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A trarre giovamento dall’avvento del sonoro, oltre al musical, fu il cinema di animazione. Nel 1928 usciva nelle sale Dinner Time, prodotto dalla Van Beuren Studios, primo cartone animato interamente sonorizzato. L’esperimento fu prontamente imitato da Walt Disney con Steamboat Willie, film che segnò il debutto sugli schermi del celebre personaggio di Topolino, ed ottenne uno straordinario successo.
Dinner Time (1928) is an American animated short subject produced by Amadee J. Van Beuren, directed by Paul Terry, co-directed by John Foster, and produced at Van Beuren Studios. Josiah Zuro arranged and conducted the "synchronized" music score. The film is part of a series entitled Aesop's Fables and features the Terry creation Farmer Al Falfa who works as a butcher, fending off a group of pesky dogs.
Dinner Time was one of the first publicly shown sound-on-film cartoons. It was premiered in New York City on 1 September 1928 and released by Pathé Exchange on 14 October 1928, a month before Walt Disney's Steamboat Willie, which premiered on 18 November 1928 at the 79th Street Theater in New York City. Dinner Time, however, was not successful with audiences and Disney's film would go on to be widely touted as the first synchronized sound cartoon.
Max and Dave Fleischer released 36 cartoons in their Song Car-Tunes series—with about 19 of those made in the DeForest Phonofilm sound-on-film system—between May 1924 and September 1926. Ironically, Steamboat Willie was released by Pat Powers' Celebrity Pictures using the Powers Cinephone sound-on-film system, which was cloned from the Phonofilm system without the permission of Lee De Forest.
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