Essay on Animation and Cruikshank Sally Cruikshank

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Sally Cruikshank Sally Cruikshank was born in 1949 in Chatham, New Jersey. She studied art at Smith College, during which she was awarded a scholarship to Yale Summer Art School. It was here that she first began to focus on animation after being encouraged to do so by a classmate (Counts). Upon returning to Smith College for her senior year, she created her first animated short, called "Ducky". Her medium was watercolor and paper. Ducky featured an early version of what would become one of several recurring characters in her works, a duck-like creature named Quasi (Counts). This began her exploration of animation that would lead to recognition for her unique, surreal aesthetic. Sally Cruikshank's works are known for their quirky nature. She enjoys pushing the boundaries of what can happen with animation, using it to distort reality in ways she says are "only limited by what you can draw"(Interview). One of her favorite parts of animating is how free she can be from the rules of reality. With animation one can ignore gravity, bring inanimate objects to life, have animals live like people, and practically anything else imaginable. This is something she likes to explore in her work. She also likes to distort her characters faces, claiming that inconsistencies in how characters are drawn can make them more expressive. She has said that she aims to stay away from the common way of animating motions that most animators have adopted, choosing instead to go with a more "offbeat" way of representing movement that is more in keeping with her surreal style (Interview). Throughout her animations several recurring characters appear, usually Quasi, who first appeared in Ducky, and Anita, who has been described as "Betty Boop with a New Wave wardrobe (Weird)." These characters are both intended to be duck-like, drawing inspiration from Uncle Scrooge comics she read as a child (Interview). Other influences include 1930s Van Buren Studios and Fleischer Studios (Beck), as well as Depression-era "funny animal" cartoons (Underground). Cruikshank's work has been recognized through numerous awards and showings. In 1986, she received the Maya Deren Award. Her films have e been shown in theatres, on TV and cable, and in 1972 museum circuits (Filmography). She has also been featured in a retrospective at the New York MOMA (Underground). Along with success in her independent works, she has found success in the more commercial area of animation. She was responsible for the cartoon hell sequence in Twilight Zone: The Movie, animated music videos for Sesame Street, and from 1972-1981 was the head of the animation department of Snazelle Films. This was a San Francisco based company that produced commercials for Levi's, The Gap, Connie's Shoes, and others (Resume). Cruikshank's best known short is titled "Quasi at the Quackadero". The ten-minute short follows recurring characters Quasi and Anita, as well as a robot named Rollo, as they wander through various…