Saturday, August 8, 2020

Why Did Animation Flourish in the 1930s?

Continuing the series on Toys of the 1930s, I asked toy collector and inventor Mel BirnkrantFor all the lean times and economic challenges, the 1930s strike me as a time of incredible creativity, too. In the decade from 1928-1938 you go all the way from Steamboat Willie to Snow White. There's all the surrealism of Fleischer, too. How do you explain the innovation that grows out of those tough times?
"Throughout the Great Depression, the enchanting pages of the Funny Papers offered the world a welcome diversion, and one that was nearly free. These pleasant personalities snuck into our lives, hiding among the pages of the daily newspaper, and they appeared there in glorious full color every Sunday. This simple form of in house entertainment was the TV of its day.

"Meanwhile, the movie industry had been growing dramatically, throughout the 1920s. Even in the depths of the depression, many families could afford the modest fee that was required to spend an entire evening escaping from reality at the movies once or twice a week. 
"Now, beginning with the advent of sound in the early 1930s, Hollywood burst into flame in a great conflagration of creativity. 

"This ignited the Golden Age of Animation, and the World would never see the likes of it again. Sadly, the Second World War abruptly snuffed it out."
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Books on animation history:
Mel Birnkrant website

1 comment:

Hannah F. said...

James, thanks for sharing this rich mine of information with us! I clicked on the link for Mel Birnkrant's site and spent a wonderful hour falling down the rabbit hole of vintage and modern toy design- and there's hours more to explore. Mickey Mouse! Betty Boop! Colorforms! Fellow readers, if you haven't gone there, you're missing out.