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Birth of An Industry: Blackface Minstrelsy and the Rise of American Animation

Nicholas Sammond, Author
Labor, page 10 of 21


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Labor, Page 112

The background of the Sullivan short Felix Dopes It Out (1924) demonstrates the schematic simplicity by which a few lines can represent an outdoor scene. An economy of line allowed animators to work quickly and efficiently, and the fewer lines a background contained, the easier it was to mass reproduce and even reuse. 

Similarly, Felix Out of Luck (1924) shows how few lines are required to create an indoor scene, efficiently reprising the basic iconography of the vaudeville backdrop. Technical and material constraints forced animators to develop a set of representational conventions which coalesced across different studios and product lines over time in the early American animation industry. 

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