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

Nicholas Sammond, Author
Labor, page 21 of 21

 

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Labor, Page 133

The Silly Symphonies Skeleton Dance (1929) and Egyptian Melodies (1931) offer a capsule view of Disney's move away from the vaudevillian style of the 1920s and towards an animated version of cinematic realism/naturalism in the 1930s. 

Skeleton Dance features Iwerks's signature move of a left-to-right dance alternating with a zooming motion toward the "camera." Made only a few years later, Egyptian Melodies plays extensively with the relationship between the two-dimensional space of cartooning and the imagined three-dimensional space of sound cinema. It does this by linking the exotic locale of the Egyptian pyramid with the exotic sounds of jazz orchestration, thus heightening the sense of the familiar made strange.

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