ANNY Best of Fest

On September 29, Winthrop Archivist David Kay hosted and moderated a “Best of Fest” panel discussion for Animation Nights New York.

The panel was titled “The Incredibly Surprising and History and Future of Brooklyn Animation” and recognized Winsor McCay’s 150th birthday (born September 26, 1867) and celebrated the upcoming 100th anniversary of Max Fleischer’s Rotoscope patent that was issued in Brooklyn on October 9, 1917. 

Tommy José Stathes, internationally recognized archivist, historian, distributor, and educator
of early animated films, participated and selected and presented archival clips from The Artist’s Dream (Bray Studios, 1913), Gertie the Trained Dinosaur (Winsor McCay, 1914), Farmer Al Falfa Sees New York (Paul Terry, 1916), and The Clown’s Pup (Max Fleischer, 1919). 

Brooklyn producer and animator Aaron Augenblick of Augenblick Studios curated clips from his studio’s hilarious faux-documentary Golden Age, winner of the Grand Prix for Best Film at the Ottawa International Animation Festival in 2007.  Mr. Augenblick also screened recent studio examples from Ugly Americans (Comedy Central), Wonder Showzen (MTV), Golan the Insatiable (Fox), and Superjail (Adult Swim). The highlight, though, was a sneak preview from Augenblick Studio’s forthcoming production of Drunky, reported to be the first feature-length animated film ever produced in Brooklyn.

Denny Daniel from “The Museum of Interesting Things” a traveling, interactive museum also attended and shared some highlights from his collection of antiques and inventions from the early days of cinema.

The panelists and audience members all shared their desire to build awareness of Brooklyn animation, its history, growth and development, and of the innovations and inventions (e.g., cel animation, Rotoscope patent, sync sound, Follow the Bouncing Ball sing-alongs, etc.) honoring the “local spirit” that continues to inform today’s animation studios and will inspire more New York-based animated productions and virtual reality endeavors in the future. 

This was the second in a series of Winthrop-sponsored panel discussions dedicated to examining the amazing, incredible, and surprising history and future of NYC and Brooklyn animation.

Clip from Bugs Bunny on bringing offshored animation back to Brooklyn: