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Drawing the Line: The Untold Story of the Animation Unions from Bosko to Bart Simpson Hardcover – October 6, 2006
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"[Sito's] marvelous book... provides a witty, passionate, radical insider's view of the American film industry that is indispensable reading for anyone interested in the cinema."―International Socialism
"The stories he tells are alternately heartbreaking and hilarious, infused with the irreverence that's always characterized this field. Anyone with more than a passing interest in the world of animation should consider this book a must-read."―Leonard Maltin
"Here is a unique perspective on the history of American animation, written by an artist and director who's also played a key role in his industry's labor movement. The stories he tells are alternately heartbreaking and hilarious... Anyone with more than a passing interest in the world of animation should consider this book a must-read."―LeonardMaltin.com
"Drawing the Line contains the best account yet of the 1941 Walt Disney strike, with documentation of the union side."―London Review of Books
"Contains the best account yet of the 1941 Walt Disney strike, with documentation of the union side."―London Review of Books
"Sito . . . crafts an appealing analysis of the heretofore undocumented tensions resulting from the production process of one of America's most enduring cultural media. Drawing the Line is a fine analysis of an intriguing aspect of the labour history made all the more so by the author's obvious passion for the subject and its actors. Thanks to the nature of the subject matter, the reader is treated to a plethora of rare and humorous cartoons and photos which give the narrative a real human dimension. Drawing the Line provides an invaluable point of entry for professional scholars who wish to further investigate the intriguing field of artistic unionism."―Paul Lawrie, University of Toronto
""Sito is at his best sorting through the issues arising from [the arrival of computers] given that in a sense all cinema is animation, the demarcation and jurisdictional lines between special effects, digital artists (no more inkers and painters), various managers and supervisors became very complex indeed.""―Rick Thompson, Screening the Past
"Drawing the Line provides an invaluable point of entry for professional scholars who wish to further investigate the intriguing field of artistic unionism."―Paul Lawrie, Labour/Le Travail
"Sito describes the history and fiery personalities behind the formation of the Screen Cartoonists Union, the strikes and walk-outs, the effects of Hollywood blacklisting, and the battles at the bargaining tables."―Man vs. Art
About the Author
More About the Author
He was born in Brooklyn New York, and educated in the arts of cartooning & animation at the High School of Art & Design, the School of Visual Arts and the Art Student's League. Among his influences there were Harvey Kurtzman, Will Eisner and Robert Beverly Hale.
Tom Sito has been an prolific animator since 1975. He has worked in all facets of animation- feature films, television shows, and commercials. Among his screen credits are the Disney classic films The Little Mermaid (1989), Who Framed Roger Rabbit?(1988), Beauty and the Beast (1991), Aladdin (1992), The Lion King (1994) and Pocahontas (1995) He co-directed the animation for the Warner Bros film Osmosis Jones (2001), and contributed to Shrek (2001), The Prince of Egypt(2000) and Garfield the Movie (2004). During that time he befriended and worked with many of the great artists of Hollywood animation's golden age, including Chuck Jones, Friz Freleng, Hanna & Barbera, Shamus Culhane and Disney's Nine Old Men.
After serving three terms as president of the Hollywood animators union, Tom became interested in telling their story, long ignored by other historians. The result was his first book DRAWING THE LINE: THE UNTOLD STORY OF THE ANIMATION UNIONS FROM BOSKO TO BART SIMPSON (2006). He has also contributed the chapter on animation to Dr. Paul Buhle's anthology JEWS IN AMERICAN POPULAR CULTURE (2007). He has also updated and revised John Halas & Harold Whitaker's famous how-to book TIMING FOR ANIMATION. His 2013 book MOVING INNOVATION, A HISTORY OF COMPUTER ANIMATION (MIT Press) has been called the first complete history of computer animation ever in book form. It was nominated for a Kraszner-Kraus book award in 2014.
Tom Sito is Professor and Chair of the Animation Dept. at the University of Southern California. He is a member of the National Cartoonists Society, the Motion Picture Academy, Hollywood Heritage and is vice president of the Hollywood chapter of the international animators society, ASIFA.
Top Customer Reviews
This is not your typical film or animation history book.
Tom Sito's DRAWING THE LINE is essential reading for historians of the 20th century, for labor historians, for filmmakers, for animators, and for anyone who wants to read an outstanding piece of writing.
It has a cast of thousands: Mafiosi, musicians, politicians, inventors, movie stars, producers, and animated cartoonists who were also labor activists.
If you are in the animation or film business, or a labor union, this book will raise your eyebrows more than once. If you are none of the above but want to learn about these things from the artist/worker's perspective, this book will educate you while entertaining you. (Remember when animated films did that?)
DRAWING THE LINE fills a huge gap in the history of the American labor movement. It is valuable history and it is also a lot of fun to read.
I'm so glad that he has written his first. It's such a great read, I couldn't put it down. My wife had to take it away from me or I would have stayed up all night reading and been zonked at work.
I can't wait for the next one.
Sito has written an important story with panache, wit, and a unique insider's perspective, and has created a book that everyone interested in classic Hollywood and the Golden Age of animation must have.
Diane C. Donovan
Ah, but Tom Sito's book is a fantastically interesting read for anyone--
full of anecdotal stories that are at once informative and entertaining. Where else can you read about the day Walt Disney almost got into a fistfight with actor John Garfield?
Sito is a storyteller, and much of the book is don't in a storytelling style-- for example, in speaking of animation mogul Dave Fleischer, Sito says "At the Fleisher studio, when Dave Fleisher put his red light on outside his office,it meant he did not want to be disturbed. That meant either he was working, or, more likely, he was having sex with his secretary or listening to the racetrack calls on his big radio."
There's a serious side as well. Sito details the terrible working conditions in the early days-- strict dress codes, cramped working conditions, low pay. Yet there's also balance in the book. Sito is not trying to tear down anyone's reputation. People like Walt Disney were human, nothing more, nothing less-- and they are also products of their time. Disney was sometimes generous and caring to employees, but he also was a perfectionist who demanded-- and usually got-- 1000 per cent from his workers. A driven individual, he was also a hard-headed businessman who feared unionism would disrupt profits.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The definitive account of the founding of one of Hollywood's first trade unions, and how it changed the animation industry forever.Published 3 months ago by Ken Cope
This is more than just a history of animation unions, it covers the history of animation itself. The stories are well researched and benefit from the author's personal insights. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Punk Doctor
A brilliant story on the intricacies of Hollywood show business from the animators perspective.Published 14 months ago by Will
When Tom Sito began his career in animation, unions had already been established. In the intro, he admits that he initially took their presence for granted. Read morePublished 23 months ago by Brittany Accardi
Tom Sito is a excellent storyteller who weaves a tale of animation history using the unions as a guide. Read morePublished on May 22, 2009 by AnimationNerd
I originally read about this book in a review from animation world network ([...]) It is everything the review said. Read morePublished on July 27, 2007 by Ellen J. MacWilliam