Friday, 8 March 2013

A Tribute To George Pal

"The next one" 
A Tribute To George Pal 
(February 1, 1908 – May 2, 1980)

The Hungarian-born American animator, film producer and director, George Pal, is primarily associated with the science fiction film genre. Among the great productions of George Pal which will be featured in this blog are;

George Pal’s Early Life and Career

  • Born in Cegléd, Austria–Hungary.
  • Pal’s stage-entertainer parents later divorced, and he was raised by his grandparents
  • 1928: graduated from the Budapest Academy of Arts at age 20 with a degree in Architecture and he possessed highly developed drawing skills.
  • 1928 to 1931: made films for Hunnia Films of Budapest, Hungary. At Hunna he quickly learned the craft of motion picture cartooning.
  • 1931: at age 23 married Elisabeth "Zsoka" Grandjean.
  • Moved to Berlin, a centre for film innovation, and founded Trickfilm-Studio Gmbh Pal und Wittke. Pal developed his own style of making inanimate objects move, using the developing art of stop-motion photography.
  • Patented Pal-Doll (or Puppetoons in the USA).
  • Working in Prague, Pal make ad shorts or animated advertising featuring cartoon "puppets" without strings such as cigarettes with faces, arms, and legs strutting and singing on theatre screens looking as if they had been drawn by a cartoonist.
  • Pal left Germany as the Nazis were rising to power.
  • 1940: Pal emigrated from Europe at age 32 and began work for Paramount Pictures and obtained American citizenship.
  • In the 1940s, he made the Puppetoons series as an animator. As stated in the Ray Harryhausen tribute post, Ray Harryhausen was employed on staff by George Pal during the Puppetoons period.
  • 1943: Pal was awarded an honorary Oscar for "the development of novel methods and techniques in the production of short subjects known as Puppetoons."
  • 1950s and 1960s: produced several science fiction and fantasy films four of which were collaborations with director Byron Haskin.

You might ask why the addition to the title of the words “The next one?” When asked which of his films was his favorite  Pal would reply, “the next one.” Each of his films was apart of a vision that in some way contributed to;
  • Opening up and extending our vision of the universe.
  • Ushering in the era of the golden age of film science fiction with “Destination Moon.”
  • Showing us how not only governments, but also groups of like-minded individuals with the vision, will and resources can send spaceships to the surface of other worlds.
  • Our wonder and entertainment as we watch in horror the destruction of Los Angeles by forces powerful beyond our comprehension.
  • Encouraging a belief in heroes we can look up to and emulate who possess ideals and courage and who dedicate themselves to the pursuit of science and truth.
  • Our understanding of our place in the universe and the forces that shape our destiny.
  • Fostering a belief in how we as individuals and collectively can meet any challenge to humanity and hope and strive for a better future.
  • The development of talented artists, writers and filmmakers, as well as pioneering scientists and astronauts who were inspired by the grand visions of George Pal….

Watch and enjoy the following video clip, "George Pal: Discovering The Fantastic:

©Chris Christopoulos 2013

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