Mickey sketch

The Ages Of Animation

  • The Phenakistoscope

    The Phenakistoscope
    Belgian physicist Joseph Plateau and his sons introduced the phenakistoscope ("spindle viewer"). His inspiration came from the work of Michael Faraday who had invented the "Michael Faraday's Wheel," which consisted of two discs that spun in opposite directions from each other. From this, Plateau took another step, adapting Faraday's wheel into a toy he later named the phenakistoscope. It uses the persistence of motion principle to create an illusion of motion.
  • Stop Motion Animation

    Stop Motion Animation
    Stop motion animation (also called stop frame animation) is animation that is captured one frame at time, with physical objects that are moved between frames. When you play back the sequence of images rapidly, it creates the illusion of movement. The very first documented stop motion animated film is credited to J. Stuart Blackton and Albert E. Smith for Vitagraph’s The Humpty Dumpty Circus. Some examples include Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Chicken Run, and The Nightmare Before Christmas.
  • The Enchanted Drawing

    The Enchanted Drawing
    A silent film directed by J. Stuart Blackton. It is best known for containing the first animated sequences recorded on standard picture film, which has led Blackton to be considered the father of American animation. It is a combination of a silent film and stop motion animation.
  • Little Nemo

    Little Nemo
    Was a weekly Sunday comic strip written by Winsor McCay, and in 1911, McCay produced a short animated film entitled (simply as) Little Nemo, featuring characters from Little Nemo comic strip. The film is considered an early landmark in animation and was admitted to the National Film Registry. A live-adaptation and feature-length film were made in to the 80s, and a video game adaptation, Little Nemo: The Dream Master, was released by Capcom for the NES in 1990, as well as an arcade game.
  • The Silent Age

    The Silent Age
    Began with the earliest known/existing cartoon and French short film that was entirely drawn, Phantasmagorie by Emile Cohl. Other works previously produced included Little Nemo, Gertie the Dinosaur, etc. At the time, cartoons were presented and viewed as moving comic strips, sometimes even incorporating speech bubbles for their dialog. They tended to have a dull and literal-minded air to them, which was amplified by the primitive, stiff animation, prolonged pacing and floaty motion.
  • Gertie the Dinosaur

    Gertie the Dinosaur
    Was a groundbreaking theatrical short subject from the mind of Little Nemo creator Winsor McCay. Gertie the Dinosaur is a landmark short in personality animation, influencing many artists and future animation pioneers, including Otto Messmer, Paul Terry and Walt Disney. McCay was the first to create an animated dinosaur on film, and also the first to use such animation techniques as keyframes, tracing paper, registration marks and animation loops.
  • Cel Animation

    Cel Animation
    A cel, short for celluloid, is a transparent sheet on which objects are drawn or painted for traditional, hand-drawn animation. Generally, the characters are drawn on cels and laid over a static background drawing. This reduces the number of times an image has to be redrawn and enables studios to split up the production process to different specialised teams. Some cartoons that were created using cel animation include Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Dumbo, and Alice and Wonderland.
  • Birth of the Bouncing Ball

    Birth of the Bouncing Ball
    Was invented by Max Fleischer, founder of Fleischer Studios. The ball highlights whatever word or syllable it touches, or leave a dotted line as it travels across the words. "Follow the bouncing ball" was a technique of directing singalongs in movie theaters where the lyrics are displayed as onscreen subtitles while a ball bounces along each word or syllable of the lyrics, in sync with the actual beat and rhythm of the song for the audience to follow.
  • Cut-out Animation

    Cut-out Animation
    Is a form of stop-motion animation using flat characters, props and backgrounds cut from materials such as paper, card, stiff fabric or even photographs. The first animator to make cutout animation, currently known, was Lotte Reiniger in Germany, with The Adventures of Prince Achmed. She incorporated silhouette animation using armatured cutouts and backgrounds which were variously painted or composed of blown sand and even soap.
  • The Prime Leaders

    The Prime Leaders
    Walt Disney Productions, founded by the Disney brothers, prevailed during the Golden Age, with such shorts as Steamboat Willie (1928), Silly Symphonies (1929), and Three Little Pigs (1933). Warmer Bros., founded in 1918 by the Warner siblings, created such works as Looney Toons (1930), Merrie Melodies (1931), and Bugs Bunny Show (1960). A prime difference between the two studios is that Disney tends to build extended comic sequences and Warner Bros. performs a breakneck succession of stop-gags.
  • The Golden Age

    The Golden Age
    Consisted of Fleischer's, Warner's and MGM's rise to prominence in the years following with the birth of such characters as Mickey Mouse, Betty Boop, Tom and Jerry, Popeye, and several more. Feature length animation began during this period, most notably with Walt Disney's first films: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Pinocchio, Fantasia, etc. Early cartoons were musically oriented and simply drawn, because animation production was expensive, so cartoons had to be rushed out hastily.
  • Steamboat Willie

    Steamboat Willie
    Is a black-and-white Mickey Mouse short, directed by Walt Disney and UB Iwerks, that kicked off what came to be know as The Golden Age of Animation. It is notable for being the first cartoon with a completely post-produced soundtrack of music, dialogue, and sound effects. Namely, it was the first cartoon to get it right, bringing The Silent Age of Animation to an end.
  • The Dark Age

    The Dark Age
    Limited animation was primarily used in order for studios to able to save time and money in cartoon production for mostly children. During this time, MGM released successful kid-oriented shows in the 60s, such as Yogi Bear, the Flintstones, the Jetsons, etc. As well, Walt Disney died and his studio hit a hard slump post-Jungle Book age. Anime was also making its first impact in North America with such imports as Astro Boy, Speed Racer, and Kimba the White Lion and Battle of the Planets.