Funny Pictures (Paperback)

Animation and Comedy in Studio-Era Hollywood

By Daniel Ira Goldmark (Editor), Charles Keil (Editor)

University of California Press, 9780520267244, 344pp.

Publication Date: July 21, 2011

Other Editions of This Title:
Hardcover (7/21/2011)

List Price: 34.95*
* Individual store prices may vary.


This collection of essays explores the link between comedy and animation in studio-era cartoons, from filmdom’s earliest days through the twentieth century. Written by a who’s who of animation authorities, Funny Pictures offers a stimulating range of views on why animation became associated with comedy so early and so indelibly, and illustrates how animation and humor came together at a pivotal stage in the development of the motion picture industry. To examine some of the central assumptions about comedy and cartoons and to explore the key factors that promoted their fusion, the book analyzes many of the key filmic texts from the studio years that exemplify animated comedy. Funny Pictures also looks ahead to show how this vital American entertainment tradition still thrives today in works ranging from The Simpsons to the output of Pixar.

About the Author

Daniel Goldmark is Associate Professor of Music at Case Western Reserve University and the author of Tunes for ‘Toons: Music and the Hollywood Cartoon (UC Press). Charlie Keil is Associate Professor of Cinema Studies at the University of Toronto and the author of Early American Cinema in Transition and American Cinema’s Transitional Era (UC Press).

Praise For Funny Pictures: Animation and Comedy in Studio-Era Hollywood

“Anyone seeking understanding of the . . . legacy of Charlie Chaplin, or the sound of funny should read this book, stand up, and cheer.”

— T. Lindvall

“Lucid and readable, and as likely to be appreciated by general film enthusiasts as well as high falutin’ ivory-tower types.”


“[An] eloquent assembly of analyses.”

— Quarterly Review Of Film & Video