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From Doodles to Pixels: Over One Hundred Years of Spanish Animation

From Doodles to Pixels: Over One Hundred Years of Spanish Animation - Programs 3 & 4

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Friday 2/3
7:00 pm
$10 General Public
$8 Students & Seniors
FREE IHP Members & Residents
FREE Penn ID Holders (at box office only)

FOR FILMS AND EVENTS PRESENTED BY IHP, Tickets ARE Also Available From the IHP Box Office, which is normally open Tue-Sat from noon-8pm (or, for events outside of those times, from one hour before until one hour after the scheduled starting time).  
call 215.895.6590. 

From Doodles to Pixels - Program 3: Modern Times

Together with industrial development and the expanding middle class, advertising began to flourish and found a language in animation that was able to attract these new consumers. Estudios Moro, based in Madrid, became the company for advertising films in Spain, producing thousands of animated and live action commercials, created by such names as Pablo Núñez, Paul Casalini, Marcel Breuil and Francisco Macián. A North American treatment was the order of the day, but was given a more stylish, modern and jazzy look, similar to that of the UPA studio. The illustrator José Luis Moro and his producer brother, Santiago, best reflect this trend, and together wrote one of the most exciting pages of Spain’s popular culture. Some of the best work to come out of Moro highlights this programme, whether from its stock of internationally acclaimed commercials or the unforgettable Vamos a la cama (1965). Other work focuses on ensuing decades with films by Robert Balser, Julio Taltavull, and, closer to home, Isabel Herguera, Adriana Navarro, Carles Porta and Miguel Gallardo.

Estudios Moro commercials, 1954-1964, 16 mins.

Vamos a la cama, José Luis Moro, 1965, 36 seconds

El sombrero, Robert Balser, 1964, 8 mins.

La doncella guerrera, Julio Taltavull, 1974, 11 mins.

William Wilson, Jorge Dayas, 1999, 10 mins.

La gallina ciega, Isabel Herguera, 2005, 7 mins.

Las vidas ejemplares, Carles Porta, 2008, 11 mins.

El viaje de María, Miguel Gallardo, 2010, 6 mins.

Vía Tango, Adriana Navarro, 2013, 3 mins.

Onemoretime, José González, Tonet Calabuig y Elisa Martínez, 2014, 5 mins.

Program approx. 82 min.

All audiences.

followed by

From Doodles to Pixels - Program 4: Macián, the Maestro

A distinguished Spanish animator, Francisco Macián (Barcelona, 1929-1976) created his own studio in Barcelona in 1955 where he created commercials for Estudios Moro. In 1966 he directed his first feature: El mago de los sueños (The Dream Wizard), inspired by Andersen’s fairy tale Ole Lukøje. This story and its characters La Familia Telerín became popular in Spain thanks to a promotional film Vamos a la cama (1965) for TVE (Televisión Española). Macián’s film, full of Disney references, was driven by the work of Salvador Mestres, Jaume Vila, Jordi Gim, Albert Rué and Carmelo Garmendia y Vicar (also the creator of the El mago character), as well as the modern and identifiable character designs by José Luis Moro. The soundtrack features children’s voices as well as artists from the era like Los 3 Sudamericanos, Chicho Gordillo, Ennio Sangiusto and Los de la Torre. Josep Solà wrote the music and despite the fact that this was his first opera and considering the technical difficulties they ran into during production, it’s some of the most well-loved music from Spanish animation history. Two of Macián’s commercials from the ‘50s will be screened before the film.

Buena mesa (aceite Koipe), Francisco Macián, 1955-57, 1 min.

Sinfonía escarlata (tomate Corchero), Francisco Macián, 1958, 1 min.

El mago de los sueños, Francisco Macián, 1966, 70 mins.

Program approx. 76 min.

All audiences

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 coproduction 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.