Saturday, August 10, 2013

Happy Belated 100th Birthday, Joop Geesink!

2013 marks the 100th anniversary of Joop Geesink's birthday - and that means the Dutch filmmaker and illustrator joins Frank Tashlin and Bob Clampett among those animation luminaries whose centenary is being celebrated this year (and yes, this blog is definitely a tad late with this - the stop-motion animation guru was born in The Hague on April 28, 1913).

Joop Gessink and the intrepid artists of Amsterdam's Dollywood studio are right there with Emile Cohl, Charley Bowers, Ladislaw Starewicz, George Pal, Willis O'Brien, Ray Harryhausen, Jiri Trnka and Art Clokey as powerhouses of pixilation - as well as the artistic and spiritual predecessors of the Quay Brothers and Jan Svankmejer.

Working actively to restore the Joop Geesink films has been Leenke Ripmeester of the EYE Film Institute in the Netherlands.

The Dollywood Studio produced puppet animation films from the 1940s into the 1980's.

Fortunately, many classic animated films by Joop Gessink and stop-motion guru George Pal have been posted to YouTube by the Dutch Vintage Animation website.

At its height, the studio employed a staff of more than 150 animators, cameramen, doll makers, set designers, woodshop gurus and visual artistes of all kinds.

It could be said that Dollywood, which produced thousands of short animated shorts and advertising films, was the successor to George Pal's studio. After her father's passing in 1984, voice-over actress and artist Louise Geesink, in collaboration with illustrator Wil Raymakers, has carried on the creative torch, reviving the studio and its characters in books for children, comics, merchandising, ideas for television series and other projects.

The Geesink Studio can be reached at

1 comment:

Don J. Long said...

Wonderful, Paul! Joop certainly deserves all the praise and honor for his marvelous animation films career, and is definitely the successor of George Pal's Puppetoons.
I love his film, "City of Light" (1954) which I saw as a kid in a movie theater, and never saw it again until just now! Many of his characters look like they came directly from George Pal's Eindhoven Studio in Holland. And that is a real tribute, since I am sure that Joop was directly inspired by George Pal's work for Philips Radio in the 1930s and Paramount in Hollywood in the 1940s. Thanks for sharing this with us all!