Journal Entry – Week 4 (short paper outline)

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The movie I chose is Pinocchio 1940. The production was supervised by Ben Sharpsteen and Hamilton Luske. I became interested in this movie because I visited the exhibition “Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio” at MoMA last year. I have to say this is a great stop-motion movie. Both films were adapted from the 1883 children’s novel The Adventures of Pinocchio. But the two movies are completely different, from the production method to the character style.

The reasons why I am interested in Pinocchio 1940 are:

  • The script of Pinocchio is full of emotion, attracting the audience’s emotional resonance through profound characterization and plot arrangements.
  • The film’s art design, set and costume design are all excellent, recreating the historical atmosphere of the time and allowing the audience to become more deeply involved in the story.
  • The most important thing is that Pinocchio fully demonstrates the kindness and tenacity of human nature in a warm and humorous way. It made me truly feel the deep affection between father and son.

My research direction for Pinocchio 1940:

  • Why this Disney version of Pinocchio is so well known and even called one of the greatest animated films of all time.
  • How Pinocchio 1940 handles some of the darker moments in the original novel. Let this movie become a warm, humorous and educational movie.
  • How was the plot of Pinocchio 1940 designed?
  • Different from the novel The Adventures of Pinocchio, does the animated film version of Pinocchio 1940 leave a deeper impression on people?
  • How Pinocchio 1940 designed the character image and the plot direction of the character.

Krystalee Enderica SP Outline

Film: Snow White and the seven Dwarfs.

Why I’m interested: Disney’s first feature-length film, advanced techniques used, colors, etc

overall I love the movie and the plot.


  • how the movie changed the way animated films were made
  • the impact of snow white on the animation industry
  • how Disney became Trendsetter
  • how Snow White was ahead (innovative) for its time
  • the advanced techniques used for the film and how it made it special.

Daniel Romero SP Outline

“A trip to the Moon” 1902 (13 min) (sequence around 6:00) by George Méliès

Méliès, with his magical nature, introduces a novel element to filmmaking that not only captivates the viewer’s attention visually but also piques their curiosity about the process behind shooting such intricate sequences. This segment, known as the Stop Motion Sequence, draws my attention to highlight the fact that cinema has experienced exponential growth since its invention, even before the advent of color. I believe this fragment, and the movie as a whole, holds a crucial place in animation history because it aimed to entertain adults, while simultaneously inspiring children. It seamlessly blends a science fiction plot with philosophical underpinnings, and the crowning touch is its animation.

I would like like to further research several elements of this short: its implications for modern animation, how the stop-motion sequence inspired other filmmakers and how much the stop-motion has been change until now, whether the sequence involved a photo shoot, and if Méliès had an alternate scene prepared in case the primary one didn’t work, how the squence works in terms of apology to the plot concept.

Tamia Scarlett

Title: “Composition in Blue” (Excerpt) by Oskar Fischinger

I. Introduction

  • Briefly introduce Oskar Fischinger as a pioneering animator and his work.
  • Explain the focus on a specific excerpt from the film.

II. Excerpt Description

  • Provide a detailed description of the selected excerpt, including visual and auditory elements.
  • Emphasize the abstract and non-representational nature of the animation.
  • Discuss the significance of the color blue within the composition.
  • Analyze the rhythmic movement and its resemblance to music or dance.

III. Oskar Fischinger’s Style

  • Explore Oskar Fischinger’s unique animation style, including his use of shapes, lines, and patterns.
  • Discuss Fischinger’s interest in visualizing music through animation and his collaborations with musicians and composers.

IV. Historical and Cultural Context

  • Provide context for when “Composition in Blue” was created, including the artistic movements and influences of the time.

V. Personal Attraction to the Film

  • Mention that attraction could be due to the film’s technique, aesthetic, or its role in the development of animation.
  • Suggest that its historical and political context may also be of interest to some viewers, particularly in relation to avant-garde art movements.

Janeth Pu – SP Outline

“The Adventures of Prince Achmed” by Lotte Reiniger is one of the animated films that had caught my attention, the reason as to why it did was because it is considered to be one of the oldest animated films that had survived throughout the early years of film animation as other films were considered to be lost media. The art style of the film was another reason for my interest in the film due to being reminded of shadow puppetry, which was one of the earlier styles of animation that was done in the past.

My other reasonings for my interest would be:

  • How Lotte Reiniger was able to pioneer her own animation through the use of silhouettes.
  • The film using color for the backgrounds that make the paper puppets pop out more for the audience to see.
  • The beauty of the animation with how shadow puppets can express themselves with movement.
  • The story being told with silhouettes.
  • And the amount of passion that Lotte Reiniger put into making the film which would lead to her making more films similarly to the style of Prince Achmed.

