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Animation History Essay

Animation History

Animation appeared along with the development of film industry, as all the attempts to make drawings move before were only experimental. Still, the people’s desire to depict motion can be seen even in the cave paintings of Paleolithic age.

The first animated film was made by praxinoscope inventor Charles-Emile Reynaud. It was a system, utilizing loops of 12 pictures. In 1892, on October 28th, he exhibited animations with the help of a system reflecting the present-day film projector. His system was called Theatre Optique, and animations he presented were made of approximately 500 frames.

The first work that looked like standard picture film was called Humorous Phases of Funny Faces that was made by J. S. Blackton in 1906. In it a cartoonist is drawing different faces on a board, which come to life. Another prominent work was created by Emile Cohl. It was called Fantasmagorie and was presented in 1908 in Paris. Emile later went to New Jersey, where he shared his technique, working for French studio called Éclair.

Works of Emile Cohl inspired also Ladislas Starevich, the Russian scientist, who created the first puppet animation in the world, using dead insects with wire limbs. His work was called Cameraman’s Revenge and saw the world in 1911. It was so dramatic that it is still considered unique for the complexity of its characters. The first character animation appeared in 1914, made by American cartoonist Winsor McCay.

The first animated feature film was created in 1917 in Argentina by Quirino Cristiani. The same author made the first film with synchronized sound in 1931, although it didn’t survive till today. The first film that was preserved was Adventures of Prince Achmed made by Lotte Reiniger. Snow White and Seven Dwarfs, created in 1937, became the first popular animated film, which is why it is often mistaken for the first animated film that came into life.

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