1.“Almost Too Good to Be True”

The animated films produced by United Productions of America (UPA) from 1943 to 1959 marked a turning point in the history of animation. When Gerald McBoing Boing1 premiered in 1951, film critic Arthur Knight welcomed it as the new Three Little Pigs.2 Walt Disney Company’s Three Little Pigs (1933) had been a milestone for character animation primarily in the U.S., but also internationally: it was one of the first color short films in the Silly Symphony series produced by Disney, featuring three anthropomorphic pigs and one wolf animated according to the principles of Disney’s “realism.”3 It appeared five years after Steamboat Willie,4 the first fully synchronized sound cartoon, released by Disney ...

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