a more global view. Over a hundred years of film animation are covered, from the invention in France in 1888 to modern times. This book represents the first detailed history of animation produced around the world, with coverage of over 2,000 animators. Unknown giants of the field such as Jiri Trinka are covered, as is the fact that people were doing animation *before* Edison invented the motion-picture camera.

The book is translated from Italian, so the language can be stilted, and the scholarly approach means that it's not geared as light-reading. Nevertheless, this book really is *the* comprehensive reference on the subject and a must for serious anime fans.

Reviewed by Brian Cirulnick, September 2004

 Animation on DVD: The Ultimate Guide
Animation on DVD: The Ultimate Guide
Animation Book Review

What's really, really cool about this book is that it just doesn't cover anime (although anime is a dominant portion of the book), but also covers kiddie cartoons, adult cartoons, *very* adult cartoons, and even stuff that appeals to both the young and old. The only problem with the book is that it's already outdated, literally hundreds of titles have come to market since it's publication.
Ren and Stimpy...
Regardless, it's a fantastically deep and encyclopedic look at what's available and whether or not it's worth your time to watch it. The best part of each entry is reading what hidden surprises are often included on the DVD that the average person won't find (known as Easter Eggs). If you are looking to build your DVD collection, this book will tell you what's worth having.

Reviewed by Brian Cirulnick, August 2004

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