Jerry Beck & the fine art of classic animation on TCM

Film · Visual arts

Expert Jerry Beck defines classic animation as “theatrically-released studio or independent animated shorts and features from 1906 through roughly 1976.” The fun, arty fodder is getting its due this Sunday, October 21, with “Rare Animation,” a six-hour broadcast on Turner Classic Movies. Jerry, who blogs at cartoonbrew, co-hosts the evening with Robert Osborne.

I had the pleasure of meeting this cartoon maven — he’s an all-around cinephile with scholarly knowledge of animation and several books to his credit — not in Los Angeles, where we both skulk similar screening rooms, but in a hotel restaurant in Atlanta. Jerry and I were both nervously awaiting the next-day taping of our first co-hosting stints on the channel; mine, “Choreography by Jack Cole,” was broadcast September 10. I’m excited to watch Jerry’s curated cartoon tour. The image below, from UPA cartoons, burns deeply in my little-girl memory banks.

Sunday’s full-evening schedule goes like this:

•Max Fleischer’s Gulliver’s Travels (1939) at 8pm Eastern/5pm Pacific
•Max Fleischer’s Mr. Bug Goes To Town (1941) at 9:30pm Eastern/6:30pm Pacific
•UPA’s Jolly Frolics at 11pm Eastern/8pm Pacific (image above)
•New York Studio Silent Era Animation from the collection of Tom Stathes at 12 midnight Eastern/9pm Pacific
•Lotte Reiniger’s The Adventures of Prince Achmed at 1am Eastern/11pm Pacific

We like Max Fleischer cartoons at arts·meme. One of our favorites is Dancing on the Moon (1935).

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