George Debels: Pioneer of Dutch Animation: The influence of American theatrical cartoons on early Dutch commercials
Abstract: This paper is a case study of the work of George Debels (Antwerp 1890-Amsterdam 1973). The life and work of Debels, the most productive pioneer of Dutch animation from the period 1916-1936, is briefly introduced. Being one of the very few filmmakers working in animation in The Netherlands, he probably learned many tricks of the trade by studying American cartoons that were shown in cinemas. The paper will focus will on how the design and style of Debels’ films was influenced by these American cartoons.
Biographical Statement: Mette Peters is researcher and curator of collections at the Netherlands Institute for Animation Film (NIAf). (The NIAf is the national centre of expertise and information for animation film and focuses on an artist in residence programme for talented animators.) She coordinates preservation projects, publications and exhibitions on animation. Her research interests particularly focus on the history of Dutch animation and animation preservation. She is co-author of the book Meestal in ‘t Verborgene: Animatiefilm in Nederland 1940-1945 (Animation Film in The Netherlands 1940-1945) and with Paul Wells, is currently working on a book about Animation Archives.