Redesigning Animation: United Productions of America

1st Edition

Cinzia Bottini

Published August 14, 2018
Reference - 266 Pages - 224 B/W Illustrations
ISBN 9780815381785 - CAT# K339372
Series: Focus Animation

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The animation studio United Productions of America (UPA) was able to challenge Disney supremacy in the 1950s entertainment market by creating cutting-edge animated cartoons. UPA films express a simplified audiovisual language consisting of stylized layout designs, asymmetrical compositions, colors applied flatly and in contrast with each other, limited animation and a minimalist use of sound effects. UPA artists developed this innovative style by assimilating those aesthetic features already expressed by Modern painters, graphic designers and advertisers. This book considers UPA films as Modern animations, because they synthesize a common minimalist tendency that was occurring in US animation during the 1940s and 1950s. It examines the conditions under which UPA studio flourished and the figure of its executive producer Stephen Bosustow; the influence of Modernist stylistic features of painting, graphic design and poster advertising on UPA animations; and UPA animated cartoons as case studies of a simplified audiovisual language that influenced 1950s-1960s international productions.


Key Features

  • Looks at UPA's origins during the 1940s and postwar American stage, and how this influences later Modern movements and styles
  • Learn about the production methods of UPA and its lasting graphic contribution to animation history
  • Discover how UPA audiovisual styles were born from the assimilation of Modern paintings, graphic art, and poster advertising
  • Explores how UPA influenced animation in other parts of the world, including Romania, Russia, and Japan
  • Highlights the impact UPA had on styles with famous international legends like Dušan Vukotić, Fyodor Khitruk, and Osamu Tezuka