Technological advances have allowed us to make the quality full-length films and shorts you see on the big screen today. But have you ever wondered how animation first started and how it changed over the years? Today we’re going to provide you with a brief overview on animation and how it first started.
The Phenakistoscope and Zoetrope devices
The first animation devices were invented in the early 1830s. These animation devices involved a spinning drum with drawings that slightly differed from one another. When spun, it would appear as though the images were moving (Kehr, 2016).
In 1908, Emile Cohl created what is considered to be the first fully animated film, Fantasmagorie. This film lasts for around 1 minute and 16 seconds. From the early 1900s to the 1930s, many illustrators tried their hands at stop-motion animation using various techniques (Popova, 2011).
Adding the element of sound
It wasn’t until Disney’s Steamboat Willie that animation was able to come alive by combining the stop-motion with sound. Disney later started to add in depth with his camera which made the stories and characters really come to life for an audience. Disney’s 1937 Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs was what really impressed audiences (Kehr, 2016). Although this film wasn’t the first animated film, it was definitely the first full-length animated film of such a high quality.
The 1980s changed animation forever
Computer animation technology was created in the 1980s, which allowed animators to create dynamic, interesting characters and give animated films a completely different look. The world went crazy over the first film that was completely computer-animated, Toy Story (Kehr, 2016).
Animation continues to Improve
Animation thrives today due to many of the technological advances we’ve had. Animation software has become more accessible and stop-motion has become relevant on social media as apps have been created for making stop-motion videos on your phone. Animation is still an incredibly powerful way of communicating and storytelling and can resonate with audiences of different ages and backgrounds. We’re looking forward to see where technology takes animation in the future.
Kehr, Dave. "Animation." Encyclopedia Britannica. Encyclopedia Britannica, Inc., 2016. Web.
Popova, Maria. "Before Walt Disney: 5 Pioneers of Early Animation." The Atlantic. The Atlantic Monthly Group, 2011. Web.