What I’d like to research more about this film:

  • How the animation of “The Adventures of Prince Achmed” could inspire future animators to make something similar or inspired by the film.
  • If the techniques of the film were improved upon / used in future animated works.
  • The influence that it had within the animation industry.
  • The types of tools needed to make the animation into a full-feature film.
  • Why Lotte Reiniger chose to tell the story of Prince Achmed.
  • The similarities between shadow puppetry from China and the film’s own way of portraying those puppets.
  • The differences between shadow puppetry and the film’s version of puppetry.
  • How the film was able to have color?
  • If this type of animation had any influence on other pieces of media. (Such as video game animations or art-styles.)
  • And lastly, if this film or any other of Lotte Reiniger’s works were referenced / had tributes in other works.

Sofia Adinolfi SP Outline

I will select either “Gertie the Dinosaur” or “Little Nemo” (I have had trouble deciding.)

I am drawn to Gertie the Dinosaur because of:

  • How amazingly smooth it is, especially considering the time period it was made in and the fact that neither the rotoscope nor cel paper had been invented.
  • The seemingly modern sense of humor featured in Gertie the Dinosaur — it seems ahead of its time. (Especially with outside-of-the-box animation fixes and corner cuts made to make such old animation easier as WELL as remain humorous – for example, I am convinced the Gertie eats the tree at the beginning to prevent Winsor McCay from having to draw it over and over again, as there was NO rotoscope and NO cel paper; yet this action is still extremely funny. Also, the fact that it made ME laugh out loud makes it incredibly noteworthy.
  • The fact it was made by Winsor McCay, who I, and the rest of the animation world, see/sees as a genius.
  • The seemingly anatomically reasonable depiction of an animated cartoon dinosaur, or what one would imagine one to look like, as well as move like.
  • The achievement of this animation without sound.
  • insert more reasons

I am drawn to Little Nemo because of:

  • The same point as bullet point 1 for Gertie the Dinosaur: This animation is outstanding especially considering the time period AND the fact there was NO rotoscope and NO cel paper. Every frame was drawn by hand OVER and OVER with no layering. This animation is also over 100 years old!
  • In addition to the above, Little Nemo is particularly amazing due to its complexity. The different character designs, all animated side by side. Then, multiple different scenes. Not only is it smooth, it’s complex, and long for a complex animation, especially for the time period.
  • The amazing replication of three dimensions in the scene with the dragon. It was very well executed – even over a century ago, Winsor was able to expertly use perspective in multiple frames to create an effect in which the dragon appeared to turn and move off-screen in a 3D space.
  • The amount of time it took Winsor Cay to create this animation, despite there being NO rotoscope and NO cel paper was within ONE MONTH. A century ago, with those limitations, that quality… and only 1 month to create it.
  • I find the history of the Little Nemo animation interesting as Winsor Cay based it off of previous comic strips of the same name — Little Nemo is also an amazingly long comic strip with a revolutionary, impressive story (also over a century old) and I want to look into it more. It’s absolutely fascinating and I want to read more of it to see how it inspired this animation.
  • The character designs.
  • insert more bullet points later when I come up with more ideas

Elements to research/write about:

Shared between both Gertie the Dinosaur and Little Nemo:

  • The rotoscope (to greater emphasize the impact of the lack thereof)
  • Cel paper/cels (for same reason as above)
  • Rice paper (As that is what Winsor McCay used to draw these animations)
  • The time period, and animations of the time period
  • Other Winsor McCay animations
  • WinsorMcCay himself
  • comics of the time period
  • insert more ideas later

Research for Gertie the Dinosaur:

  • Anatomy of a dinosaur as shown in the museum (maybe I could even visit the museum they saw it at – the Museum of Natural History – and compare the dinosaur dioramas to the ones shown in the video)
  • more ideas when they come to mind

Research for Little Nemo:

  • The ORIGINAL comic strips (read them)
  • more ideas when they come to mind


Respond to the prompt on this page. For instructions on how to submit a journal entry, please follow these instructions. FORMATTING FOR THIS WEEK: Use the title format “[FirstName] [LastName] SP Outline” and select the Category “Journal Entry – Week 4 (short paper outline)”

Review the short paper guideline and grading rubric and submit a thesis or outline as a journal entry by next week. Your entry should include:

  • The name of the short or full feature films that you will be focusing on (it must be one that we’ve discussed in class between week 1 and week 5).
  • Why are you drawn to this film – because of it’s story? technique? aesthetic? political context? etc.)
  • An outline of elements you will be researching/writing about (this can be done in the form of a list or in a paragraph)