Office: Cone 229 Office hours: Wednesdays 3:30-5:00 and by appointment
Required Course Textbook and Readings:
The assigned readings for this course will come from three sources: 1.) required course textbook (see below) 2.) e-reserve on Canvas 3.) books on closed reserve in the Jackson Library. These books on closed reserve will need to be read in the library, checked out overnight only, or photocopied. Regardless of their source reading these materials is critical to success in this course! Required text: Christopher Finch, The Art of Walt Disney, new edition, New York: Abrams, 2011. $85.00 ISBN: 978-0-8109-9814-8. This text is available at the UNCG Bookstore, but you will also find used copies of this book online. A copy of this text is also on closed reserve, for this course at Jackson Library.
This class will focus on art produced for all aspects of the two Studios’ animated shorts and feature-length cartoons, including but not limited to storyboard sketches, concept paintings and drawings, three-dimensional maquettes, final production cels and painted or digitally rendered backgrounds and environments. The various media employed by Disney and Pixar artists to create these works, as well as the technological and artistic innovations of these Studios will be addressed. To fully understand and appreciate the achievements of both Studios within the field of animation, the essential processes of animation utilized by each Studio will also be discussed chronologically throughout this survey.
Emphasis will also be placed upon the individual artistic personalities responsible for the pre-production and production art of the Disney and Pixar Studios. Therefore, each artist’s unique contributions to the field and Studio, his/her artistic style, influence, and inspirations will be considered. As a result, the final cartoon will ultimately be discussed as an artistic product created through both individual, and collaborative efforts, and will be set against the relevant contemporary historical, artistic, social and cultural background of its day. Such a backdrop will demonstrate the often reflective relationship these cartoons and their creators had with American culture.
The basic vocabulary of art and animation will be introduced during this course and therefore no prior knowledge of animation or art is required to succeed in this class.
Course Objectives (Student Learning Outcomes):
At the conclusion of this course a successful student will be capable of—
discussing the most important media and types of pre-production and production art employed by the Disney and Pixar Studios.
describing the process of making an animated cartoon employed by these Studios and earlier animators.
identifying and discussing the major technical innovations of the Disney and Pixar Studios.
discussing the contributions and work of the most significant artists of these two Studios.
comparing and contrasting visual imagery both verbally and through written words.
writing clearly, coherently and effectively about this visual imagery.
thinking critically about animated cartoons as collaborative works of art.
correctly using not only basic terminology associated with the fine arts, but also topic-specific vocabulary related to animation.
AND, will have an understanding of the interconnectedness between the animated cartoon and its cultural environment.
Course Requirements: Attend lectures. Some of the material discussed in class cannot be found in the course textbook, or other assigned reading and yet it will be included on exams, therefore, regular attendance is essential to success in the course. In addition, video material will frequently be shown in class and will also be included on the exams or be necessary for later viewing assignments. Attendance also counts towards the final grade.
