From Doodles to Pixels: Over One Hundred Years of Spanish Animation
From Doodles to Pixels: Over One Hundred Years of Spanish Animation - Programs 1 & 2
Tonight’s programs will be introduced by Professor Michael Solomon of Romance Languages Department and Hispanic & Portuguese Studies at the University of Pennsylvania.
From Doodles to Pixels - Program 1: Doodles
The program starts out with a short by Segundo de Chomón, the illustrious pioneer who worked in Spain, France and Italy. His short, The Gold Spider, is one of the most admirable pieces in his filmography with some stunning animation sequences for the time. Some vintage promotional spots using nitrate film were collected for this event, like Radio RCA (around 1935) by Enrique Ferrán, created in Barcelona during the Second Spanish Republic. A few ads by the productive Mr. Serra I Massana and other more satirical unknown artists, La bronca and Cambó i l’autonomia (around 1918), were also restored. These films demonstrate the strength of on-screen graphic humor. K-Hito (En los pasillos del congreso, 1932) and José Escobar (El fakir González) were both writers and directors. During this period, political, social comics were all the rage. Later, Javier Mariscal (Chico & Rita) and Calpurnio Pisón, two other popular contemporary cartoonists, started making animation films based on their trademark characters Los Garriris and Cuttlas.
L’Araignée d’or, Segundo de Chomón, 1908, 8 mins.
(A film from the Lobster Collection)
En los pasillos del congreso, K-Hito (Ricardo García), 1932, 2 mins.
Alimentos de régimen Santiveri, Josep Serra i Massana, 1932-1935, 2 mins.
Tabú, colorete en polvo, Josep Serra i Massana, 1933, 1 min.
Radio RCA, Enrique Ferrán, circa 1935, 2 mins.
El fakir González buscador de oro, Joaquim Muntañola, 1942, 8 mins.
Juanito va de caza, Salvador Mestres, 1942, 8 mins.
El cascabel de Zapirón, Josep Escobar, 1943, 8 mins.
Don Cleque flautista, Jaume Baguñà, 1944, 8 mins.
Garabatos: Manolete, Jaume Baguñà y Manuel Díaz, 1943-44, 8 mins.
Los tambores de Fu-Aguarrás, Jaume Baguñà, 1945, 9 mins.
El bueno de Cuttlas, Calpurnio Pisón, 1991, 9 mins.
Amarillo verano, Javier Mariscal, 2013, 5 mins.
Program approx. 81 min.
From Doodles to Pixels - Program 2: Under the Yoke
‘Garbancito de la Mancha’, Arturo Moreno, 1945, 68 mins.
To carry out this project, the Balet y Blay studios brought in cartoonist Arturo Moreno and handed over the script to Julián Pemartín, author of Teoría de la Falange. Garbancito is a young Catholic orphan boy who lives in a barn with his goat Peregrina. One day, the ogre Caravaca kidnaps his friends and just like Don Quixote, he courageously sets off to save them. Even though the film is influenced by the Fleischer brothers and Disney’s Silly Symphonies, the soundtrack composed by Jacinto Guerrero gives it a typically Spanish edge. The film was popular before it even hit the screens, due to the tale written by the same two authors. It was also given a higher budget than live action films made at the time, which was quickly recouped through its range of by-products. Shot in Barcelona with a crew of professionals who were learning as they went along, the film was sent to London for editing. The rolls of film then flew over the blood and fires of Europe one more time, escaping the bombardments, and the feature was released in theaters in 1945.
Program approx. 68 min.
From Doodles to Pixels. Over One Hundred Years of Spanish Animation is a response to the desire to showcase a little known history—that of Spanish animation cinema. Films like Chico & Rita (Javier Mariscal, Fernando Trueba y Tono Errando, 2010), Las aventuras de Tadeo Jones (Enrique Gato, 2012) and Pos Eso (Sam, 2014) have put Spanish animation on the international map, but these examples are just the tip of the iceberg of the talent and years of hard work involved in creating art and industry, in some cases against all the odds. This retrospective is the result of a task of research, revision and recovery of historical material in dialogue with more recent works.
From Doodles to Pixels is a co-production of the Contemporary Cultural Center of Barcelona and Acción Cultural Española that brings together a selection of films animated using diverse techniques that represent turbulent times ranging from the early twentieth century to the present day. It features recurring themes such as links with the world of comic books, reflections of political concerns and dialogue with the visual arts. It’s a story with lots of gaps and isolated landmarks (Europe’s first animated color feature was Garbancito de la Mancha), dotted with forgotten works; for years, it seemed as though Spanish animation hardly existed. This program shows that nothing could be further from the truth. Great care has been taken to choose works representing each time period and trend, as well as highlighting Spain’s idiosyncrasy with all its cultural diversity.
Co-presented with the Cinema Studies Program and Hispanic & Portuguese Studies at the
University of Pennsylvania.
Film programs at International House are funded by The Andy Warhol Foundation for Visual Arts, The Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, and The Wyncote Foundation.