The History of Animation by Mia

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Have you ever wondered how animation went from small notebook doodles to a 3D theatre experience?

1920's Animated Characters

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From barely being able to make out the pictures, to see it come out right in front of you in a theatre, it's really a quite interesting story.

It was a long process to get from point A to point B, and how it was even able to originate in the first place. Drawing have been around for as long as we've known. The Period that animation was just beginning to be researched apon was 1914, although the first known form of animation dates as far back as to 1896. The first known film to actually be considered an animated cartoon is Fantasmagorie by Émile Cohl (1908). Some refer to him as the father of animation.

(in order) Uderzo Dibujando, Ken Harris

After people had discovered around 1930, when technologies were arising for better and clearer imagery than before for animation, they've gained a power of being able to tell stories more clearer, and therefore became a crucial medium to convey a message to the public. By then, cartoons quickly becoming a thriving commercial enterprise. But even though it was still in the process to be further researched about, especially after Cohl's animation in France, there still seems to be traces of animation projects stirring up from countries such as North America, Eastern and Western Europe, and Asia. When animation was just beginning in all these countries, they were all heavily influenced on the culture of the country that they were produced in. All of the surviving traces of animation seems to have been around for quite some time, maybe before France first published theirs. Some of those common animation media genres that were used back then were clay, puppet, pen, and cut-out animation.

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Soldiers in WW1

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The time period that animation was just beginning was actually very close to when World War 1 began (1914), and continues to stretch along World War 2. As the 1950's came along, it became an incredibly sensitive era for animators as they became subject to the "Red Scare". As most can tell, this time was a little dark for animation itself. This for instance, the culture of conformity in the United States became problematic in the 1960's, and accordingly, artists sought ways in animation to express their imagination and thoughts throughout the two wars, mentioned as "propaganda". Animators were requested accordingly by the government to create animated propaganda on occasions during this era.

Examples of Walt Disney's contribution to animated propaganda; Der Fuehrer's Face (1943) The Thrifty Pig (1941) Education For Death (1943)

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As it might've been obvious, war events just so happened to come across America as soon as animation was just starting to catching on. But after the controversial times of WW1 and WW2 went by, animation began to lean more on imagination and non-fictional stories for children. The propaganda and bias began to dial more and more down as decades pass and new series began to arise in popularity. These popular series may still be running on television today, but what ever sparked their popularity when either it was their design, story, or if they were animated by a different country, their unique and quirkyness will always have a place in our hearts.

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