When I first began The Encyclopedia of Disney Animated Shorts
almost 14 years ago I was but a
novice web designer not really knowing the depth of the project I was taking on nor the possibilities
inherent in it. Along the way, I've come to understand the potential of what I
was doing and learn newer technologies to adapt the design and make it more
functional. And hopefully better looking.
It occurred to me a few years ago while I was in the middle of all this that it
might be a good idea to take what I'd learned working on the Disney site and
apply it to the complete world of classic animation. But then I took it a step
further and wondered if it might become a more social project and allow current
animators and animation studios to add their own work as well and become a
complete animation database.
I realized that there were other sites out there, but there were two aspects I
wanted to focus on that I felt were not being focused on elsewhere. The IMDb is
rife with incorrect information because it is updated by pretty much anyone,
including those who may not be familiar with animation in general. Other sites
have klunky interfaces and I wanted information to be as accessible as possible.
And I wanted to make it is inclusive as possible.
The question arose whether we should keep the site for only classic animation or
be all-inclusive to the entire world of animation. There is a real philosophical
question there; where does "classic" animation end? I could easily have cut
things off with the demise of the UPA studios and the rise of Hanna Barbera
limited animation. But how could I leave out Jay Ward and our beloved moose and
squirrel. Or exclude Bob Clampett's work with Beanie and Cecil?
I've never been accused of not biting off more than I can chew, and I have no
idea if this site will attract modern animators looking to show off their work
or be used more by animation fans looking for a more historical approach. But
the compromise will be that, for the time being, our focus is going to be on
"classic" (i.e. pre 1960s) animation, but if current animators wish to add their
work to the database, we will welcome them as well.
Anyone may access information on this site, but in order to retain some control
over the information posted, I've installed a three tiered log in system. Once
logged in, any user may submit comments or ratings to any of the cartoons
listed. If you have special knowledge of animation or any specific studio, we
can register you as a "researcher" which will allow you to edit the "meat and
potatoes" of the site. Contact us and let us know what you're all about if
you're interested. The final tier is the"adminstrator" and is basically used to administer the site as a whole.
It's my dream that we be able to display screenshots from as many of the cartoons as possible. At present, we don't have a way for you to upload them automatically. But if you wish to contribute a few, please send no more than 18 per short; up to 5 title cards, up to 10 shots from the short itself, and up to 3 end cards. You can send them raw; we will deal with the editing here. Please send them along to the email address listed here.
As you might see right now. the site seems to be merely made up of interminable lists. It's my wish that this site will end up being as graphically interesting as the Disney site was. But it's a big project, and one that I peobably cannot do alone (unless someone wants to pony up and pay me for doing this!)
So we're hoping that this will turn into more of a comunnal project rather than
just the work of a single researcher. And by being that, that it will be more
relevant to the animation community and animation historians as a whole.
But, in order to offset some of the costs of doing a site like this, there will
be advertising. Internet advertsing is a fact of life and there are hidden
costs, both in time and money, behind any "free" service you find on the net. We
will attempt to make it as innocuous as possible (although when you get down to
it, the whole idea of advertising is not to be innocuous.) We promise, though,
that we will never use pop-up or pop-under advertising or any advertising that
obscures the webpage you are trying to see.
As you may see, the site is very basic right now, but we'll be adding new things
as we go along. We'd love to hear your comments and suggestions about what we
should be doing or what you'd like to see on the site. We realize that there is
an enormous amount of information that can and should be added to this database
and we welcome anyone who wishes to contribute to the project. I'll be working
on it myself as time permits; I've already been able to transfer information on
the Disney cartoons from my other site. And at very least, I hope to have all
titles and director credits posted by the end of the year.
So... stay tooned!