Fine Arts Films

Fine Arts Films

Fine Arts Films is a production studio based in Northern England. It was founded in 1955 by animator John David Wilson as a means to preserve the notion of animation as an art form.


The company's first production was "Tara, the Stonecutter", which won high praise and many awards including the New York Golden Eagle, the London Film Festival Award, and the Edinburgh Film Festival Award. The next production was the groundbreaking animated music special "Petroushka" (based on Stravinsky's ballet) for NBC's "Sol Hurok Music Hour." It was noted for being one of the first animated shows ever aired on television and for being what could be called the first music video. Stravinsky himself conducted the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

Fine Arts Films sought to raise the bar on children's entertainment by creating educational and illuminating shorts, many of which aired all of the country in schools during class. These shorts also aired as part of NBC's show "Exploring" and went on to win the Peabody Award. Wilson additionally has seven Golden Eagle Awards for this work.

Wilson was given the chance by Australian television to set up shop in Melbourne. He later returned home to the United States to work on his only feature film, “Shinbone Alleycite web |url= |title=Shinbone Alley. |accessdate=|first=|last= |authorlink= |coauthors= |date= |year= |month= |format= |work= |publisher=IMDB |pages= |language= |archiveurl= |archivedate= |quote= ] , based on the hit Broadway musical of the 1950’s. Shinbone incorporated the talents of some of the original cast, including Eddie Bracken as archie the cockroach, Carol Channing as mehitabel, and John Carradine as Tyrone T. Tattersol] . The film was honored with the Grand Prize Golden Phoenix Award at the 1970 Atlanta Film Festival, besting 900 films, including live action features, for the top spot.

One of the studio's more notable achievements was for the 1960 Seattle World's Fair. The film, “Journey to the Stars”, used cutting-edge technology, and was seen by over seven million people. It was the first 70mm Fulldome presentation, a precursor to IMAX.

Other noteworthy credits include opening titles and many music videos for "The Sonny and Cher Show", the animated opening sequence for “Grease”, an animated trailer for Billy Wilder’s “Irma La Douce”, and the ABC-TV half hour animated special, “Stanley, the Ugly Duckling.” He directed “The Seventh Brother” for Family Films, FOX Network-TV’s “Peter Pan and the Pirates”, “Fraggle Rock”, “Muppet Babies”, “Jem”, and “The Specialists” for MTV.

Film Highlights

*"Journey to the Stars" (film) (shown at The 1962 "Seattle World's Fair") (1952)
*"Shinbone Alley" (film) (1970)
*"Grease" (film) (1977)

Television Highlights

*"Petrushka_%28ballet%29" (segment on Sol Hurok Music Hour) (1956)
*"The Sonny and Cher Show" (TV series) (1970-73)
*"The Carol Burnett Show" (TV series) (1972-76)
*"COS w/Bill Cosby" (TV series) (1974)
*"Stanley, the Ugly Duckling" (TV show) (1982)
*"The Specialists / MTV" (TV show) (1992)
*"Madeline" (TV show) (1994)


*"Shinbone Alley" (Golden Phoenix)"
*"Tara, the Stonecutter" (New York Golden Eagle, London Film Festival Award, Edinburgh Film Festival Award)"


*"Madeline" (ACE Award)"

Notes and references

External links

* [ Fine Arts Films Official website]

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