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The Guide to the John Canemaker Animation Collection
1903-2012
(Bulk 1970-2000)
 MSS.040

Fales Library and Special Collections
Elmer Holmes Bobst Library
70 Washington Square South
3rd Floor
New York, NY 10012
Phone: (212) 998-2596
fales.library@nyu.edu


Fales Library and Special Collections

Collection processed by Robert A. Landau (1992). Updated: Daniel Sokolow (1997), Michael Zimmer (2003-2004), YZ Chin (2008), and Timothy M. Woitas (2013).

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on October 31, 2017
Description is in English.

Biographical Note

John Canemaker (b. 1943) is an internationally recognized independent animator, animation historian,  author,  teacherand  lecturer. In 1980, he began teaching and developing the animation program at New York University, Tisch School of the Arts'Kanbar Institute of Film and Television Department. Since 1988 he has directed the program and is currently a tenured full professor. From 2001-2002 he was Acting Chair of the NYU Undergraduate Film and Television Department.

Raised in Elmira, New York
, Canemaker began an acting career which included off-Broadway and advertising work in New York City from 1961 to 1965. In 1967, after a two-year stint in the Army, Canemaker, with funds from acting assignments in TV commercials (he appeared in over 35 advertisements for major products), obtained his Bachelor of Arts degree from Marymount Manhattan Collegein 1974 and Master of Fine Arts in Film from New York Universityin 1976.

While studying for his Bachelor of Arts degree, Canemaker's childhood interest in animation revived. He began making sponsored animated shorts and wrote the first of more than 100 articles on animation history. His first book, the story of the making of Richard Williams' RAGGEDY ANN and ANDY, was published in 1977 as "The Animated Raggedy Ann and Andy." In 1982, he wrote the introduction to "Treasures of Disney Animation Art," and, in 1987, he published, "Winsor McCay - His Life and Art," and, in 1991, "Felix, the Twisted Tale of the World's Most Famous Cat." There followed "Tex Avery: The MGM Years" and "Before the Animation Begins: The Art and Lives of Disney Inspirational Sketch Artists (both in 1997), "Paper Dreams: The Art and Artists of Disney Storyboards" (1999), "Walt Disney's Nine Old Men and the Art of Animation" (2001), and "The Art and Flair of Mary Blair" (2003). Research material from all of these books now resides in the Fales Library. "Lucy Goes to the Country," a 1998 children's book collaboration with Joseph Kennedy, contains illustrations by Canemaker.

His research in the history of animation inspired two of his own films, REMEMBERING WINSOR McCAY (1976) and OTTO MESSMER and FELIX THE CAT (1977).

Canemaker's filmography includes independently-made animated shorts that are part of the permanent collection of New York's Museum of Modern Art. Among them: THE 40's (1974), STREET FREAKS (1975), CONFESSIONS OF ASTARDREAMER (1978), THE WIZARD'S SON (1981), BOTTOM'S DREAM (1983),CONFESSIONS OF A STAND-UP (1993), BRIDGEHAMPTON (1998), THE MOON AND THE SON: AN IMAGINED CONVERSATION (2004) a 28-minute film about Canemaker's father.

In the early 1980's, Canemaker animated several Children's Television Workshopfilms, TV commercials, and, in 1981, created the animation sequences for the Warner Bros. feature THE WORLD ACCORDING TO GARP. He designed and directed animation sequences in the Academy Award-winning HBOdocumentary YOU DON'T HAVE TO DIE (1988) and the Peabody Award-winning CBSdocumentary BREAK THE SILENCE: KIDS AGAINST CHILD ABUSE (1994).

JOHN CANEMAKER: MARCHING TO A DIFFERENT TOON, a DVD/home video collection of his films, is distributed by Milestone Film & Video/Image Entertainment. In addition, Canemaker writes regularly on animation for the New York Timesand is on-camera and audio commentator for DVD versions of THE FANTASIA ANTHOLOGY, DUMBO, BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, PETER PAN, SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS, CUT-UP: THE FILMS OF GRANT MUNRO, and WINSOR McCAY: THE MASTER EDITION. He has appeared on NBC's TODAY, PBS's NEWS HOUR WITH JIM LEHRER,and ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT, and has lectured throughout the United States and in Brazil, Canada, England, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Slovakia, Spain, Switzerland, and Wales.

