Friday, November 14, 2014

A History of Animation: Pocket Version

I signed up for ACP: Animation next semester, and I've just been curious about animation as a whole ever since. I know that I have quite a few cartoons that I've consumed under my belt, but that doesn't mean I know the first thing about animation or it's complex histories. How long is the "history" of animation anyway?

Turns out, the first animation came out fourteen years after the first film (Fred Ott's Sneeze, 1894). Straight out of France, Fantasmagorie is known as the first animated short film by Emile Cohl. (1908)

Whenever I'm feeling overwhelmed in class next semester and want nothing more than to throw in the towel, I am going to remind myself that when Walt Disney was my age (20) he had begun his first animation company. He called it "Laugh-O-Grams" and it crashed and burned very shortly after taking off. Four years later good ol' Walt made Steamboat Willie which featured the famous Mickey Mouse for the first time. It may come as no surprise that Walts newest creation took off big time. I know it may be cheesy to see Walt Disney as an inspiration, but we all know how easy it is to give up when things don't work out. And personally, I'm pleased as punch I have a plethora of animated princesses that pranced their way through my childhood. I'm going to try and let the fact that he didn't let Laugh-O-Grams discourage him, to get me through learning new and complicated software.

Speaking of Disney, did you know that The Looney Tunes was originally a spin-off of Silly Symphonies; an animation produced by Disney? However, it just so happened to grow into it's own giant franchise and life of it's own like wildfire.

I also had no idea that Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was the first official feature length animated film to be released. That's less than 80 years ago!

The biggest game changer to the animated world was easily when Apple computers created 3-D films. In 1995 Toy Story was released as "Babies First 3-D Film" and it's done so well a fourth one is rumored to be released. The animated world has never been the same since. It's debatable as to which reigns supreme (3-D or 2-D?). What's undoubtable is how incredibly far animation has evolved in less than a century. 

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