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Master Animator : George Dunning

Year: 1973, 29 mins
Code: CAT-Anim

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George Dunning - artist, illustrator, film animator - here explains his work and his ideas on how motion picture impacts our imagination. He demonstrates some of his drawing techniques, and conducts a brief tour of his studio in England showing how film animation is produced from hand-drawn cells.

This documentary contains several examples from his work including "The Flying Man", "Damon the Mower," the Beatles animated film "The Yellow Submarine" and sketches for a film about Shakespeare's "The Tempest." Dunning discusses techniques that transform drawings and paintings into film, how cells are built up of layers of images from background to foreground details, "peg" animation, the interplay of picture and soundtrack, how he developed the unusual sequential drawings for "Damon the Mower" and his debt to Canadian filmmaker Norman McLaren.

George Dunning's name became known to the wider world in 1968 with the release of the wildly popular and influential Beatlesanimation extravaganza Yellow Submarine, produced by Dunning's company T.V.C. London. He served as the overall director, supervising the army of over 200 artists entrusted with realising the film in the frighteningly brief period of eleven months. He also conceived and took personal charge of the 'Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds' sequence. Photographs and behind-the-scenes footage suggest that throughout production Dunningwas the only animator on the staff who wore a suit.

I came to the Artfilms site following a lead to the Yellow Sub director, George Dunning.  


He was a verifiable genius in the art and business of animation, establishing TV Cartoons (London) with his partner, John  Coates, who after George's passing (1979) went on to make the enigmatic classic, The Snowman (1982 – 26 mins.) –  directed by a former trainee animator of TVC, Dianne Jackson (1941 - 1992). 


George's legacy lives on in the inspiration he personally gave to many of our generation of pre-digital animators. Through Artfilm, for those who can afford this now historical insight into George's personality, they can access a little of who so motivated Dianne and many others.

The DVD/Streaming facility available through your organisation is a rare one indeed.

Thank you.

Wm Taylor Grant (Canada)


Snr. Staff Editor TV Cartoons 1981 – 1998


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