2. Read assigned readings and come prepared to contribute to any class discussions.
3. Complete three viewing assignments.
4. Complete one take home reading response assignment
5. Take all three exams.
Grades will be composed of the following components:
Three exams-------------------------------------------------------300 (100 pts. each x 3)
Viewing assignments---------------------------------------------60 (20 pts. each x 3)
Total: 425 points Final grades will be assigned according to the following grading system:
100-99=A+, 98-93=A, 92-90=A-, 89-88=B+, 87-82=B, 81-80=B-, 79-78=C+, 77-72=C, 71-70=C-, 69-68=D+, 67-62=D, 61-60=D-, 59 and below is an F. Deus Ex Machina Clause:
In literature, the theater—and this course—a deus ex machina is any unlikely occurrence or device that magically resolves the difficulties or the seeming hopelessness of the plot—or, in our case, the semester. All the odd, bewildering, and/or inexplicable decisions leading to a story’s climax are wiped away by an improbable intervention at the last moment. If you’ve ever read a book in which the heroine realizes that the horrors visited upon her were all just a dream, or watched a play (or animated film) in which the hero, facing disaster, is saved just before the curtain falls by some unlikely contrivance of the playwright, you’re familiar with this literary gimmick. There will be no such last-second interventions in this class. My responsibilities to you include making my expectations transparent and treating you—and everyone else in the class—fairly. My responsibilities do not include wiping away your odd, bewildering, and/or inexplicable decisions with, for example, last-second offers of extra credit available only to you. Such behavior on my part would be unfair to others in the class who worked hard enough to meet or exceed my expectations. There are no exceptions. Please don’t ask for one. Attendance Policy:
Beginning the second week of class, attendance will be taken in lecture, each day, by way of a sign-up sheet, which will be circulated after class has begun. Each student is responsible for signing this paper to record their individual attendance. Signing the sheet for another student is not acceptable. Signing the roster and then leaving, sleeping or web surfing through class is not acceptable, nor is arriving late--all will also count as an absence. Each student is allowed three unexcused absences during the semester. Beginning with the fourth absence 5 points will be deducted from the attendance grade for the course, for each subsequent absence. Classroom Etiquette:
Remember to turn off all cell phones and all other digital devices before lectures begin as a courtesy to those around you, as well as the instructor. Audio recorders and LAPTOPS are also not allowed, unless special permission is granted on an individual basis by Dr. Holian. No exceptions.
Please be punctual for class and remain seated for the duration of the class time. Class will begin promptly at 10:00, and will end no later than 10:50—no need to pack up early. For our safety, classroom doors will be locked 5 minutes after class begins and not reopened until class concludes. Do not be late. Also, leaving class for the restroom or other purpose should be avoided. The class is only 50 minutes, please make sure that bathroom needs, drinking fountain trips, etc. are attended to before class begins.
Since art history classes are taught with the lights turned down you may be tempted to sleep. Please do not do that in class. Instead, come prepared, take notes and be ready to engage intellectually with the course material.
The relationship between faculty members and students is a professional one therefore the communication between these two groups should reflect that level of respect and professionalism (on both sides). As such, all emails sent to Dr. Holian should have a salutation and be signed by the sender. (These aren’t texts or FB posts!) Appropriate salutations include: Dr. Holian, Prof. Holian, Ms. Holian or Professor. Inappropriate salutations: “Hey,” “What’s up?,” etc. or nothing at all. Please be aware, Dr. Holian will not answer emails, which do not confirm to basic rules of courtesy and address. Additionally, always identify which of Dr. Holian’s classes you attend. Course Materials on Canvas:
Canvas is an essential tool for this course, as it will contain terms sheets for each lecture, exam study guides, additional supplemental materials, all e-reserves, and a copy of the syllabus. The site will be updated as the semester progresses to correspond with lecture, however, this resource should not be considered a substitute for attending class. However, you will find that printing out the terms, or copying them down before lecture, and bringing them with you will make note taking easier. Do not plan to access these via electronic device during class. These terms are provided on Canvas not only as a study aid, but also as a way of saving valuable class time, and will therefore not be spelled again in lecture. **Very important: In order to access the assigned eReserves each student will need an active Box account. To set up your Box account go here: http://its.uncg.edu/box/ (don’t wait!) Lecture Images and Study Tools on ArtStor:
This course will be taught using a digital delivery system known as ArtStor. ArtStor is a particularly valuable tool for students as it will allow you to access all of the images shown in lecture and listed on exam study guides. ArtStor is also accessible on many mobile devices, like tablets. ArtStor may be reached through the UNCG Library “Database” listing.
After each class, Dr. Holian will make her lecture images available through ArtStor. They will remain available until the exam covering that material is given. To be a successful student in this course it is not necessary for you to know or print out every image presented in lecture.
ArtStor will also be useful for exam preparations, as review images will be posted there one week before the exam.
Directions for how to use ArtStor are available on Canvas. Please note you will need a course password to log into the ARH 210 files. Dr. Holian will provide you with a class URL via Canvas and then you will need to enter the course password. This password is: Mickey28.
