Animation History
December 11, 2017 posted by Jerry Beck

Cartoons Considered For An Academy Award – 1979

This week: 1979

The nominees were:

DREAM DOLL Bob Godfrey & Zlatko Grgic [View]

IT’S SO NICE TO HAVE A WOLF AROUND THE HOUSE Paul Fierlinger [View]

And the Oscar went to:

EVERY CHILD (NFB) Eugene Fedorenko. [View]

The nominees this year were quite strong. Bob Godfrey’s adult cartoon, Dream Doll, was sophisticated and witty. Paul Fierlinger (and Jim Thurman) provided an appealing adaptation of Harry Allard’s Wolf, a parable with an important underlying message. Derek Lamb and Eugene Federenko’s Every Child was also unique, entertaining, and also contained a heart-felt message.

Every Child follows an unwanted baby who is passed from house to house until he is taken in and cared for by two homeless men. The film is the Canadian contribution to an UNESCO’s International Year of The Child initiative (1979). It illustrates one of the ten principles of the Declaration of Children’s Rights: every child is entitled to a name and a nationality. Lamb’s concept was clever, Federenko’s animation was bold, skillful and fun. Les Mimes Électriques (aka Canadian actors Bernard Carez and Raymond Pollender) provide all the music and sound effects just using their voices.

On April 14th, 1980 at the Dorothy Chandler Pavillion, Telly Savalas and Lauren Hutton presented the Oscar for Short Film (Animated) for Every Child to producer Derek Lamb (accompanied on stage by director Eugene Fedorenko). Here’s the video, below:


And so we continue our ongoing research into what other cartoons were submitted to the Academy for Oscar consideration but failed to make the cut. In 1979, there were 36 entries. Submitted, screened, but NOT nominated were:

Academy_Award_trophy175ASPARAGUS
NIGHT FLIGHTS*
NO, NO PICKLE
SKY DANCE
SMILE FOR AUNTIE
STALK OF THE CELERY MONSTER
THIS IS YOUR MUSEUM SPEAKING
A VIEW FROM ABOVE*
WE THINK THE WORLD IS ROUND
THE CASK OF AMONTILLDO
CONFESSIONS OF A STARDREAMER
GOING TO HEAVEN*
KING TUT GOES TO McDONALDS*
LADY AND THE LAMP
LOG DRIVERS WALTZ
THE MOUNTAIN*
SCHEHERAZADE*
SKYLIGHT*
TO TRY AGAIN…AND SUCCEED
THE WIZARD OF SPEED AND TIME
ZBIGNIEW IN LOVE*
ANIMALYMPICS – WINTER GAMES
BANJO THE WOODPILE CAT
THE BEARD
BOOM*
CHAIRMEN
FREEFALL
HARPYA
THE INVITATION*
LIFE AND DEATH*
THE LITTLE PRINCE
THE MAGIC FLUTE
MR. PASCAL

* Those marked above with an asterisk are films we could not find video or information on. All others are embed below

Here’s the documentation:

With these posts we ask that you put yourself in the place of the nominating committee – which of the films submitted would you have nominated? Which cartoon should have won? For your edification and viewing pleasure, we have found embeds (below) for 21 of the qualified submissions that the Academy screened, but didn’t make the cut.

Enjoy the show!


ASPARAGUS – Suzan Pitt

Suzan Pitt’s still controversial, erotic experimental film.


NO, NO PICKLE – Jon Wokuluk

I actually posted this a few weeks ago to illustrate Wokuluk’s style. No, No Pickle = No, No Nomination.


SKY DANCE – Faith Hubley


SMILE FOR AUNTIE – Gene Deitch

Children’s book adaptation for Weston Woods. Made me smile.


STALK OF THE CELERY MONSTER – Tim Burton

Tim Burton student film from Cal Arts. Partial pencil test, partial sound, all-Burton.


THIS IS YOUR MUSEUM SPEAKING – Lin Smith

A night watchman, with his dog Fang, discovers that a museum is not just a collection of dusty old artifacts.


