Animation’s Early Days: Artists, Hucksters, Talking Mice and Pigs
The New York Times reviews Reid Mitenbuler’s new book Wild Minds: The Artists and Rivalries That Inspired the Golden Age of Animation. The book sounds like a ton of fun, with just the right amount of intrigue
All swims were adult swims in the early days of American animation. Hand-drawn shapes frolicked and misbehaved before an audience that reacted with shock at this new life they were witnessing. Cartoons could be delightful and winsome, but they could also be as unsettling as anything else that was breaking new in the early 20th century. Sex! Death! Dinosaurs! It was all onscreen and it was all new.
The visionaries behind these early cartoons are the subjects of Reid Mitenbuler’s rollicking history “Wild Minds: The Artists and Rivalries That Inspired the Golden Age of Animation,” a fast-moving account of the cartoonists, writers, inventors, hucksters and hopeful moguls who constructed the firmament of American animation and filled it with constellations of talking mice, rabbits, birds and pigs that have become more nameable than any actual stars in the sky.
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