New Hampshire Humanities
From the 1920s to the 1960s, adult American theatergoers could anticipate a cartoon before each feature film. From Mickey Mouse to Donald Duck, Popeye, Betty Boop, Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Tom and Jerry, Mighty Mouse, Casper the Friendly Ghost, and Mr. Magoo, the beloved cartoon “stars” were every bit as memorable as the Hollywood actors who shared the marquee.
Many of these cartoons were redistributed as Saturday morning shows for kids of the next generation. Margo Burns offers an introduction to the people and studios that made these films and the changing technology, aesthetics, music, politics, and economics behind them, showing stills, characters, and clips from many of these beautifully hand-drawn films. At the end of her program, participants are treated to one of the classics in its entirety.
Margo Burns is the 10th-generation great-granddaughter of Rebecca Nurse, who was hanged in Salem in 1692 on the charge of witchcraft. She is the project manager and an associate editor of Records of the Salem Witch-Hunt, published in 2009 by Cambridge University Press. This work is the definitive collection of transcriptions of the legal records of the episode. Burns is also a life-long fan of cartoons, cutting her teeth on Popeye and Yogi Bear on Saturday mornings as a child, then formally studying animation for two years in the Rhode Island School of Design’s Continuing Education Program as an adult. She has been leading computer animation projects with middle and high school students since 2001 at UNH’s Tech Camp in Durham, where each crew makes a complete film in a week. Burns currently works at St. Paul’s School, as the Director of The Language Center, where she is also the adviser to a student club, the International Lunchtime Animation Festival (iLAF), which taps her personal library of animation of over 750 titles.