For more information, visit: ="http://www.johncanemaker.com">http://www.johncanemaker.com

FILMOGRAPHY: Selected Personal Films:

Missing Title

  1. THE MOON AND THE SON: AN IMAGINED CONVERSATION (2004)
  2. BRIDGEHAMPTON (1998)
  3. CONFESSIONS OF A STAND-UP (1993)
  4. BOTTOM'S DREAM (1983)
  5. THE WIZARD'S SON (1981)
  6. CONFESSIONS OF A STARDREAMER (1978)
  7. OTTO MESSMER AND FELIX THE CAT (1977)
  8. REMEMBERING WINSOR McCAY (1976)
  9. THE 40'S (1974)
  10. STREET FREAKS (1974)
  11. GREED (1974)

FILMOGRAPHY: Selected Sponsored Films:

Missing Title

  1. RAID (1996) - R/Greenberg Assoc.
  2. JET DRY (1996) - R/Greenberg Assoc.
  3. LIVING FOSSILS (1995) - National Geographic Society.
  4. BREAK THE SILENCE: KIDS AGAINST CHILD ABUSE (1994) - CBS special
  5. ANGELS ON ICE (1994) - GMHC psa
  6. SHELL OIL (1994)- R/Greenberg Assoc.
  7. HOW TO GET BLESSED WITHOUT SNEEZING (1993) - Trinity Television
  8. FREE RADICALS (1993) - Este Lauder/Pharmaceuticals
  9. THE CREATIVE SPIRIT (1992) - PBS series
  10. THE GALAXY CLASSROOM PROJECT (1992) - Hughes/Umbrella Ltd.
  11. CIRCUS FOR LIFE (1992) - GMHC psa
  12. SCIENCE EXPERIENCES (1992) - MacMillan McGraw-Hill/Terra
  13. BEHIND THE SCENES (1992) - Learning Designs/PBS.
  14. AIDS DANCE-A-THON (1991) - G.M.H.C. psa
  15. DANCE IN AMERICA - EVERYBODY DANCE NOW! (1991) WNET/13
  16. YOUNG PEOPLE AND RELATIONSHIPS (1991) Channing L. Bete Co.
  17. BISON BINGE (1991) - CTW - 3-2-1 Contact
  18. FLINTSTONES/JETSONS Interactive CD-ROM (1991) - R/Greenberg
  19. HATE ON TRIAL (1991) - WNET/13
  20. KIMBERLY CLARK/ NEW FREEDOM (1990) - Ogilvy & Mather
  21. REQUEST PAY PER VIEW TV (1990) - E.W. Power Agency
  22. WHAT'S UP, DR. RUTH? (1989) - Lifetime Television series
  23. WARNING: DIETS MAY BE HAZARDOUS TO YOUR HEALTH (1989) - HBO special
  24. FOOD `a la FLOYD (1989) - Lifetime Television series
  25. K.C. JONES AND THE QUEST FOR NEVER-ENDING DIAPER DOMINATION (1989) - Huggies
  26. Diapers - Ogilvy & Mather
  27. YOU DON'T HAVE TO DIE (1988) - HBO special
  28. LATE FOR DINNER (1988) - Prod.: Cinemax/New Star
  29. THE HUNGER PROJECT (1988) - THP/The Leland Company
  30. WALT DISNEY/SILVER SCREEN PARTNERS IV(1987) - Duncan & Katz
  31. KOTEX (1987) - Kimberly Clark/Ogilvy & Mather
  32. LYLE LYLE CROCODILE (1987) - Prod.: Michael Sporn Prod./HBO special
  33. WHO'S THAT GIRL? (1987) - Broadcast Arts/Warner Bro. - title
  34. JOHN LENNON SKETCHBOOK (1986) - producer: Yoko Ono
  35. HOLIDAY INN (1986) TV commercial. - Bozell, Jacobs, Kenyon & Eckart
  36. PEE WEE'S PLAYHOUSE (1986) - CBS/Broadcast Arts
  37. THE ADVENTURE (1986) - Michael Sporn/CTW
  38. LITTLE NEMO (1985) - Animated feature. Prod.: Tokyo Movie Shinsha
  39. BRAINGAMES (1984) - HBO series
  40. EFFECTIVE ORAL PRESENTATIONS (1984) - Tower, Perrins, Foster & Crosby
  41. KAZ VS THE GYPSY MOTH (1983) - Chemical Abstracts Inc.
  42. BENATAR (1983) - HBO/Rising Star Inc. - title
  43. CAMPUS COMEDY (1983) - HBO/Rising Star Inc. - title
  44. DNA CONCERTO (1983) - 3-2-1 Contact/CTW
  45. WHAT DO CHILDREN THINK OF WHEN THEY THINK OF THE BOMB? (1983) - PBS special
  46. THE WORLD ACCORDING TO GARP (1982) -Warner Bros.
  47. LAUGHTER IS GOOD MEDICINE (1981) - Prod.: Billy Budd Films
  48. CATCH A RISING STAR'S 10TH ANNIVERSARY (1981) - HBO title
  49. 80 MILLION YEARS AGO (1981) - 3-2-1-Contact/CTW
  50. MUSIC MUSIC MUSIC (1981) - CBS Cable
  51. WOMAN OF THE YEAR (1981) - Kander and Ebb stage musical/Michael Sporn Productions
  52. CAPTAIN KANGAROO'S WAKE-UP (1981) - Bruce Cayard Productions
  53. ROCKY HORROR SHOW (1980) - Robert Fishko Productions
  54. Sesame Street (1980): LETTER "M"; WASH YOUR HANDS; NEEDLE AND THREAD
  55. SNEEZE; HUMMINGBIRD, ME AND MY "M" - Prod.: Bruce Cayard
  56. NETHERLANDS (1979) - Hot Hero Sandwich/NBC. Prod.:Jerry Lieberman
  57. HAPPY BIRTHDAY (1979) - CTW/3-2-1 Contact Prod.: Jerry Lieberman
  58. THE ART OF OSKAR FISHINGER (1977) - CBS Camera Three documentary. Writer and on-camera host: John Canemaker
  59. OSTRICH; KITTY; FLEA (1976) - CTW: The Electric Company - Prod.: Bruce Cayard
  60. THE BOYS FROM TERMITE TERRACE (1975) - CBS Camera Three documentary. Writer and on-camera host: John Canemaker
  61. DANCING BEAR (7 spots) - CBS/Captain Kangaroo (1975) - Prod.: Bruce Cayard
  62. ANGRY GOAT - Sesame Street (1975) Prod.: Derek Lamb
  63. SCARY THING; JUNGLE ROOM - Sesame Street (1974)- Prod.: Bruce Cayard

