L3 Games Design: FMP: Research – History of Animation

Animation before film

There were many different types of animation that was used before film. With the spread of the Industrial Revolution in Europe and North America in the 18th and 19th centuries came experimentation with machines that would make images appear to move.

1603,

The magic lantern first appeared and the magic lantern is an image projector using pictures on sheets of glass. Since some sheets contain moving parts, it is considered the first example of projected animation.

1824,

The Thaumatrope was introduced and it is a rotating mechanism that has different pictures on each side and when rotated you would combine both pictures (known as persistence of vision).

1831,

The phenakitoscope featured spinning disks reflected in mirrors that
made it seem like the pictures were moving.

1834,

After the phenakitoscope came the Zoetrope. The zoetrope was a hollow drum that housed images on long interchangeable strips that would spin and make the images appear to move.

1868,

The flip book was introduced. The flip-book, also known as the kineograph, reached a wide audience and is credited with inspiring early animators more than the machines developed in this era. The flip book is a small drawing pad with small images created on each page and then using your thumb at a rapid pace flicking through each page creating a short animation of all the images.

1827,

The praxinoscope expanded on the zoetrope, using multiple wheels to rotate images. It is considered to have shown the first prototypes of the animated cartoon.

 

1914,

GERTIE THE DINOSAUR

The animation of Gertie The Dinosaur was created and this character was to be considered as the first cartoon to feature an appealing character.

1919,

FELIX THE CAT

Felix The Cat was created by Musical Mews and Feline Follies. Felix the Cat – often considered the first animated movie star. Felix The Cat was created during what is known as the ‘Silent Era’, a period during 1900’s and 1930’s.

Silent era,

STEAMBOAT WILLIE

‘Steamboat Willie’ an iconic animation still remembered today created by Walt Disney. Featuring Mickey Mouse it becomes the first cartoon with the sound printed on the film, and is the first notable success for Walt Disney Studios, founded in Los Angeles in 1923.

1930’s,

THE GOLDEN AGE

Next came what was known as ‘The Golden Age of American Animation’, this was a period that started in 1930 and finished during the 1950’s. During what many consider to be the “Golden Age” of animation, theatrical cartoons became an integral part of popular culture. These years are defined by the rise of Walt Disney (Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, and Silly Symphonies), Warner Brothers, MGM, and Fleischer (Betty Boop, Popeye).

1937,

SNOW WHITE

Snow White was created by Walt Disney and it was the first animation to feature hand drawn animation. When creating the seven dwarfs it took up to almost two years to come up with the final rendering for all seven dwarfs, using 1.5 million cells throughout the animation.

1960’s,

AMERICAN TELEVISION ERA

Became know as the American Television Era and one of the first animated television shows was the Flintstones, Hanna-Barbera releases The Flintstones in 1960, the first animated series on prime-time television.

1961,

YOGI BEAR

The introduction of yogi bear, The Yogi Bear Show, a spin-off of Huckleberry Hound
(another Hanna-Barbera production), debuts on national TV.

ACADEMY AWARD WINNER

Best Short Film

1964

THE PINK PHINK

DePatie-Freleng Enterprises wins the Academy Award for Best Short Film
for The PinkPhink (of the Pink Panther series) and continues to
create shorts for theatrical release.

1964

FRITZ THE CAT

Fritz the Cat is released—the first animated
adult (X-rated) feature film.

1980 – 2014

MODERN AMERICAN ERA

The CGI (computer generated imagery) revolutionized animation. A principal difference of CGI animation compared to traditional animation is that drawing is replaced by 3D modeling, almost like a virtual version of stop-motion. A form of animation that combines the two and uses 2D computer drawing can be considered computer aided animation.

1984

THE ADVENTURES OF ANDRE & WALLY B

This short film was the first fully CGI-animated film,
created by The Graphics Group, the precursor to Pixar.

1987

THE SIMPSONS

The Simpsons is an American adult animated sitcom created by Matt Groening for the Fox Broadcasting Company. It is the longest-running American sitcom, the longest-running American animated program, and in 2009 it surpassed Gunsmoke as the longest-running American scripted primetime television series. Longest running american animated program.

1995

TOY STORY

Toy Story, the first fully computer-animated
feature film, was released. Taking place in a world where toys pretend to be lifeless whenever humans are present, the film’s plot focuses on the relationship between Woody, an old-fashioned Cowboy (voiced by Tom Hanks), and Buzz Lightyear, an astronaut figure (voiced by Tim Allen)

Film poster showing Woody anxiously holding onto Buzz Lightyear as he flies in Andy's room. Below them sitting on the bed are Bo Peep, Mr. Potato Head, Troll, Hamm, Slinky, Sarge and Rex. In the lower right center of the image is the film's title. The background shows the cloud wallpaper featured in the bedroom.

2014

BIG HERO 6

Big Hero 6 is the first Disney animated film
to feature Marvel Comics characters.

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