I've got a treat here for all those George Pal fans out here. If you are not familiar with Pal, go out and rent the Puppetoons DVD right now. (Also, it's only $10 on Amazon.) You won't be dissapointed! Pal was a Hungarian-born animator who was nominated for 7 Oscars (of which he received one, for his work with the Puppetoons. He also received another for special effects, but I can't seem to find evidence online that he received any others. The page from this book shown below states that he won 6 of them!)
I found this book at a flea market in Rochester, NY. It is a short companion to Pal's feature film, "The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm," as well as to the technique of "Cinerama". If you are unfamiliar with the process (as I was) Cinerama was a moviegoing experience developed in the 50's that was akin to IMAX or other large format film screenings. Check out the wikipedia entry on it - it explains it very well. There is also an illustration from the book explaining the projection setup. Anyone out there ever see a movie in Cinerama??
I have yet to see this George Pal film, as it is mostly live action. I believe that the sequence with most of the animation is "The Cobbler and the Elves." (above)
Apparently the Cinerama camera is an insanely massive thing that shot three cameras simultaneously to create the ultra-wide format of the film. Seriously, check out the picture below...it looks like a refrigerator!! You should also read the notes there on what they did with it, including rolling it down a hill in a drum and mounting it to a 30 ft scaffolding inside the Rosenburg Cathedral!
Also, did you know that 18 year-old Ray Harryhausen got his first job animating at George Pal's studio? Cool! Let me know if you like this kind of stuff. I have a few more books in my collection that I should scan in. (And as a side note, did you notice how nicely this book is laid out? The fonts, photos, illustrations...and it's in really good condition too.)
Portrait of Inventor Dominic Wilcox
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