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The journal of an aspiring animation filmmaker. Inspiration, Film Analysis, Animation Art, Student Work, Book Notes, Book Store, Composing Pictures, and much more!

Mar 11, 2006

Steamboat Bill?

I just finished reading, "Disney's Art of Animation", which I really recommend. Those that swear by the Illusion of Life (which should be everyone!), will find it an enjoyable read.

One of the many little gems I picked up from reading it was that Steamboat Willie (1928), was actually a take-off of a Buster Keaton Short released earlier that year entitled, "Steamboat Bill, Jr". That sparked my curiosity, and shortly after I found the original inspiration for Disney's first cartoon with sound available for download. Take a look at this interesting piece of animation history as well as a lot of other Buster Keaton shorts below


Steamboat Bill (1928)
Other Keaton Shorts

The best part about this site (archive.org) is that not only have they made these films available for download, but you can also get most of them in high-quality MPEG formats ready for DVD burning.

As far as Keaton is concerned, I've never really studied him to be honest. I've crammed plenty of Chaplin, and was told to check out Keaton if I enjoyed it. I guess I always assumed Keaton was just a knock-off, but I guess it can't hurt to break the norm once in a while and watch some classic comedies. I do somewhat agree with Jim though, they can get boring at times. But if this is as boring as animation gets, I don't think we have much to complain about, do we?

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