Jerry Beck is one of the leading animation historians working today. If you’ve ever seen him speak on the subject or read any of his books, you know that his depth of knowledge is only matched by his love for the art form. Beck will be co-hosting an evening of classic animation on Turner Classic Movies tomorrow evening starting at eight o’clock and judging from the lineup, I think it is something that you’ll want to check out even if you aren’t a big animation fan.
Beck and perennial TCM host Robert Osborne will be presenting and discussing such classics as Fleischer Studios only two feature length films, Gullivers Travels (8 pm Eastern) and Mr. Bug Goes To Town (9:30 pm Eastern), a selection UPA’s Jolly Frolics shorts (11 pm Eastern), some early silent animated shorts (midnight Eastern) and the 1926 German feature The Adventures of Prince Achmed (1 am Eastern). The last one I have not seen, but judging by the still below, I can’t imagine it being anything less than stunning to look at. Set your DVR.
It’s nice to see classic animation getting its due on television. Having grown up in a time when so much of the animation output of Hollywood’s Golden Age was readily available as part of many television stations’ programming, I find it disheartening that it is so rarely presented now, even on cable outlets that purport to be geared towards animation. (Yes, Cartoon Network, I’m looking at you.)