Sunday, 9 October 2011
Sunday, 2 October 2011
Astro Boy is the first, most popular Japanese television series that embodied the aesthetic that later became familiar worldwide as anime. It originated as a manga in 1952 by Osamu Tezuka, revered in Japan as the "God of Manga."
This cartoon is widely regarded as Chuck Jones’ greatest masterpiece, and many film critics, animation fans, and filmmakers consider this to be the greatest of all the cartoons Warner Bros. released. It has topped many Top Ten lists of the greatest animated cartoons of all time. It was rated by a panel of over 1000 animators in Jerry Beck's 1994 book The 50 Greatest Cartoons: As Selected by 1,000 Animation Professionals as the #1 greatest cartoon of all time.
In 1992, it became the first cartoon short to be deemed "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant" by the United States Library of Congress, and thus was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry. Duck Amuck and One Froggy Evening were also later inducted into the registry, making Chuck Jones the only animator with three shorts thus recognized. It is currently the only Bugs Bunny short listed in the National Film Registry.
According to director Chuck Jones, this film demonstrated for the first time that animation can create characters with a recognizable personality, independent of their appearance, or voice. Although in the end, the animator is revealed to be Daffy's rival Bugs Bunny (who famously declares "Ain't I a stinker?"), according to Jones the ending is just for comedic value: Jones (the director) is speaking to the audience directly, asking "Who is Daffy Duck anyway? Would you recognize him if I didthis to him? What if he didn't live in the woods? Didn't live anywhere? What if he had no voice? No face? What if he wasn't even a duck anymore?" In all cases, it is obvious that Daffy is still Daffy; not all cartoon characters can claim such distinctive personality.
In 1999 the film was deemed "culturally significant" by the United States Library of Congress and selected for preservation in the National Film Registry. This was the second of three animated shorts by Jones to receive this honor (the others are 1957's What's Opera, Doc? and 1955's One Froggy Evening). Jones has the distinction of being the only director (as of 2006) with three animated shorts in the registry.