Twenty five new additions to the National Film Registry were announced today by The Library of Congress. Among the 2015 honorees, are three animated films and one live action short based on animation pioneer Winsor McCay’s classic 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.
This year’s animated inductees are:
Winsor McCay’s “Dreams of a Rarebit Fiend” (1906) Based on animator Winsor McCay’s popular comic strip, this short live action fantasy by film pioneer Edwin S. Porter employed groundbreaking trick photography, including some of the earliest uses of double exposure in American cinema.
George Pal’s Puppetoon, “John Henry and the Inky-Poo” (1946) George Pal created this short film after the NAACP and Ebony magazine criticized his offensively stereotyped Jasper series of cartoons. The African-American folk hero John Henry is a “steel-driving man,” hammering into rock and earth to build tunnels and lay track in a race against the locomotive “Inky-Poo.”
Walt Disney’s “Silly Symphony, “The Old Mill”(1937) Directed by Wilfred Jackson, the film acted as a testing ground for the multiplane camera, which added three-dimensional depth.
Walt Disney’s “The Story of Menstruation” (1946) Sponsored by Kimberly-Clark, the makers of Kotex, this animated film was produced by Walt Disney through his Educational and Industrial Film Division and was distributed free to schools and girls’ clubs.