UNCG Policy on Commercial Note-Taking Services
VERY IMPORTANT!! Please be aware that selling class notes for commercial gain or purchasing such class notes for this or any other course at UNCG is in violation of the University’s Copyright Policy and of the Student Code of Conduct. No commercial note-taking service (regardless of what they may claim on their website) has received authorization—nor will they—from UNCG to sell notes. If you have questions about this policy please see Dr. Holian. Sharing notes for studying purposes, or borrowing notes to make up for absences, without commercial gain, are not violations.
All exams are “closed book.” All 3 exams will contain fill-in-the-blank, definitions and short answer questions. Some of these questions will be illustrated by images drawn from the exam study guide. In these cases, correct identification of the image will also be necessary for full points. Each exam will contain extra credit questions drawn from the study material for each exam. Exams will take approximately 45 minutes* to complete. Material for all 3 exams will be taken from lectures, videos, and assigned readings. Exam study guides will be posted on Canvas one week prior to the exam, and all required images will be posted on ArtStor at the same time. *Please note: Exam 3 (final exam) is not cumulative, but will be written as a slightly longer exam. All exams should be written in a blue book. Students must bring Dr. Holian one of these exam booklets during the week prior to the exam. Dr. Holian will stamp the book’s cover and return the books to students just before the exam. Exams without this stamp will not be graded. Students may bring all three books to Dr. Holian at the start of the semester if they wish and she will keep them in her office. Blue books are available at the UNCG Bookstore. Either small or large format booklets are acceptable. Additionally, please write your exam with a blue orblack pen, rather than pencil. Recommended “Progress Meetings” with Dr. Holian:
Students who receive a failing grade or struggle on the first exam are strongly encouraged to meet with Dr. Holian shortly after the exam is returned. History has demonstrated that students who meet with Dr. Holian improve their grade by an average of at least 10 points (some much more) on the next exam. These meetings are meant to aid struggling students early in the semester with study skills, note taking, attendance problems, or other issues preventing a student from performing to their full potential in the course. However, students in need of assistance should not wait until the exam to meet with Dr. Holian with questions/concerns! Viewing Assignments:
Students will complete three viewing assignments during the course of the semester. Each assignment is worth 20 points and will require a short, double-spaced typed response to a question or series of related questions. These assignments will draw upon course reading and lecture material, and will require the viewing of each of the films listed below. The required film will be available for digital streaming through Canvas. Assignments will be posted on Canvas one week before they are due (see below). Assignment #1 is DUE Sept. 25 Snow White
Assignment #2 is DUE Oct. 13 Cinderella
Assignment #3 is DUE Nov. 15 The Incredibles **Please note late assignments will not be accepted once graded assignments have been returned to the class.
Take-home Reading Response Assignment:
Due at the start of lecture, October 2 this assignment will ask you to carefully read B. Mikulak’s essay on e-reserve, “Disney and the Art World: The Early Years,” and respond to a short series of content-related questions. This assignment will be posted on Canvas a week before the due date to give you ample time to read and respond. This assignment may not be turned in late. Policy Regarding Missed Exams:
Make-up exams will not be given. Should you miss Exam 1 or 2 due to illness or family emergency you must notify the Dr. Holian via email within 24 hours of the missed exam, and produce documentation of your illness or personal emergency (a death in the family). If you must miss an exam for one of these documented reasons, your final grade will be averaged minus the points of the missed exam. Should you miss more than one exam you will receive a grade of zero for the second and all subsequent missed exams. The final (our Exam 3) is required of all students (see the Undergraduate Bulletin under “Grading Policies and Grades”). Policy on Late Viewing Assignments:
Late viewing assignments will be deducted the number of points equal to half of a letter grade for each day they are late, including weekends/holidays. Once assignments are handed back they will no longer be accepted, even for a penalty. As with exams, documented illness or family emergencies are acceptable excuses for late assignments, however, you must notify Dr. Holian before class time on the date the assignment is due to prevent loss of points in these situations. No exceptions. Late assignments may be emailed to Dr. Holian (the best option) or slid under her office door during Weatherspoon Museum operating hours. ARH 210: The Art of Disney and Pixar
Lecture Topics and Schedule of Readings
PLEASE NOTE: Readings should be completed PRIOR to class meetings.