WE THINK THE WORLD IS ROUND – Rudy Larriva

Now here’s a real oddity. A Hanna Barbera production; it seems to be a sponsored film – perhaps sponsored by Spain and/or NASA(??). Voices by Cesar Romero, Janis Paige, Sidney Miller and Sterling Holloway. Was telecast (I think) in 1984, and released on video in 1992.


THE CASK OF AMONTILLDO – Bernard Wilets

Independent filmmaker Wilets takes a whack at an Edgar Allen Poe story… created for the educational film market.


CONFESSIONS OF A STARDREAMER – John Canemaker

John Canemaker’s exhilarating examination of an actress (Diane Gardner), who talks about her struggles in the world of show business, while colorful, animated images comment on, mirror, and probe the hidden meanings of her words.


LADY AND THE LAMP – John Lasseter

John Lasseter’s Cal Arts student film.


LOG DRIVERS WALTZ – John Weldon

A pleasant illustrated music film. Almost a quintessential NFB film.


TO TRY AGAIN…AND SUCCEED – Sam Weiss

Orson Welles narrates this Bosustow parable; animated by Bill Littlejohn, Walt Pergoy does the backgrounds.


THE WIZARD OF SPEED AND TIME – Mike Jittlov

Cool stuff.


ANIMALYMPICS – WINTER GAMES – Steven Lisberger

I assume they submitted the winter sections (at approx. 37:00 in). Look at the names in the credits: Brad Bird, Bill Kroyer, Roger Allers, Dan Haskett, and on and on… incredible!

To View clip – Click Here


BANJO THE WOODPILE CAT _ Don Bluth

You all know the story. This was created in Bluth’s garage on nights and weekends while the staff worked at Disney. Later, after the crew left Disney this short was sold to ABC as a TV special.


THE BEARD – Ian Emes

No doubt about it. Emes was a VERY cool animator.


CHAIRMEN – Jean-Thomas Bedard

An NFB film, I believe.


HARPYA – Raoul Servais

From Belgian filmmaker, animator and comics artist Raoul Servais.


THE LITTLE PRINCE – Will Vinton


THE MAGIC FLUTE – Luzatti/Gianini


MR. PASCAL – Alison DeVere


The earlier posts in this series: 1948, 1951, 1952, 1953, 1954, 1955, 1956, 1957, 1958, 1959, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1977 and 1978.

(Once again, super-special thanks to Chris Sobieniak – and Mark Kausler)

25 Comments

  • I was hoping to find more about “King Tut Goes to McDonalds” but all I’ve discovered is it was X-rated and a stop-motion, clay animation film. The Ann Arbor Film Cooperative showed it in 1980. I can’t find a copyright for it.

  • ZBIGNIEW IN LOVE was a student film by UCLA grad Erin Libby. I’ve found showings of it in L.A. and Boston. The Globe simply states the plot is Zbigniew falls in love with his own shadow. It was a four-minute film scored by Jerry Helbling, according to the US Copyright Office.

  • Good to see THE LITTLE PRINCE included. Today this is considered by many fans of Vinton claymation as their best work. Key voice Cliff Robertson was struggling for work in front of cameras during this period after exposing (two years earlier) the great David Begelman embezzlement scandal at Columbia Pictures. Tinsel Town has a way of turning their backs on the overly honest when the effects rock the industry. It is possible, not certain, that his name included in the credits prevented this from getting nominated like last year’s RIP VAN WINKLE.

    • Quite a shame if that’s true. This short deserved to be nominated all its own.

  • CHAIRMEN is in fact NFB: https://www.nfb.ca/film/chairmen/

    • Nice to get an upgrade here. The NFB’s got a lot of great gems for everyone to view at their site!

  • John Lasseter won a Student Academy Award for LADY AND THE LAMP.

