Slapdash presentation of downloaded content - do not buy!
James L. Grosbeck | 12/26/2006
(1 out of 5 stars)
"The Library of Congress "American Memory" website has since 1999 included an exhibit called "Origins of American Animation" featuring films from 1900-1921. This product is no more than the video files from that website, downloaded and carelessly burned to DVD, with ugly template title cards and slightly misplaced chapter marks. This is a 2 disc set for no clear reason - each disc only runs for 45 minutes. There are many other ways in which the presentation is shoddy and tasteless, but the most damning is the misleading and illegal inclusion of Mickey Mouse on the packaging. [...]"
Deacon | America | 05/01/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I ordered this DVD out of simple curiosity. I'd been watching a lot of modern animated films with computer graphics and I wanted to learn a little bit more about what cartoons were like before CGI graphics came into vogue.
I got more than I bargained for. These are pre-Disney era cartoons and as such are not as techonologically advanced as most that you see on television - but, they are very well done for what they are.
You can tell that the animators considered what they were doing "art" so they fill in every section of the screen with something going on - which meant that I was able to watch the DVD several times and see different things each time.
Of course, some of the clips are a bit scratchy, but what the hell, they were made by Thomas Edison and you have to expect some degrdation in film stock over 80 years."
A Good Change From Disney
Bart | Montpellier, France | 05/03/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Watching documentaries on early animation techniques I sometimes get bored because so much time is spent discussing the way Disney revolutionized animation, but no time at all is spent talking about what animation was like before Disney started putting together his films.
In that sense, this DVD is a good, rare catch. Obviously if you are looking for Mikey Mouse, this is not the disk for you. These shorts come from about 10 years before Walk and company started making their films. Instead you get to see very early shorts that demonstrate how the concept of animation was being developed.
Some of the ideas were good and some were nowhere near as well done, but they all put other animation into context."