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Saturday, 2 April 2011

Animation Timeline - Ladislaw Starewicz

Fig. 1 Portrait of Ladislaw Starewicz

Fig. 3 The Mascot (1934) Film Still

Starewicz began making 3D stop motion animated films in 1910 and continued creating them until his death in 1965. His films, although aimed at children, are what we today would call strange because of the use of often grotesque characters and situations. His puppets include quite realistic, minimally anthropomorphic animals such as frogs and insects, rabbits, toys and demonic vegetables.

Fig. 3 The Mascot (1934) Film Still

"The Mascot" (1934) is easily the best-known of Starewicz' films. The film’s plot is simple and mainly functions as a forum for Starewicz to show off his stunningly accomplished puppet animation. In comparison one of Walt Disney films Toy Story which was nearly 30 years after Starewicz The Mascot, also takes place in a world of animated toys, but “The Mascot” appears the opposite. This is because “many of Walt Disney’s films felt truly sinister in the same way as Starewicz’s creations, but this film pushes farther into the inherent nastiness found in most fairy tales than Walt ever did.” (Heilman, 2001)

Fig. 4 The Cameraman's Revenge (1912) Film Still

“Like all of the greatest filmmakers, Starewicz did more than just create films; he used the craft of cinema to invent an utterly unique, self-contained world, one that reflected his own unadulterated artistic vision. His films could be, surreal, funny, disturbing, and deeply touching, sometimes all within the same scene.” (Kewley, 2010). It is unclear whether his animations are intended for either children or adults because they seem to be somewhere in the middle of disturbing adult darkness and innocent childlike dream.  This is some what of unfamiliar incurrence in his films and that of other filmmakers that he has gone on to influence like the likes of Tim Burton, Jan Svankmajer, the Quay brothers. Starewicz utilises the method of stop motion throughout this film and through his career to create unique animations

List of Illustrations

Figure. 1 Starewicz, Ladislaw (1882 – 1965) Portrait of Ladislaw Starewicz. (Accessed on 02/04/2011)
Figure. 2 Starewicz, Ladislaw (1934) The Mascot Film Still. (Accessed on 02/04/2011)
Figure. 3 Starewicz, Ladislaw (1934) The Mascot Film Still. (Accessed on 02/04/2011)
Figure. 4 Starewicz, Ladislaw (1912) The Cameraman's Revenge Film Still. (Accessed on 02/04/2011)


Danks, Adrian (2004) Ladislaw Starewicz and The Mascot. (Accessed on 29/02/2011)
Heilman, Jeremy (2001) The Mascot (Wladyslaw Starewicz) 1933. (Accessed on 29/02/2011)
Kewley, Pat (2010) Love Among the Insects, The Pioneering Animation of Ladislaw Starewicz, One Hundred Years Later. (Accessed on 29/02/2011)

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