Animation helps to shift the practice of creating inanimate objects.
The animation is a creative practice long predating the films.
Pygmalion of Greek and Roman mythology, a sculptor who created a sculpture of a woman so beautiful that he fell in
love with her and begged Venus to bring her to life, is the first known animator in history.
Any of the same sense of wonder, suspense, and transgression also adheres to contemporary film animation,
rendering it a primary medium for expressing childhood’s intense, sometimes confounding emotions — feelings
previously expressed by folktales.
History of Animation
The animated animation idea followed the cinema’s creation by a half-century.
The development of a theory of continuity of perception by early experimenters attempting to construct conversational
parts for Victorian parlors or modern experiences for the traveling magic-lantern shows, which were a universal
medium of entertainment.
If representations of the phases of an operational display in quick sequence,
they would be viewed by the human eye as constant motion.
One of the first commercially popular instruments discovered by the Belgian Joseph Plateau in 1832 was the
phenakistoscope, a revolving carton disk that, when seen in a mirror, produced the impression of motion.
William George Horner developed the zoetrope in 1834, a
revolving drum lined by a band of pictures that could be modified.
In 1876, the Frenchman Émile Reynaud transformed the
concept into a shape that could be presented to an audience in a theater.
Reynaud was not only the first pioneer in animation but also the first artist to offer individuality and warmth to his
animated characters with his brilliantly hand-painted ribbons in celluloid transmitted through a series of mirrors to a theater screen.
The animation was being prepared for a big leap forward with the development of sprocket-driven film production.
Although “firsts” of some sort are never simple to create, the first animator focused on the film seems to be J.
Stuart Blackton, whose Humorous Phases of Funny Faces
began a popular series of animated films for the groundbreaking New York Vitagraph Company in 1906.
Blackton also worked with the stop-motion process with his short film Haunted Hotel later that year — in which items are filmed, then repositioned, and shot again.
In France, Émile Cohl created a type of animation close to that of Blackton, but Cohl used comparatively primitive stick
figures rather than the elaborate cartoons in the newspaper style of Blackton.
Coinciding with the surge in the success of latest tabloid newspaper’s Sunday comic pages, the burgeoning animation
industry attracted the skills of several of the best-known creators, including Rube Goldberg, Bud Fisher (Mutt and
Jeff’s creator) and George Herriman (Krazy Kat’s creator),
but quickly grew sick of the boring animation process and left the actual development work to others.
Winsor McCay, whose sleek, imaginative Little Nemo in
Slumberland and Vision of the Rarebit Fiend remain pinnacles of comic-strip animation, was the one true
exception of those early illustrators-turned-animators.
McCay created Little Nemo’s hand-colored short film for use during his 1911 vaudeville show,
but it was Gertie the Dinosaur that inspired the painting, made for McCay’s 1914 run.
McCay’s excellent draftsmanship, smooth sense of expression, and fantastic character feeling brought
audiences an animated beast that seemed to have a personality, appearance, and life of its own.
The first star on the cartoon was born.
McCay made several other extraordinary films, including a re-creation of The Sinking of the Lusitania (1918), but to
extend McCay’s discoveries was left to Pat Sullivan.
An Australian-born cartoonist who opened a studio in New York City, Sullivan recognized the great talent of Otto
Messmer, a young animator who’s casually invented characters–A wily black cat called Felix was made the
protagonist of an incredibly successful collection of one-reelers.
The round-headed, big-eyed Felix, built by Messmer for optimum versatility and facial expressiveness, soon became
the traditional model for animated characters: a rubber ball
on the legs that took little work to create and could be held in continuous motion.
Walt Disney Company History
This experience did not go ignored by the young Walt Disney, then employed at his studio in Kansas City, Missouri,
at his Laugh-O-gram Films. His first main creation, Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, was Felix’s simple appropriation.
when he lost the character’s rights in conflict with his manufacturer, Disney merely changed the ears of Oswald and created Mickey Mouse.
Disney’s attempt to build a film with the invention of synchronized sound became even more innovative.
Mickey’s third picture, Steamboat Willie (1928), took the nation by storm.
The animation has been applied to a missing element — sound — making the impression of existence that much
more real, that much more mystical. Subsequently, Disney
would introduce synchronized music (The Skeleton Dance, 1929), three-strip Technicolor (Flowers and Plants, 1932).
and the impression of distance with his multi plane camera (The Old Factory, 1937). With each move, Disney seemed to
be moving closer to a true naturalism, an impressionistic realism that implied 19th-century academic paintings.
Disney’s resident technological genius was Ub Iwerks, a childhood friend who accompanied Disney to Hollywood
and was influential in developing the multiplane rig, and the coordination methods that rendered the Mickey Mouse
cartoons and the Funny Symphonies shown appear so solid and full-dimensional.
For Disney, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937) is, of course, the final move.
Though not the first animated film, it was the first to use up-to-the-minute technologies, and the first to earn a wide
release in Hollywood format.
Rather than amusing the public with talking rats and singing goats, Disney was eager to give them as intense a theatrical
experience as the medium will allow; to portray this rich fable of parental alienation, sibling strife, and the onrush of
adult desire, he reached into his own turbulent youth.