    • Also won it for NITEMARE the next year

  • I loved Every Child including the fantastic voice over six by Les Mime Electriques (The Electric Mimes) including the two scenes including the spoiled brat dog who puts on a Über tantrum when the Little One moves with his elderly owners and when a young woman next next door get the foundling and when her boyfriend see the infant goes into a operatic rage with her and at the end of the scene she sings “I Will Wait For No One ” by Michel LeGrande as she abandoned the infant and the bratty dog felt very guilty on what he did in the first place.

    And The Log Driver’s Waltz was part of a series of animated shorts called Vignettes and the music from the cartoon was from composer who writes The Blackfly and would become a animated short for NFB Canada in the future.

  • Future Oscar winner Joan Gratz’s animated clouds elevate Vinton’s The Little Prince.

    • She also did THE CREATION which was nominated two years later

  • Asparagus was shown with Eraserhead and both are on Criterion: https://www.criterion.com/current/posts/4740-on-the-channel-a-match-made-in-midnight-movie-heaven

  • ASPARAGUS looked hypnotically beautiful on the big screen when I saw it on 35mm back in February even if I haven’t been able to process all the strange, metaphorical imagery I was watching.

    MR PASCAL is the middle entry in what is considered to be a trilogy of personal films by Alison DeVere, who’s career stretches back to working as a BG designer at Halas and Batchelor in the 50s. The others being CAFE BAR (1974) and the more well-known BLACK DOG (1987). Both MR PASCAL and THE BLACK DOG have been recently digitally remastered and will be included in a series of theatrical programmes at the BFI celebrating British animated shorts sometime next year.

    • Nice they did that at the BFI. Reminded I have a 35mm copy of Cafe Bar myself. The three films by her are certainly VERY personal pieces, covering different subjects like faith, perception, dreams and desires.

  • In the case of the Winter Games portion of Animalympics, the best I find out there is this NBC promo. Too bad nobody seems to have recorded the special in general, as it might be interesting to see how much it differs from the compiled feature we know today.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MI2xIv8fB2U

    No doubt about it. Emes was a VERY cool animator.

    Probably why Pink Floyd played his “French Windows” at their concerts!
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_an94CevKTY

    This is the first time I saw MR. PASCAL, but I do remember de Vere’s work pretty well from her later effort, THE BLACK DOG. I feel her work doesn’t get as much appreciation as it should.

  • Though it may sport a “Hanna-Barbera Presents” logo at the head in this video iteration, ‘We Think the World is Round’ was in fact done by essentially the core of the Filmation studio around 1978 under the supervision of staff director Kay Wright, whose name is on the film as producer. Word at that time was that Broadway star Janis Paige (who contributes a voice) was actually the major financial backer of this venture and the main reason that it got made. The project was done as an independent freelance gig and just happened to use so many Filmation staffers because the late Mr. Wright worked with all of them and knew them well. There was talk among those who had worked on it of hoping that the short might garner an Oscar nomination but it turned out to be only that.

    • Thanks Tom, I figured it was some sort of moonlighting effort of that studio given the names associated in the credits when I was looking into this.

  • It’s fascinating into how both John Lasseter and Tim Burton got started. Too bad that both of them are in decline in terms of putting out a decent product.

  • Just a small correction, Jerry; you have the title of one film wrong. Instead of THE WIZARD OF TIME AND SPACE it should be THE WIZARD OF SPEED AND TIME – as you can see at 0:19 in the embed you posted of it.

    • You are absolutely correct. I don’t know how I made that boo-boo! I’ve corrected it above – and you win a no-prize! Thanks!

  • I thought Banjo definetly deserved to be nominated. It was a good short.

  • Thanks for this 1979 Animation Oscar clip. I have never seen Eugene Fedorenko in person, or in moving pictures. He and Rose Newlove made one of the great animated shorts, VILLAGE OF IDIOTS. After that Eugene disappeared. Does anyone know where he is and what he is doing in 2017?

    • Nice of you to drop in Marv, I wish I could help you here but I don’t know where or what he might be doing right now.

  • Did ANIMALYMPICS premiere at the Miami Film Festival? Does anyone know?

  • Animalympics on Internet Archive https://archive.org/details/Animalympics_201703

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