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Drawing the Line: The Untold Story of the Animation Unions from Bosko to Bart Simpson Hardcover – October 6, 2006

4.9 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Sito's connections allowed him access to data and illustrations hard to come by, and he enriches the book with numerous anecdotes gleaned from conversations with top animators and his own 30-year animation experience. Recommended. All readers; all levels."―Choice

"[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

Tom Sito is an animator, director, and adjunct professor in the television and cinema departments at the University of Southern California and at the University of California at Los Angeles. His screen credits include Beauty and the Beast, Shrek, and The Lion King. In 1998, Animation Magazine named him as one of the most important people in animation.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 440 pages
  • Publisher: University Press of Kentucky (October 6, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0813124077
  • ISBN-13: 978-0813124070
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.5 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,568,256 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This is not your typical university press book.

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.
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Format: Hardcover
The really wonderful thing about this book isn't the incredible facts about events that led up to our current state of affairs in the post-production world of motion picture making, it isn't the inside view from the old-timers of animation -- Yes, those are all wonderful things to have within a book on the animation world, but it is the prose of Tom Sito that makes this book sing!

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.
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Format: Hardcover
Yes, this is a history of union activity within the American animation industry, but don't think for a moment that it is a dry, dusty treatise on labor practises. Tom Sito has written a lively, anecdotal, funny, hugely entertaining and magnificently informative history of the animated cartoon -- where it came from, who was responsible, and how far it has come. At a time when legendary figures like Walt Disney tend to be Rushmoreized, Sito presents them as real, living and breathing people -- enormously talented, even brilliant, and sometimes conflicted, yes; but real. In the process he tells the stories of these cartoon creators that are often as funny and endearing as the cartoons themselves. This is not simply the story of animation, however. It is also the larger story of Hollywood and how its traumatic, sometimes even violent unionization efforts reflected what was going on everywhere in America.

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.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
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. It was a joy to read. I bought it only to read the chapter on the 1941 strike at Disney, but the chapter was so good I read the entire thing!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Length: 1:30 Mins
Drawing the Line: The Untold Story of the Animation Unions from Bosko to Bart Simpson Watch this brief video review of the book Drawing the line: The Untold Story of the Animation Unions from Bosko to Bart Simpson by Tom Sito.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
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. He then gives an EXTENSIVE history of the development of unions relating to the animation industry in a very detailed and well-referenced account with photos and quotes from animators who experienced these historical events firsthand. At the end of this colorful and objective journey, he invites the reader to reflect on the future of animation - are we better off with unions? Without them? How will new technology influence the employee-employer relationship?

For anyone interested in the history of animation or anyone looking to enter the animation industry, this book is an important historical account; a must-read.
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Format: Hardcover
DRAWING THE LINE: THE UNTOLD STORY OF THE ANIMATION UNIONS FROM BOSKO TO BART SIMPSON provides the first comprehensive history of animators' unions in modern times, from silent cartoons through today's big movie hits. Any involved in cartooning will find the business and industry insights essential to a thorough knowledge of their career choice: history and cultural observations blend with a survey of the entertainment industry as a whole, making for many important insights on how the business evolved and how it affects today's working animators.

Diane C. Donovan

California Bookwatch
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