Talking Animals and Other People

Shamus Culhane, Author St. Martin's Press $24.95 (463p) ISBN 978-0-312-78473-7
Culhane's frank, conversational autobiography describes his 50 years as one of the artists who helped bring animated cartooning from its flip-the-pages beginnings to its present levelin the author's view, that of fine art. From an impoverished New York boyhood, Culhane worked his way to become a novice with a California-based genius named Walt Disney, who in time chose him to animate the opening ""Hi-Ho'' sequence in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, the film that built the Disney empire and one that permanently influenced the animated film industry. Before and after Disney, Culhane worked with pioneers like Max Fleischer and Walt Lantz, as well as legendary artists Grim Natwick, Norm Ferguson and others. The account follows the technical growth of animation up to today's computerized wonders, which the author praises. Students and nostalgia buffs will treasure his book, for different reasons. The assessment of Disney is fine-tuned and fair, and while Culhane's post-Disney career is less interesting, the tale of the making of Snow White remains richly amusing. Illustrations. (March 31)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1986
Release date: 01/01/1986
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