For more than a century, audiences have been enthralled by animation, the captivating realm of moving images. Animation has developed continuously, adopting cutting-edge methods and stretching the frontiers of artistic expression, from the lighthearted antics of Mickey Mouse to the sparkling worlds of Studio Ghibli. Join me as we travel back in time to discover the fascinating story of animation, from its early days as a niche form of entertainment to its current position as a dominant force.
Origins of Animation: The first examples of animation date to the prehistoric period, when creatures in motion were portrayed in cave paintings. However, the pioneering effort of those who aimed to depict movement on a two-dimensional surface can be credited with giving rise to modern animation. Eadweard Muybridge’s photographic studies of sequential pictures in the late 19th century lay the groundwork for the creation of animation.
The Beginning of conventional Animation: With the introduction of gadgets like the Zoetrope and the Praxinoscope at the beginning of the 20th century, the period of conventional animation got underway. These clever devices used a sequence of photos arranged in a circular motion to provide the impression of movement. With his “Fantasmagorie” (1908), often recognised as the first animated cartoon, the forward-thinking animator Émile Cohl expanded the possibilities of the medium.
The rise of animation as a well-liked art form is closely associated with Walt Disney and the Golden Age of Animation. Mickey Mouse made his screen debut in 1928’s breakthrough “Steamboat Willie” short film with synchronised sound and music. By introducing synchronised sound, Technicolour, and the multiplane camera, Disney revolutionised the business and enabled previously unheard-of levels of realism and storytelling.
Known as the “Golden Age of Animation,” the 1930s and 1940s saw the creation of well-known cartoon characters including Donald Duck, Daffy Duck, and Bugs Bunny. The first-ever full-length animated feature picture, “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” by Disney (1937), set a new bar for animation by fusing gripping stories with stunning visuals.
Animation Techniques’ Evolution: Animation techniques evolved along with technology. With the help of United Productions of America (UPA), restricted animation gained popularity in the 1950s and 1960s. This ground-breaking method streamlined production and added stylish, contemporary aesthetics. Parallel to the introduction of television, popular animated series like “The Jetsons” (1962) and “The Flintstones” (1960) entered homes all over the world.
The development of computer-generated imagery (CGI) began in the 1970s. The first entirely computer-animated movie, “Toy Story” (1995), was made by Pixar Animation Studios in partnership with Disney after films like “Star Wars” (1977) demonstrated the possibilities of digital effects.
While Western animation saw great success, Japan created its own unique animation genre known as anime. Hayao Miyazaki created films like “Spirited Away” (2001) and “My Neighbour Totoro” (1988) that combined traditional hand-drawn animation with innovative storytelling to attract viewers all over the world.
The field of animation has been further enhanced by international partnerships and inspirations. With works like “Wallace & Gromit” (1989), studios like Aardman Animations (United Kingdom) elevated claymation, while Studio Ghibli (Japan) broadened the possibilities of animated narrative.
Present-Day Animation and the Future:
Both in terms of aesthetic success and commercial success, animation has recently seen exponential expansion. streamkiste