Wild Minds: The Artists and Rivalries That Inspired the Golden Age of Animation

Wild Minds: The Artists and Rivalries That Inspired the Golden Age of Animation

In 1911, famed cartoonist Winsor McCay debuted one of the first animated cartoons, based on his sophisticated newspaper strip "Little Nemo in Slumberland," itself inspired by Freud's recent research on dreams. McCay is largely forgotten today, but he unleashed an art form, and the creative energy of artists from Otto Messmer and Max Fleischer to Walt Disney and Warner Bros.' Chuck Jones. Their origin stories, rivalries, and sheer genius, as Reid Mitenbuler skillfully relates, were as colorful and subversive as their creations--from Felix the Cat to Bugs Bunny to feature films such as Fantasia--which became an integral part and reflection of American culture over the next five decades.Pre-television, animated cartoons were aimed squarely at adults; comic preludes to movies, they were often "little hand grenades of social and political satire." Early Betty Boop cartoons included nudity; Popeye stories contained sly references to the injustices of unchecked capitalism. "During its first half-century," Mitenbuler writes, "animation was an important part of the culture wars about free speech, censorship, the appropriate boundaries of humor, and the influence of art and media on society." During WWII it also played a significant role in propaganda. The Golden Age of animation ended with the advent of television, when cartoons were sanitized to appeal to children and help advertisers sell sugary breakfast cereals.

Wild Minds is an ode to our colorful past and to the creative energy that later inspired The Simpsons, South Park, and BoJack Horseman.

Title:Wild Minds: The Artists and Rivalries That Inspired the Golden Age of Animation
ISBN:9780802129383
Format Type:

    Wild Minds: The Artists and Rivalries That Inspired the Golden Age of Animation Reviews

  • Cristie Underwood

    Wow! Who knew that the history of animation was so interesting? I couldn't put this down. The rivalries were epic. I didn't know that animation was geared towards adults pre-television. I always thoug...

  • Hymie Shiksa

    fabulous work!superb: research, writing, thoroughness, edifyingeven if you don't have a deep love for animation, this work is still worth reading....

  • J Earl

    Wild Minds: The Artists and Rivalries That Inspired the Golden Age of Animation by Reid Mitenbuler is both an entertaining and informative read. This will appeal to more than just those interested in ...

  • Michael Reilly

    This is a well told story of American animation from Winsor McCay's 1914 "Gertie The Dinosaur" to the 1972 release of "Fritz The Cat", the first X-Rated cartoon. Walt Disney was at the center of the s...

  • Alan Braswell

    "Ingenious ideas often seem simple and that their genius seeming simple when the act is actually very complex." Wild Minds by Reid Mitenbuler shows how ingenious ideas came to the forefront in the wor...

  • Sara M

    This documentary of a book chronicles economic, political, and social climates that unfold as the evolution of moving pictures grows from its infancy.As someone who got short changed in holistic histo...

  • Ashley Rossetto

    Wow. I absolutely loved this account of the earliest years of animation. As someone who normally cannot get all the way through non-fiction books, I devoured this one and wish there was more. (Thank y...

  • Jennifer Schultz

    Read if you: Want to learn more about the non-Disney history of animation (Disney is defiinitely included, though!) . I've read several Disney biographies and books about the history of Disney animati...

  • Jessica

    A rich history of things I had never considered about animation's roots and innovations. Not only do I have context for the lives and rivalries of the earliest animators, I also have insight into why ...

  • Judy Aulik

    Covers the history of the big three--Disney, Warner Bros., and Fleischer--studios, plus a bit on upstarts UPA and Jay Ward. For a reader who's deeply into the topic, there's not much new, but the book...