Nancy Beiman presents her paper: The Animated Tramp: Chaplin’s Influence on American Animated Film– in Italy

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It has been one hundred years since a young actor named Charles Chaplin adopted a costume of baggy pants, tight coat, small bowler hat, large shoes, and tiny toothbrush moustache, and through the magic of the movies, became the most famous man in the world.

I was honoured to be invited to present my paper THE ANIMATED TRAMP: CHAPLIN’S INFLUENCE ON AMERICAN ANIMATED FILM at the Cineteca di Bologna’s ONE HUNDRED YEARS OF THE TRAMP symposium in June, 2014. The Cineteca di Bologna presented the academic symposium as part of a celebration that included screenings of newly restored prints of Chaplin films, live performances, and an exhibit of poster art for Chaplin films created by the great Leo Kouper.

The event began with a screening of several Chaplin films in the Piazza Maggiore, accompanied by a live orchestra. Movies are shown every night in the gorgeous Piazza during the summer.
The symposium included a German professor speaking on “Chaplin and the Nazis”, analyses of Chaplin’s influence on the Beat poets, Bollywood musicals, and Chinese culture; Chaplin biographer David Robinson interviewing LIMELIGHT star Claire Bloom, a discussion with Michael Haznavicius and Berenice Bejo (director and star of THE ARTIST), and Michael Chaplin analyzing the family’s Gypsy roots.

There was also a wonderful presentation of ‘Treasures from the Chaplin Archives’, now located in the archives of the Cineteca di Bologna.
My presentation was very well received. Chaplin’s influence on animated film was immense and continues to this day. It was an education researching the topic, and an honour to be there.


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