Finch = required textbook
e-reserve = required reading located on Canvas under “e-reserve”
reserve = required reading located in a physical book on reserve for the course in the library
IBO = Interesting, but Optional. Any reading assignment so designated will not be tested on an exam, but is included here for those of you seeking to go beyond the required course material.
WEEK 1 Aug. 16 Introduction to Course
Reading: Finch, bottom 19-20, top of 22 (basic overview), e-reserve, Charles Solomon, “History of Animation reading for Lecture 2,” 3-10
WEEK 2 Aug. 21 Early Animators: J. Stuart Blackton & Emile Cohl
Reading: Finch, 22 e-reserve, Solomon, “History of Animation reading for Lecture 3,” 11-finish paragraph on top of 14, and Donald Crafton, “Before Mickey (Lecture 3)”, 59-70
IBO: e-reserve, Donald Crafton, “Before Mickey (comic strips and animation), 35-57,” discusses connection between comic strip and animation.
Aug. 23 “Father of the American Animated Cartoon:”Winsor McCay
Reading: Finch 22- top of 23, e-reserve, Solomon, “History of Animation reading for Lecture 4,” 14-19
IBO: reserve, John Canemaker, Winsor McCay: His Life and Art, revised and expanded edition, 157-77
Aug. 25 More Early Animators: The N.Y. Studios and the Fleischer Brothers
Reading: Finch bottom of 23, e-reserve, Solomon, “History of Animation reading for Lecture 5,” 21-25, 30-middle of 32
WEEK 3 Aug. 28 Felix and Otto Messmer
Reading: e-reserve, Solomon, “History of Animation reading for Lecture 6,” 33-mid 37 (Otto Messmer)
IBO: e-reserve, Steven Watts, The Magic Kingdom: Walt Disney and the
American Way of Life, 3-23 (listed as “Watts: early Walt Disney reading”)
Aug. 30 The Early Years of Walt Disney
Reading: Finch, 15-19, 25-mid 26
Sept. 1 Disney’s Start and First “Break:” The Alice Comedies
Reading: Finch, mid 26-top of 33, on e-reserve, Leonard Maltin, Of Mice and Magic: A History of American Animated Cartoons, 29-middle of 32 (listed as “Of Mice and Magic”)
IBO: R. Merritt and J.B. Kaufman, Walt in Wonderland: The Silent Films of Walt Disney, 39-46, 53-85 (lots of photos)
WEEK 4 Sept. 4 NO CLASS—Labor Day Holiday
Sept. 6 Oswald the (not so) Lucky Rabbit
Reading: Finch, 33, 36, e-reserve, Maltin, 32-34, and R. Merritt and J.B. Kaufman, “Oswald the Lucky Rabbit,” from Walt in Wonderland, 86-88, 98-99
IBO: on reserve, “Les Clark,” in Canemaker, Nine Old Men, 9-29, and D. Peri, Working with Walt: Interviews with Disney Artists, “Les Clark,”119-33
Sept. 8 The Birth of Mickey Mouse
Reading: Finch, 37-46, 50-51, 54 and e-reserve M. Barrier, Hollywood Cartoons, 48-62
IBO: reserve, Peri, Working with Walt: Interviews with Disney Artists, “Wilfred Jackson,” 55-82.
WEEK 5 Sept. 11 The First Silly Symphony: TheSkeleton Dance
Reading: Finch, mid 55-59, top of 62
IBO: e-reserve, Watts, pp. 48-top 58, important context for the relationship between Ub and Walt. Also, reserve, J. Canemaker, Paper Dreams: The Art and Artists of Disney Story Boards, 5-25 about the history of the storyboard
Sept.13 More Silly Symphonies of the 1930s
Reading: Finch, mid 62-71, 78 reserve, J. Canemaker, Before the Animation
Begins: The Art and Lives of Disney Inspirational Sketch Artists,ix-xiii, 9-25
IBO: reserve Canemaker, Paper Dreams, 63-85, about Ted Sears and the early Disney Story Department.