FILM RETROSPECTIVES:

Missing Title

  1. JOHN CANEMAKER: MARCHING TO A DIFFERENT TOON ANIMATED FILMS 1978-1998 - Museum of Modern Art, New York, Friday, 6 November 1998.
  2. THE ANIMATED FILMS OF JOHN CANEMAKER - The American Film Institute, Los Angeles, 24 January, 1987.
  3. FILMS OF JOHN CANEMAKER - Lucca 20, Twentieth Annual Animation/Comic Book Festival - Lucca, Italy, 26 October - 2 November 1986.
  4. AN EVENING WITH JOHN CANEMAKER - "Cineprobe" - Museum of Modern Art, New York, November 5, 1984.

BOOKS WRITTEN BY JOHN CANEMAKER:

Missing Title

  1. The Art and Flair of Mary Blair. New York: Disney Editions, 2003.
  2. Walt Disney's Nine Old Men and the Art of Animation. New York: Disney Editions, 2001.
  3. Paper Dreams: The Art and Artists of Disney Storyboards. New York: Hyperion, 1999.
  4. Lucy Goes to the Country: Alyson Wonderland, 1998. (Text by Joseph Kennedy, illustrations by John Canemaker).
  5. Before the Animation Begins: The Art and Lives of Disney Inspirational Sketch Artists. New York: Hyperion, 1996.
  6. Tex Avery: The MGM Years. Atlanta: Turner Publishing 1996.
  7. Felix - The Twisted Tale of the World's Most Famous Cat. New York: Pantheon 1991; Da Capo, 1996; Dreamland (French ed.), 1996.
  8. Winsor McCay - His Life and Art New York: Abbeville Press, 1987.
  9. Treasures of Disney Animation Art. New York: Abbeville Press, 1982.
  10. The Animated Raggedy Ann & Andy. Indianapolis/New York: Bobbs-Merrill Co. Inc. 1977.