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Cartoon Modern: Style and Design in Fifties Animation
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Cartoon Modern: Style and Design in Fifties Animation

4.45  ·  Rating Details ·  178 Ratings  ·  14 Reviews
Between the classic films of Walt Disney in the 1940s and the televised cartoon revolution of the 1960s was a critical period in the history of animation. Amid Amidi, of the influential Animation Blast magazine and CartoonBrew blog, charts the evolution of the modern style in animation, which largely discarded the "lifelike" aesthetic for a more graphic and often abstract ...more
Hardcover, 192 pages
Published August 17th 2006 by Chronicle Books
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Mar 11, 2009 Parka rated it it was amazing
Shelves: art-books, cartoons
Cartoon Modern
(Picture source:

This book makes for a very good source of inspiration and research. The author, Amid Amidi, has created a book of depth and scope, just like he did for The Art of Robots.

The chapters are arranged alphabetically. Each showcases an animation studio, with the background and the art. The 50s cartoons were extremely stylized. In fact, looking at this book, it reminds me of The Art of The Incredibles, which contains very stylized concept art.

The wonderfully varied coll
Dec 29, 2007 Tracey rated it really liked it
Xmas gift 2007 - read (with partial skimming) thru in an evening.

I have no real background/education in fine arts or graphic design, but even I can appreciate the body of work represented here. The text does a great job of supporting the artwork by telling the stories of the artists, studios and projects whose sensibilities helped form this trend in animation. Some names I recognized: Maurice Noble, Bill Melendez and Eyvind Earle among others; while still others I would like to become more fami
Sep 26, 2012 J.souza rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arte, favorites
Got this one as a Christmas gift the last year.

I always loved 50's animation, specially the one made by Hanna Barbera (Scooby Doo, Jetsons, Yogi Bear, etc). At the same time that they where simple, almost minimalist, they had their own personal aesthetic, different from everything at that time and now still.

As an illustrator, I bought this one mostly for reference. And althought it has a lot of good text, dealing with each great studio from A to Z, it's still worths more for the beautiful images
Feb 21, 2008 Dave-O rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: artists, cartoonists
A gorgeous book about an innovative time when animated cartoons were made in the so-called 'UPA Style' in the 1950s and 1960s. The leaps and strides in design in these films shook things up by casting aside often prohibitive naturalism that was the dominant cartoon style up to then. Though not always successful in terms of storytelling, the slickly styled cartoons are the forerunners of pop and superflat. These cartoons are so influential to so many artists today, its near-overwhelming to finall ...more
Jesse Bray
Jul 21, 2012 Jesse Bray rated it it was amazing
I love love love this book! This book is a must have for any designer, or visual story teller. The author gives an interesting A to Z for what modern studios of the time were doing. This book not only helps you look back at how the craft has changed but also how design has become the driving force behind every medium. I have read this book over a dozen times and each time I notice something fresh and inspiring.
Sep 16, 2015 Stef rated it liked it
I really love this style of art -- it's very playful, creative, and "design-y." This book served as a nice introduction and provided some interesting facts I didn't know, although I wish it gave more insight into the art itself. There wasn't much context to accompany the photos of the work that was created.
Feb 22, 2007 Rebecca rated it it was amazing
This is a great resource for anyone interested in the history of animation and graphic story telling. It's a fun read, but also very informative and thought-provoking history/encyclopedia on the development of cartoon animation styles in the 1950s and 1960s. Great collection of images, too.
Sep 17, 2015 TrumanCoyote rated it really liked it
Unfortunately the author is a definite liability here: unsmiling, snobby and bookish (everything you don't want to see on this subject). But the art is simply wonderful: whimsical, winsome and charming to the utmost degree. :)
Jesse Hebert
Jun 12, 2011 Jesse Hebert rated it really liked it
Shelves: film
A concise history with a fantastic range of samples, cells, and sketches. A very worthwhile read, compiling all the major studios and personalities involved in this transformative era of animation. Recommended for anyone with an interest in animation history.
Nov 06, 2008 Annette rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I find constant inspiration in this book!
May 09, 2011 Scott rated it it was amazing
A must-read for fans of cartoons and modern art.
Craven Lovelace
Sep 30, 2007 Craven Lovelace rated it it was amazing
Highly recommended. The book is both a fount of hard-to-come-by information and eye candy of the first order.
Oct 14, 2007 Lindsay marked it as to-read
I got this for Christmas last year and haven't felt like I've had the proper time to devote to sitting down with this beautiful thing. Hopefully this Christmas I will peruse it's pages.
Tim Decker
excellent !
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