Sept. 15 The DisneyStudio Prepares to Make History
Reading: Finch, 91, top of 95, bottom 117-118, 124-top 126, mid 137, and e-reserve Martin Krause, Walt Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs: An Art in Its Making, 23-24, 26-27, 29-31, 33, 35-36, 39
IBO: Finch, Ch. 3, 79-107 (a very few pages from this chapter are required, but the rest is interesting reading and discusses Walt Disney personally and the dynamic within the studio at this date)
WEEK 6 Sept. 18 EXAM #1 (Lecture 2 through Silly Symphonies)
Sept. 20 The First Feature-length Cartoon: Snow White
Reading: Finch 111, mid 126-42 (lots of images) e-reserve, Krause, “Walt Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs: 1st Feature,” 41-47, also on e-reserve, Don Hahn, The Alchemy of Animation (2D), 80-83, 84-85, 88-92, 95
IBO: reserve, Canemaker, Before the Animation…, 39-47 (Tenggren), for those of you interested in the early script development of Snow White, read Finch, 113-17.
Sept. 22 Finish Snow White, Pinocchio
Reading: Finch, 143-44, 149-150, 154-55, e-reserve R. Allan, “Walt Disney and Europe: Pinocchio,” 78-82
IBO: reserve, Canemaker, Walt Disney’s Nine Old Men and the Art of Animation, “Eric Larson,” 55-83
WEEK 7 Sept. 25 Our Most Exciting Adventure:” Fantasia
Reading: Finch, 162, 164-mid 68, 171, top 175, and on reserve, Canemaker, Before the Animation, 85-86, 90-91
IBO: Steven Watts, “Walt Disney; Art and Politics in the American Century,” The Journal of American History, Vol. 82, No. 1 (June 1995), 84-top 96. Available online through Jackson Library’s “Journal Finder.”
**Viewing Assignment #1 is due** (Snow White) Sept. 27 Continue with Fantasia
Reading: Finch, bottom of 175-176, 186, e-reserve,
J. Culhane, “Dance of Hours,”162-164, 166-68, 170-71, 174-76, 178, Canemaker, Before the Animation, 75-83 (Kay Nielsen)
Sept. 29 The Challenge of Capturing Nature: Bambi
Reading: e-reserve, Finch, 187-189, 200 reserve, J. Canemaker, Before the Animation, 145-51 (Tyrus Wong)
IBO: Steven Watts, “Walt Disney; Art and Politics in the American Century,” The Journal of American History, Vol. 82, No. 1 (June 1995), bottom of 96-110. Available online through Jackson Library’s “Journal Finder,” and on reserve, Canemaker, Walt Disney’s Nine Old Men and the Art of Animation, “Marc Davis,” 265-293.
WEEK 8 Oct. 2 Disney “Art,” the Museum and the Art World
Reading: e-reserve, Bill Mikulak, “Disney and the Art World: The Early Years,”
Animation Journal, Spring 1996, 18-42.
**Take-home Reading Response is due** Oct. 4 IN CLASSGUEST SPEAKER: Tia Kratter from PIXAR 6:00 pm Tia gives public lecture (Bryan 160?)* extra credit opportunity
Oct. 6 The Silver Age Begins: Cinderella and Mary Blair
Reading: Finch, 207, reserve, Canemaker, The Art and Flair of Mary Blair, 8-19, 36-46 (lots of images), e-reserve, A. Allan, “Walt Disney and Europe: Cinderella,” 205-211.
IBO: reserve, Canemaker, Walt Disney’s Nine Old Men and the Art of Animation, “Ward Kimball,” 83-123.
WEEK 9 Oct. 9 NO CLASS—Fall Break Oct. 11 Finish Cinderella, Peter Pan
Reading: Finch, mid 208 e-reserve A. Allan, “Peter Pan,” from Walt Disney and Europe, 217-222
IBO: reserve, J. Canemaker, The Art and Flair of Mary Blair, 56-63 (lots of gorgeous images)
Oct. 13 The Decade’s Dramatic Close: Eyvind Earle and SleepingBeauty
Reading: Finch, 218, reserve, Canemaker, Before the Animation…, 159-167
Reading: e-reserve, Allan, “Sleeping Beauty,” from Walt Disney and Europe, 232-mid 236
Oct. 18 A New Style: Ken Anderson and 101 Dalmatians
Reading: Finch, bottom 218-220, top 223, e-reserve, Canemaker, “Marc Davis and Cruella,”284, 286.
IBO: reserve, Peri, “Ken Anderson,” Working with Walt, 134-48 and Canemaker, Before the Animation, 168-182 (Ken Anderson)
Oct. 20 The Close of a Chapter: Disney Dies
Oct. 23 EXAM #2 (Snow White through Sleeping Beauty)
Oct. 25 The 70s and early 80s: Struggle for Survival
Reading: Finch, 227, 233-34, 238-240, 242-47, and D. Price, reading entitled “The Birth of Pixar,” 10-34 (from his book, The Pixar Touch)
Oct. 27 Pixar Makes its Grand Entrance
Reading: Finch, 347-54, e-reserve, Price, “Lasseter joins Catmull and Smith,” 35-60
IBO: reserve K. Paik, To Infinity and Beyond! The Story of Pixar Animation Studios, 58-top 62, 74-77
Oct. 30 Promises of the Future: The Little Mermaid andBeauty and the Beast
Reading: Finch, mid 254-256, 258-mid 262
Nov. 1 Disney’s Renaissance: Beauty and the Beast
Reading: Finch, mid 262-71 and e-reserve, Didier Ghez, “Glen Keane: An Interview,” Animation Journal, Fall 1998, 52-69
IBO: reserve K. Paik, To Infinity and Beyond!, 80-105
Nov. 3 Pixar Makes Animation History: Toy Story
Reading: Finch, 355-62
Nov. 6 Finish Toy Story, Disney’s 2-D Animation Crisis
Reading: Finch, bottom 317-18, e-reserve, Don Hahn, The Alchemy of Animation (3D), 32-33, 35, 48-51, 52, 56-57, 68-69, 70-71
IBO: Finch, 291-top 317
Nov. 8 Pixar’s Monsters Inc., start The Incredibles
Reading: Finch, 363 (first paragraph), mid 370-374 (MSInc.), e-reserve, Harley Jessup, “Graphite and Pixels: Drawing at Pixar,” 170-181
Nov. 10 Pixar’s “Supers”: The Incredibles
Required viewing: Finch, 380-84
IBO: Podcast with Mark Andrews and Ted Mathot on iTunes, search under “Spline Cast” choose “Andrews_Mathot.” Running time: 43:35
WEEK 14 Nov. 13 For the Love of Cooking and the Love of Another: TheArt of
Ratatouille and WALLE
Reading: Finch, 322-323, 391-401 and the article found at http://www.artofthetitle.com/2009/06/22/wall-e/
Required Viewing: on reserve From the WALLE DVD, disc 2, under “For Film Fans,” choose “Behind the Scenes” and then the “Imperfect Lens: Creating the Look of WALLE”
Nov. 15 Finish WALLE,Abstraction and Realism:The Art of UP
Reading: Finch, bottom 401-13 e-reserve, Tim Hauser, “Seeking Simplexity,” The Art of Up, 18-21
**Viewing Assignment #3 is due** (The Incredibles) Nov. 17 Creating the Worlds of Tangled and Brave
Reading: Finch, 337-43 e-reserve, Jeff Kurtti, “Creating a Credible Fantasy,” The Art of Tangled, 31-45, and J. Lerew, “Wind, Weather and Ruins,” from The Art of Brave, 25-26, 29-31 (focuses on environments)
WEEK 15 Nov. 20 Finish Brave, Designing Disney’s Frozen
Reading: e-reserve TBA
Nov. 22-24 NO CLASS—THANKSGIVING BREAK WEEK 16 Nov. 27 Making the Mind World: Inside Out
Reading: Dan Sarto, Ralph Eggleston Talks ‘Inside Out,’ read online at https://www.awn.com/animationworld/ralph-eggleston-talks-inside-out
Nov. 29 The Challenge of Designing for Sequels: The Toy Story Example
Reading: e-reserve TBA
Final Exam (Exam #3)—in our classroom, Wednesday, December 6, noon-1:30