An Evening with Tissa David, Master Animator

January 18, 2003


In a career spanning more than 60 years, animator Tissa David has brought to life characters as diverse as Mr. Magoo, Raggedy Ann, and Shakespeare’s Titania. She broke into the male-dominated animation industry, becoming only the second woman (after Lotte Reiniger) to direct an animated feature, Bonjour Paris, 1953. Born in Transylvania in 1921, David escaped the Communist takeover of Hungary by moving to Paris in 1950 and then to the United States in 1955, where she collaborated with such formidable animators as Grim Natwick, John and Faith Hubley, and R. O. Blechman. David’s sensual line and economical motion have graced numerous television commercials, specials, and theatrical features, many of which will be excerpted or shown in full this evening when David discusses her life and career with the animation historian and filmmaker John Canemaker.

Organized by Joshua Siegel, Assistant Curator, Department of Film and Media, and John Canemaker, author of The Art and Flair of Mary Blair (Disney Editions, Fall 2003).

Special thanks to Emily Hubley; Michael Sporn; R. O. Blechman; Michael Schlesinger, Columbia Pictures Repertory; Jerry Beck; and Italtoons for their support and loan of prints.


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