Cartoons on the Bay 2003
International Festival and Conference on Television Animation
7th edition Positano (Italy) April 9-13 2003

TV Specials for All Seasons ||Animation For an Adult Audience ||The New Initiative for Minor Rights ||Notes on showcase ||Studios of the Year: The Animation Band and Green Light Media AG ||Pitch me Italia/ Italian Competition ||Special Guests: Making Cartoons, Meeting with Lastrego and Testa

An Animation Lesson: Animation between Art and Industry/ Jules Engel

Animation is not a question of drawing, it’s a question of timing” Jules Engel

Presented by Cindy Keeler (from

Engel worked in UPA. Did a lot of experimentation and he was the mentor of many renowned animators today. He worked on Gerald McBoingboing, Mr. Magoo and Madeline, and worked with Oscar Fishinger and other masters of animation. He worked with Disney on the problem of the mushroom dance, and the Russian dance, in Fantasia (1939). He did storyboards for Bambi, again with Disney in 1940. Then he joined the United Production of America (1949) who worked on intelligent non-exploitive narratives.

Art was UPA's main aim in their union. They used devices of modern art and of design, (graphic design for instance, and their page layout). UPA were 150 artists all “artistically integrated”. No one had a specialization, like a background artist, or a revisionist, but rather worked in “integration”. At that point, animations in the United States were divided in tow poles: Disney and UPA.

Engel made documentaries for certain artists, as well as being a lithograph, and a painter. Since 1969, he has been teaching in Cal Art, California, where he developed the Experimental Animation program there.

Presented by Jane Endel
Engel's influence was mostly grounded in design sensitivities of an industrial nature. Such examples of those influences are the Dada movement, (modernists 1920’s). The Dada redefined the non-utilitarian realm of art [Man Ray]. Engel was very much influenced by their non-linear thinking and their automatic drawing. Man Ray said “the fine art of time is rhythm and light”.

Engel was also influenced by the Flux movement (from decorative to abstraction) and by ballet, and body performances. He said, in relation to dance, “some of us came ready-made”.

So as to conclude, the UPA studio was more interested in the visual. Modernist such as Matisse and Picasso inspired it. It strived to integrate animation and the visual gag, rather then the literature and the gag.

//lena merhej, 2003