In 1994 Jerry Beck edited the book, The 50 best cartoons: selected by 1,000 animation professionals, in which experts were challenged to rank the best cel-animated shorts ever made. To no one’s surprise, the experts chose 10 Warner Bros. animations created by Chuck Jones. They also gave a nod to Fleischer Studios’ original Superman cartoon, Disney’s first animation featuring Mickey Mouse (1928’s “Steamboat Willie”) and the World War II propaganda film “Der Fuehrer’s Face” starring Donald Duck.
Yes, the big animation studios (Warner Bros., Disney, etc.) dominate the list. But a few “indies” manage to peep in there. Take, for example, Winsor McCay’s groundbreaking 1914 creation “Gertie the Dinosaur”. Or Bambi meets Godzilla. A student film made by Marv Newland in 1969, Bambi meets Godzilla (above) only takes 90 seconds. Of which 48 seconds are spent on the opening credits and 27 seconds on the closing credits, leaving only 12 seconds of “action”, which is mostly silence. The timing is the funny thing.
The short film circulated in theaters across the US, screened before screenings of Philippe de Broca’s feature film Hearts king. Over the years, the publicly available versions of Bambi meets Godzilla became worn and faded. So in 2013, Coda Gardner produced a frame-by-frame HD recreation. You can watch it below.
Note: An earlier version of this post appeared on our site in 2016.
The National Film Board of Canada hosts Newland’s more recent films, including 2005’s “Tête à Tête à Tête” and 2011’s “CMYK”.
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