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Before Mickey: An Animated Anthology (2009)

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Editorial Reviews

Animation didn't begin with Mickey Mouse. Long before Mickey arrived on the scene in 1928, artists and cartoonists had been creating a wide variety of animated films which were both entertaining and often surprisingly sophisticated. Before Mickey is a mammoth international anthology that presents a comprehensive and fascinating look at the pre-history of animation. These pioneering works were the precursors to everything from Disney's classic animated features to Saturday morning cartoons.

Before Mickey presents examples of virtually every genre of animation, from line drawings and cutouts to early pixillation, and includes among its treasures many rare films not in distribution elsewhere. Ranging in length from snippets of 30 seconds to complete 5-minute shorts, the wealth of material includes works by Winsor McCay (creator of Little Nemo and Gertie the Dinosaur), Max and Dave Fleischer, Otto Messmer (creator of Felix the Cat, as well as some early efforts by Ub Iwerks and Walt Disney.

Accompanied by an original piano score by Christopher Penny, historic images of early animation are brought to life in this informative and immensely enjoyable collection. Both in and out of the classroom, Before Mickey offers an invaluable resource that will prove irresistible not only to the film scholar and animation buff, but to everyone who wants to know what cartoons were like before the advent of the famous rodent.

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