Are you in the mood for some award-winning animated shorts?
Excellent! We’ve chosen six shorts for you, all from the 1960s, in honour of National Classic Movie Day on May 16.
If you plan to drop by our house for the celebration, we’ll make popcorn and lemonade. Oh – there’ll be chocolate cake, too, because you can’t celebrate anything without chocolate cake.
In the meantime, enjoy these wonderful animated short films.
Run Time: 9 minutes
Plot: A four year-old boy is drafted into the U.S. army.
Screenplay: Satirist Jules Feiffer based this story on his experiences in the American military.
Awarded: Oscar for Best Short Subject, Cartoons (1961)
About the Filmmakers: Rembrandt Films began producing animated shorts in the 1960s under the direction of Gene Deitch, the former head of the animation studio, UPA (United Productions of America). In this film, Gene’s three year-old son, Seth, is the voice of Munro.
Run Time: 16 minutes
Plot: Two philosophical construction workers discuss the nature of accidents – both domestic and nuclear.
Screenplay: Improvised dialogue by musician Dizzy Gillespie and actor George Matthews.
Awarded: Oscar for Best Animated Short Film (1962)
About the Filmmakers: John Hubley, a former Disney animator, joined UPA in 1941, but was asked to resign in 1952 when he was blacklisted. Hubley and his wife, Faith, experimented with animation styles and often cast their own children in their films.
Run Time: 11 minutes
Plot: The best film you will ever see on geometric shapes, guaranteed.
Narrator: The fabulous Robert Morley.
Awarded: Oscar for Best Short Subject, Cartoons (1966)
About the Filmmaker: Oscar-winner Chuck Jones made over 300 animated shorts during his 60-year career. He is best known for his work on the Looney Tunes shorts at Warner Bros. studios. Jones grew up in Hollywood and appeared as a child extra in Mack Sennett comedies. He died in 2002.
Run Time: 18 minutes
Plot: Governmental interference vs. freedom of expression.
Banned: In 1969, by the former communist government of Czechoslovakia.
Awards: Winner of four international awards, including the Critics’ award at the 1990 Annecy International Film Festival.
About the Filmmaker: This was Jirí Trnka’s final film, considered to be his masterpiece. Trnka was called “the Walt Disney of Eastern Europe”, due to his early career as an illustrator of children’s books and his stop-motion animation. In 1968, he was awarded the Hans Christian Anderson Medal for his contribution to children’s literature.
Run Time: 8 minutes
Plot: A man with a box walks into a bar…
Score: Percussion by jazz musician Shelly Manne.
Awarded: Oscar for Best Short Subject, Cartoons (1968)
About the Filmmaker: Fred Wolf is an Oscar- and Emmy-winning animator who has been involved in several television projects, including animated TV pitchmen Little Green Sprout and Tony the Tiger, as well as the trippy Puff the Magic Dragon and the first episodes of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
Run Time: Under 2 minutes
Budget: $300 ($3.06 per second)
Plot: Bambi is squished by Godzilla.
Digital 4K Restoration (and why wouldn’t there be?): Can be found here.
About the Filmmaker: Marv Newland began his career in his hometown of Los Angeles, before moving to Toronto, Canada, where he worked as a freelance animator. When he relocated to Vancouver, BC, he founded the animation company International Rocketship Limited. Newland’s most recent animated short was completed in 2016.
This post is part of the 6 FROM THE ’60s Blogathon, hosted by the Classic Film & TV Café.