Twenty five new additions to the National Film Registry were announced today by The Library of Congress. Among the 2013 honorees, are several films containing animation – and one feature based on a comic strip.
Under the terms of the National Film Preservation Act, each year the Librarian of Congress names 25 films to the National Film Registry that are “culturally, historically or aesthetically” significant. The films must be at least 10 years old. The Librarian makes the annual registry selections after reviewing hundreds of titles nominated by the public and conferring with Library film curators and the distinguished members of the National Film Preservation Board (NFPB).
The list of previous inductees is posted here. Already included from the animation world are such titles as Tex Avery’s Magical Maestro (1952), Chuck Jones’ What’s Opera Doc? (1957), Disney’s Fantasia (1940), Winsor McCay’s Gertie The Dinosaur (1912), and UPA’s Gerald McBoing Boing (1950). The complete list of this years selections are here.
Among this year’s inductees:
The Hole (1962) produced by John and Faith Hubley. Winner of an Academy Award for Best Animated Short, John Hubley directed this film with an improvised dialogue track by Dizzy Gillespie and George Matthews; Animation by Bill Littlejohn and Gary Mooney.
The King Of Jazz (1930) was a spectacular two-color Technicolor musical feature from Universal Pictures, starring musician Paul Whiteman. At the beginning of the film, the story of how Whiteman was crowned “King Of Jazz” is told via a cartoon, in an sequence by Walter Lantz. This animation sequence was the first ever produced in Technicolor – and listen carefuly, Whiteman’s voice is none other than Bing Crosby! And yes, that’s Oswald The Lucky Rabbit at 2:22.
Mary Poppins (1964) – seems almost too coincidental that Walt Disney’s Poppins would be recognized this year, but it’s a great film and one of its memorable highlights is the animation sequence – which was directed by studio veteran Hamilton Luske.
It should also be noted among this years inductees that Ella Cinders (1926) was based on a 1925-1961 comic strip by writer Bill Conselman and artist Charles Plumb – and that Forbidden Planet (1956) featured an invisible “Id Monster” briefly seen via animation by Disney’s Joshua Meador.