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

Nicholas Sammond, Author

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Performance, Page 76

From its very beginnings, American commercial animation has foregrounded its labor practices. Rather than hiding the labor that go into their products, animation studios celebrate that work. But they celebrate it in a very specific way.

During the Golden Age of animation, that performance usually occurred in a studio's public relations. But in animation's earliest days, that performance actually occurred on the vaudeville stage, or (as in this case) in filmed prologues and epilogues that linked the animator's work to...his or her work.

On Strike (1920) humorously undercuts this celebration of labor by staging its own animated stars threatening to go on strike.
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