Authored by: Giannalberto Bendazzi

Animation: A World History

Print publication date:  November  2015
Online publication date:  October  2015

Print ISBN: 9781138854529
eBook ISBN: 9781315721057
Adobe ISBN:


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The small Egyptian animated production industry was mainly due to the Frenkel brothers. Born into a Jewish family in Jaffa, Palestine, Herschel, Salomon, and David Frenkel later established their lacquered wood furniture business in Cairo. Fascinated by animation after viewing the films of Felix the Cat, the three brothers began studying the frame-by-frame technique. In 1936, they released Mafish Fayda (Nothing to Do), featuring the character of Mish-Mish, an Egyptian youngster wearing a fez. Other productions based on the same character followed, including the good war propaganda film Al difau’al watani (National Defence, 1940) and Enjoy Your Food (1947). When the political environment in Egypt became too turbulent, the Frenkels left the country. The younger brother, David, moved to France, where he revived Mish-Mish by substituting his fez with a very French casquette and renaming him Mimiche. These films were not distributed in theatres but instead were sold for home use. In 1964, he made Le rêve du beau Danube bleu (The Dream of the Beautiful Blue Danube), the only major creation in his European production.

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