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angle-left The Shadoks at age 50. An Animated Revolution

The Shadoks at age 50. An Animated Revolution

Tomi Ungerer Museum – International Illustration Centre
16 March - 8 July 2018
As part of the Rencontres de l'Illustration events and in partnership with the Shadok Digital Factory, the Tomi Ungerer Museum - International Illustration Centre invites us to discover, or rediscover the famous animated television series devised in 1968 by Jacques Rouxel (1931-2004). To mark its role in the history of 20th century illustration, this creator's work is for the first time being exhibited in a museum possessing a Musée de France accreditation.

French television viewers had their routine disrupted by the weird little figures of the Shadoks and their sworn enemies the Gibis. Borrowing Alfred Jarry's surrealist spirit and offbeat humour, they brought a full-scale 'animated revolution' to the small screen. The series, with its style the antithesis of Walt Disney's, marked a radical change in the animated cartoon genre, distinguished by the originality of its subject, a 'space odyssey' in phase with contemporary concerns. It was also a reflection of the cultural ferment and social upheavals of the time, marked by the May 1968 upheavals in France. Appearing on French television in four series, in 1968, 1969, 1972 and 2000, the Shadoks with their antics of
unbridled fantasy became major counterculture symbols.

A selection of 250 drawings, storyboards and celluloids used in making these films have been loaned by the aaa (audiovisual art-graphic animation) Production Studio, a studio created in 1973 by Jacques Rouxel himself, his wife, producer Marcelle Ponti-Rouxel and director Jean-Paul Couturier. These are displayed together with archival documents made available by the INA, the Nicéphore-Niépce Photography Museum and with a series of animated sequences. The displays help to reveal the author's creative processes, from the preparatory drawings to the final
result and including the various techniques and tools used, from the Animographe to the classic celluloid animation system. The drawings are also contextualized with the help of the various literary and graphic sources that inspired Jacques Rouxel, from Saul Steinberg to Tomi Ungerer via James Thurber and Le Roman de Renart. Visitors can see how the inventiveness and quality of this television series have renewed the world of the 'animated cartoon'.

In collaboration with aaa Production and with loans from INA, the Nicéphore-Niépce Photography Museum and Robert Cohen-Solal / WRWTFWW Records, Switzerland. With the support of the Ministry of Culture (National Commemorations).

Exhibition curators: Thérèse Willer and Cécile Ripoll, research advisor Thierry Dejean