Seven Minutes: The Life and Death of the American Animated Cartoon

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Seven Minutes is a social and aesthetic history of the “controlled anarchy” of the cartoon, from the first talking Mickeys to the demise of Warners and MGM theatrical productions in 1960. Norman M. Klein follows the scrambling graphics and upside-down ballet of Fleischer’s Betty Boop, Popeye, Superman of the Wolfie cartoons by Tex Avery, of the Bugs and Daffy, Tweetie and Roadrunner cartoons from Warners, of full animation at Disney, of the “whiteness of Snow White”, and of how Mickey Mouse became a logo. ...
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Overview

Seven Minutes is a social and aesthetic history of the “controlled anarchy” of the cartoon, from the first talking Mickeys to the demise of Warners and MGM theatrical productions in 1960. Norman M. Klein follows the scrambling graphics and upside-down ballet of Fleischer’s Betty Boop, Popeye, Superman of the Wolfie cartoons by Tex Avery, of the Bugs and Daffy, Tweetie and Roadrunner cartoons from Warners, of full animation at Disney, of the “whiteness of Snow White”, and of how Mickey Mouse became a logo. Reviewing the graphics, scripts and marketing of each era, he discovers the links between cartoons and live action movies, newspapers, popular illustration, and the entertainment architecture coming out of Disneyland. Klein shows that the cartoon was a perverse juggling act, invaded constantly by economic and political pressures, by marketing for sound, by licensing characters to stave off bankruptcies, by Prohibition, the Great Depression, World War II and the first wave of television.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Norman Klein in his remarkable Seven Minutes: The Life and Death of the American Animated Cartoon has accomplished what is by no means a minor miracle ... the work is erudite, witty, comprehensive and just plain fun.”—Chuck Jones, Animation Director

“A volume which should be on every toon fan’s bookshelf ... genuine food for thought with a mass of fascinating detail.”—Sight and Sound

“This book is an important contribution to the history of American popular culture and a gold mine of suggestive insights into the inner workings of the cartoon business.”—American Historical Review

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780860913962
  • Publisher: Verso Books
  • Publication date: 12/17/1993
  • Pages: 292
  • Product dimensions: 0.10 (w) x 0.10 (h) x 0.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Norman M. Klein is a critic and historian of mass culture, editor of Fragile Moments: A History of Media-Induced Experience, and author of Seven Minutes: The Life and Death of the American Animated Cartoon from Verso. He teaches at the California Institute of the Arts in Los Angeles.
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Preface
The American Theatrical Cartoon, 1928-63 1
Ch. 1 Graphic Narrative: 1928 3
Ch. 2 The Gag 19
Ch. 3 Story 32
Ch. 4 Marketing: Mickey Becomes a Logo, 1930-34 53
Ch. 5 Fleischer: Cities, Machines, and Immigrant Life 59
Ch. 6 The World Upside Down: 1930-33 68
Ch. 7 Machina Versatilis: How the Cartoon Pays Homage to the Machine 75
Ch. 8 What Makes Betty Boop? 81
Ch. 9 How Money Talks in Cartoons 91
Intermission: A Summary of Where Cartoons Go after 1943 106
Ch. 10 Transition toward Full Animation: 1936 110
Ch. 11 Depression Melodrama: Story 122
Ch. 12 The Whiteness of Snow White 139
Ch. 13 Full Animation: Putting Clouds into Exterior Scenes 146
Ch. 14 Production: 1940 156
Ch. 15 The Chase Cartoon: Machina Versatilis 162
Ch. 16 The Advantages of Being Boneless and Incomplete: Daffy Duck (1937-42) and the Zip-Crash School 172
Ch. 17 Citizen Kane, the Cartoon: Screwball Noir, 1941-46 181
Ch. 18 The Anarchy of Wartime Chase Cartoons: Coal Black and de Sebben Dwarfs 186
Ch. 19 1947: Roger Rabbit Then and Now 200
Ch. 20 Chase Cartoons after 1947: Consumer Graphics 206
Ch. 21 Villains and Victims: Timing the Chase 218
Ch. 22 Back to the Animated Line: UPA and the Fifties 229
Ch. 23 From One Screen to the Other: Hanna-Barbera 243
Conclusion: Felix the Cathedral Meets the Swan Hotel 247
Notes 255
Index 274
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