The Animated Movie Guide
Emru Townsend · From fps #6 · January 20, 2006 | Comprehensiveness is overrated. Take Jerry Beck's Animated Movie Guide, for example: he could have attempted to catalogue every animated movie made, but what would the result have been? Terse, marginally informative descriptions to accommodate a set page count and, inevitably, missed titles that would have drawn the ire of serious enthusiasts.

Instead, he takes the time in his introduction to explain just how narrow his focus is: animated movies originally intended for theatrical release that ran in commercial US movie houses. This filter keeps things manageable: while the exclusion of direct-to-video features eliminates, say, Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker, it neatly avoids the question of whether to include repackaged TV pilots and also removes a considerable amount of feature-length anime from the picture.

The Animated Movie Guide
Written by Jerry Beck
Chicago Review Press, 2005
400 pages

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Even so, the book covers considerable ground. The main section covers 308 movies, from Lotte Reiniger's 1926 The Adventures of Prince Achmed through to Moon-saeng Kim's 2004 Sky Blue, providing a look at the evolution of the animated feature's biggest single market over almost 80 years.

Want to read the rest of this review?

You'll find it and many other articles in the January 2006 issue of fps, available for only 99 cents US.
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