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The Animated Movie Guide Paperback – October 28, 2005

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

That Walt Disney did not invent cartoons is deftly demonstrated in this attractive and comprehensive guide to more than 300 animated films that have been theatrically released in the U.S. Author Beck is one of the creators of Animation magazine, has written articles and books on his subject, has taught at UCLA and NYU, is a consultant for Cartoon Network, and has served as vice president for animation for Nickelodeon Movies. He maintains two Web sites:, and, to keep this guide up-to-date,, which is made of very brief entries.

The descriptions for the films include release date, credits, plot synopsis, commentary, and a star rating system--from zero stars for films that are "Pure Torture" to four for a masterpiece. Entries place each film into both artistic and historical context. Beck's comment sections are interesting, and his editorializing is amusing and insightful. He describes films from all of the major and relatively unknown studios, running the gamut from the most vapid of children's fare (My Little Pony) to the adult features of the swinging 1970s, such as Ralph Bakshi's X-rated Fritz the Cat. Japanese anime is one of the most popular forms of animation for children and adult, with anime clubs becoming active on many college and university campuses, and the entries on anime are particularly informative for the novice.

Beck includes a chronological list of all 308 features, from 1926's The Adventures of Prince Achmed, which is based upon stories from the Arabian Nights, to Sky Blue, a popular South Korean science fiction story. There are three appendixes: "Limited Release Animated Features," "Top 60 Animated Features Never Theatrically Released in the United States," and "Top 20 Live-Action Films Featuring Great Animation."

A good choice for collections of popular culture, film studies, and graphic arts, this will also be a popular title for fans of animated film and parents who want quality entertainment for the kids. Lisa Johnston
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved


"Deserves a spot on any movie aficionado's book shelf."  —Animation Magazine

"A bible to more than 300 animated features."  —Newsday

"Provides easy access to a wealth of animated films."  —Treasure Valley Family

"A boon to fans of cartoons."  —Gazette

"A one-stop shop for all the overview info on these films you would want."  — 

"A handy resource."  —Calgary’s Child

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Chicago Review Press; 1st edition (October 28, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1556525915
  • ISBN-13: 978-1556525919
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.8 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #658,890 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Jerry Beck is an animation historian and cartoon producer. His over fifteen books on the subject include The Animated Movie Guide, Looney Tunes: The Ultimate Visual Guide and The 50 Greatest Cartoons. He is currently edits and writes two popular animation blogs, Cartoon Research and Animation Scoop.

Beck is a former studio exec with Nickelodeon and Disney, and is currently a consulting producer to Warner Bros., Universal and Disney for their classic animation dvd compilations. Beck has programmed retrospectives for the Annecy and Ottawa Animation Festivals, Turner Classic Movies, The Museum of Modern Art and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences. He has taught animation history at NYU, SVA, the AFI and UCLA. He is the host/producer of the annual "Worst Cartoons Ever" screening at the Comic-Con International: San Diego.

Beck started his career in film distribution, working at MGM/UA, Orion Classics, Cannon Films and Expanded Entertainment (Tournee of Animation), before starting his own company, Streamline Pictures in 1989, the first U.S. distributor to import anime features such as Otomo's Akira and Miyazaki's Laputa: Castle In The Sky. Beck was instrumental in launching Animation Magazine, and has written for The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. Beck was also the West Coast Bureau Chief for Kidscreen magazine in 2000. He co-created and co-wrote the animation blog CARTOON BREW from March 2004 through February 2013. He has also created, written and produced animated films for various clients. He is presently teaching a course on Animation History at Woodbury University in Burbank, California.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Bill Plympton on January 20, 2006
Format: Paperback
Beware - Jerry Beck's guide to animated feature films is totally addictive! If you want to sleep at night, forget it!

Once you start reading this book, you're compelled to read on to the next film and find out who animated it, who was involved, little stories about the production, and if the film made money...I became totally obsessed!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Bookreader99 on June 17, 2007
Format: Paperback
Excellent book! I give it 4 stars because it's not an all-inclusive animated movie guide as it fails to mention the Dot character from the 80's, which was released in theatres, and there are few colored photographs.

I would save my money and instead check this book out from the library as I did because it's not worth paying as much as it sells for; unless, you want the whole animated movie guide to keep.

Bottom line: Great reference work, but I'd rather save my money and buy DVDs! :)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Dan S on March 3, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is both a tremendous resource for animation buffs and a casual introduction to the history of animation for general fans. It has a complete entry of every animated movie released in American theaters through 2004-ish. The films are sorted alphabetically, but there's a reference at the beginning which lists the films in chronological order.

The most useful and entertaining part of each entry is the review and rating. While I didn't agree with every single rating, the concise evaluation and analysis was always grounded in excellent knowledge of the film, its production, and its place in the grander scheme of the history of animation.

Jerry Beck is the key editor and most prominent writer, but other contributing writers chime in their thoughts. The writing is very solid, and I don't recall ever noticing moments of poor editing or sloppy writing as you often find in big, sprawling guides such as these

For the readers who know their animation history, every film also has a pretty extensive credit list including the obvious -- director, writer -- as well as a long list of contributing animators. Every film also includes a paragraph-or-two synopsis of the film and, often, a screenshot from the movie.

If I had a complaint, it would be that the layout is not particularly pretty or easy on the eyes. The screenshots are small and monochrome. The text is relatively small and almanac-like. But this isn't meant to be a big, illustrated compendium. It's more of a reference book, albeit a fun one.

There are a few "bonus features" along with the main section on the films -- bits about foreign animation and TV movies. These are interesting, though not as compelling or in-depth as the main section.
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Format: Paperback
This book, is outdated it was published in 2004, which means all films created after said year are not in this book. This book is referance guide to every theatrical feature film released in America. Thus none of the belgan-franco Asterix films are included in this book since none of them got theatrical released in US also films are only given there USA release date, even if they came out years before in the country they were produced in. When it comes to whats included and exluded Jerry's clear in whats going to get included or excluded, now I can understand Jerry on exluding none-animated puppet films since they are not animated, although there is proably no book that covers none-animated puppet films. Although its good call by Jerry to exlude given those films nature. If he had included them the title of the book would have been misleading. He also exlcude compilation films, but yet some compilation films are included such as the Looney Tunes compilation films and Manny Adventures of WInnie the pooh, they are included because they actually include some new animation, so the films Jerry's excluding in this regard proably dont include any new animation. Jerry also insist on exluding films that combines animation with live-action, yet some films in the book combines the two Jerry admits on having selected those film to include based on how they were sold, those sold as animation were included unlike those that were sold as live-action even if that might lead to some films with longer animation sequencces being left out, I dont'think this has happened at not least with traditonal animated films. Which means the controversal Song of South (1946) is included in the book despite being live-action in majority of its runtime.Read more ›
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