With his growing emphasis on visual realism in films such as Pinocchio (1940), Fantasia (1940), Dumbo (1941), and
Bambi (1942), Disney appeared perversely attempting to get himself out of business by too well-imitating life.
That was not the challenge pursued in the 1930s by the main competitors of Disney, who all came to specialize inside their own sort of weird stylized mayhem.
Max and Dave Fleischer had been productive animators in New York when Disney still lived in Kansas City, Missouri.
The Fleischers developed the still-used rotoscoping technique, in which a stripe of a living-action film can be tracked and redrawn as a cartoon.
This method was used by the Fleischers in their groundbreaking Out of the Inkwell series (1919–29).
It was this show that Disney tried to emulate with his early Alice cartoons, with its energetic interplay between human
and drawn characters. Maintaining remained the fairly impersonal Popeye show, based on the Elzie Segar comic strip.
Spinach-loving sailor was featured in the Betty Boop cartoon Popeye the Sailor (1933) as a supporting role and soon rose
to the stardom, lasting for 105 episodes until the 1942 short
Baby Wanted a Battleship when Fleischer studio failed and the property rights transferred to Famous Studios
Stop Motion Animation
Animation in Europe had meanwhile followed a very different course. Eschewing animated line sketches,
filmmakers played with vastly different techniques.
Wladyslaw Starewicz (also billed as Ladislas Starevitch), a Polish art student and aspiring entomologist, developed
stop-motion animation of bugs and dolls in Russia and later in France; Of his most famous works are The Cameraman’s
Revenge (1912), in which a camera-wielding grasshopper
uses the instruments of his profession to humiliate his unfaithful partner,
and a feature-length film The Tale of the Fox (1930), focused on German folktales as replayed by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.
A Russian employed in France, Alexandre Alexeïeff, invented the pinscreen, a board that could be lifted or
lowered perforated by some 500,000 pins, producing
patterns of light and shadow that provided the impression of an animated steel gravure.
It took two years for Alexeïeff to create A Night on the Bald Mountain (1933), utilizing Modest Mussorgsky’s music; In
1963, the root of his most famous picture, the dark fable The Nose, was Nikolay Gogol. Inspired by Thailand’s shadow
puppet theatre, Germany’s Lotte Reiniger used animated silhouettes to construct elaborately illustrated scenes taken from folktales and books for girls.
Her Prince Achmed’s The Adventures (1926) may have been the first animation feature; it required longer than two
decades of diligent research and gained her the title “The Queen of Darkness,” as Jean Renoir bestowed on her.
Her other plays include Dr. Dolittle and His Animals (1928) and musical-themed films by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
(Papageno, 1935; adapted from The Magic Flute), Gaetano Donizetti (L’elisir d’amore, 1939; “The Elixir of Love”), and
Igor Stravinsky (Dream Circus, 1939; adapted from Pulcinella).
Reiniger moved to England in the 1950s, where she continued production of films until her retirement in a year of ’70s.
The animation continues to grow a century after its creation.
The most promising trends are seen on two distinct fronts: Japan’s anime (“animation”) and the United States prime-time TV cartoons.
A descendent of the thick, novelistic style of a Japanese manga comic novels and the ripped-rate techniques established in 1960 for TV output.
Anime like Miyazaki Hayao’s Princess Mononoke (1997) is the contemporary version of epic folk adventures shot by
Mizoguchi Kenji (Ronin 47, 1941) and Kurosawa Akira (Yojimbo, 1961).
The Perfect Blue (1997) from Kon Satoshi reflects director Oshima Nagisa’s early Japanese New Wave films with his
brutal portrayal of a media-damaged identity.
American animation, invented by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera (Yogi Bear, The Flintstones) in the 1950s, was
associated with crude methods and sloppy prose for years.
But with The Simpsons’ debut in 1989, TV animation was home to a type of mordant social criticism or sheer
nonsense (John Kricfalusi’s Ren and Stimpy) that became too pointedly offensive for live-action.
As Mike Judge’s Beavis and Butt-Head made their appearance on the MTV network in 1993, the rock-music
cable channel realized that cartoons could stretch the
censorship boundaries in ways that no live-action TV productions could.
After the success of Judge in 1997, Trey Parker and Matt Stone with South Park, a show based on foul-mouthed
children who grew up in the American Midwest and made
in a small Form of cutout animation that appeared simplistic in 1906.
Modern tv Animations
The modern tv animation’s spiritual leader is Jay Ward, whose first broadcast in 1959 by Rocky and His Friends
transformed the threadbare form of broadcasting into a platform for surreal comedy and adult criticism.
Despite such boundary-pushing developments, full-figure, historically animated films continue to be made, most
notably by Don Bluth (An American Story, 1986), a dissident of Disney who relocated his project to Ireland, and Brad
Bird, a veteran of Simpson’s minimalism who progressed to The Iron Giant’s spectacular full-technique (1999).
When digital processing technologies begin to advance in terms of efficiency and availability, drawing a straight
distinction between live-action and animation is extremely challenging.
Films such as The Matrix, Star Wars: Season One (1999), and Gladiator (2000), integrate settings, scenes of action and also
main characters created by visual artists and brought to fruition by innovation.
These methods are no fewer art director artworks than those of Gertie, Betty Boop, and Bugs Bunny.
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