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Disney, Hubley, Lantz Animation Named To National Film Registry

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by Jerry Beck
December 18, 2013 11:31 AM
3 Comments
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Twenty five new additions to the National Film Registry were announced today by The Library of Congress. Among the 2013 honorees, are several films containing animation - and one feature based on a comic strip. 

Under the terms of the National Film Preservation Act, each year the Librarian of Congress names 25 films to the National Film Registry that are "culturally, historically or aesthetically" significant. The films must be at least 10 years old. The Librarian makes the annual registry selections after reviewing hundreds of titles nominated by the public and conferring with Library film curators and the distinguished members of the National Film Preservation Board (NFPB).

The list of previous inductees is posted here. Already included from the animation world are such titles as Tex Avery's Magical Maestro (1952), Chuck Jones' What's Opera Doc? (1957), Disney's Fantasia (1940), Winsor McCay's Gertie The Dinosaur (1912), and UPA's Gerald McBoing Boing (1950). The complete list of this years selections are here

Among this year's inductees:

The Hole (1962) produced by John and Faith Hubley. Winner of an Academy Award for Best Animated Short, John Hubley directed this film with an improvised dialogue track by Dizzy Gillespie and George Matthews; Animation by Bill Littlejohn and Gary Mooney. 


The King Of Jazz (1930) was a spectacular two-color Technicolor musical feature from Universal Pictures, starring musician Paul Whiteman. At the beginning of the film, the story of how Whiteman was crowned "King Of Jazz" is told via a cartoon, in an sequence by Walter Lantz. This animation sequence was the first ever produced in Technicolor - and listen carefuly, Whiteman's voice is none other than Bing Crosby! And yes, that's Oswald The Lucky Rabbit at 2:22.


Mary Poppins (1964) - seems almost too coincidental that Walt Disney's Poppins would be recognized this year, but it's a great film and one of its memorable highlights is the animation sequence - which was directed by studio veteran Hamilton Luske. 


It should also be noted among this years inductees that Ella Cinders (1926) was based on a 1925-1961 comic strip by writer Bill Conselman and artist Charles Plumb - and that Forbidden Planet (1956) featured an invisible "Id Monster" briefly seen via animation by Disney's Joshua Meador. 

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More: Mary Poppins, Walter Lantz, John Hubley

3 Comments

  • Pell Osborn | December 22, 2013 6:32 PMReply

    For "Forbidden Planet" (MGM, 1956), in addition to animating the Id monster, Joshua Meador created luminous cocoons that protect the spacemen in their deceleration from lightspeed to sub-lightspeed, a total eclipse of the great main-sequence star Altair, reverse-polarity flux beams from the flying saucer as it lands on Altair-4 (the forbidden planet of the title), a household disintegrator beam, a disintegrating tiger in mid-leap, blaster ray rifle fire, electron bolts and impact explosions from a pair of neutron cannons, immense arcs of lightning in a 20-mile-long ventilator shaft, three billion electron volts from an electronic fence, a crewman being immolated by the Id monster, a range of blast types from ray gun pistols, Robby the Robot using a rear-head discharger to zap a pesky monkey, Robby the Robot neutralizing a pair of ray guns, Robby the Robot blowing every circuit in his body. Needless to say, the animation in "Forbidden Planet" is tremendous, and beautifully combined with the live-action imagery and electronic soundtrack. How exciting that "Forbidden Planet" will live forever, now officially preserved in perpetuity in the Library of Congress!

  • Greg Ehrbar | December 18, 2013 4:13 PMReply

    Actually, people like Leonard Maltin have been campaigning for Mary Poppins to be added for years. Anyone can submit films on the website, and since I'm anyone, I suggested Poppins too. It's less likely that my vote swayed them that the film was restored for the Blu-ray and probably for the Registry as well, no?

  • Valentin Moretto | December 18, 2013 1:00 PMReply

    The title kind of suggested that "Barber of Seville" (of great significance in animation history) made it to the list... But "King of Jazz" gets the recognition it so rightfully deserved, so it's all good.

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