Tag Archives: Citizen Kane

Homework #5: The Animated Sequence

Citizen Kane’s “photo to life” sequence was done well with strategic timing. It seems as though Welles may have filmed the sequence in reverse order as shown. Welles could have filmed the scene with the photo shoot of the former Chronicle paper staff, and then used the actual frame of the shot as the photograph featured in the close-up. Welles achieved creating the sense of a time lapse by filming the scene in that order. Also, he achieved a convincing notion that the photograph became “live”.

In Disney’s short Laugh-o-gram series, the story of Alice in Wonderland remains similar to the film version in that Alice falls into a sleep and dreams of her experience in wonderland. I thought Alice’s interaction with the cartoons and cartoonists in the illustration room was a fitting scenario of the film story. Although the plot revolves around the theme of imagination, it was realistic of Alice to conjure dreams of a cartoon world, Cartoonland, after her visit to the cartoon studio. I liked that the term for cartoons on the first intertitle was referred to as “funnies” – when I researched to see if it was an actual term, I discovered that the term was used as the name of two American publications, “The Funnies” and “New Funnies”; it turns out that were the precursor of the comic book. I was not comic book reader but it was interesting to learn that comic books were discovered during the roaring twenties.

Homework #5: The Animated Sequence

Photograph of The Chronicle reporters in Citizen Kane
Photograph of The Chronicle reporters in Citizen Kane

In Orson Welles’ Citizen Kane (1941) there is a scene in which a photograph comes to life. The scene comes during Kane’s announcement that his has hired the group of star journalists from a rival newspaper to write for his own paper, The Inquirer. This sequence recalls the increasing popularity of animation in this period. As we learned, Snow White and the Seven Dwarf (1937) was the first feature-length animated film.

Virginia Davis in Walt Disney's Alice's Comedies
Virginia Davis in Walt Disney’s Alice’s Comedies

In class, there was a question about Walt Disney’s first animated film shorts that featured Virginia Davis (not a mouse!). The little girl is seen interacting with cartoon characters. Live shots and animated sequences were filmed separately and combined in the editing room. Watch Disney’s film short Alice’s Wonderland that was produced in the Laugh-O-Gram studio in Kansas City, which led to a series called Alice’s Comedies that he produced in Los Angeles, and post your thoughts on early animation.

Watch the photograph come to life in Citizen Kane here.

Watch Alice’s Wonderland here.

To complete this homework assignment, note whether you Post or Comment. For Homework #5, Clubs and Hearts will submit a Post and Diamonds and Spades will Comment (choose any of your classmates’ posts to comment on).

Homework #5 is DUE by Thursday March 26th.
 Clubs and Hearts Post, Diamonds and Spades Comment, note your blog group! Email me if you forget.