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.

Scope

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.

Contributions

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.

Screenshots

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.

Interminable Lists

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!

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