9 December 2011

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A Brief (And Eccentric) History of Animation



People have been telling stories using pictures since the Greek and Egyptian ages. The Bayeux Tapestries' tells the story of the Battle of Hastings in 1066 using pictures and studying the tapestry it is clear to the onlooker what happened. Looking at local church stained glass windows we can see events portrayed that happened during the 18th century.

Shadow puppet shows have been around in the East for many centuries. The first type of animation in the West was the Flick Book. Publishers produced these as early as the 16th and 17th centuries.

In 1710, a Magic Lantern was able to make images 'jump' around and in 1845 an Austrian, Baron Franz von Uchatius, found a way of projecting these images onto a wall.

In 1820, a Thaumatrope was created. This was a toy cardboard disc suspended on a piece of string. On each side of the disc are images and as the disc is spun round, the images would seem to combine, e.g. a cat in a basket.

In 1822 the first photograph was made by a Frenchman called Niepce. It took a further twenty years for the process to be developed to one similar to that used today.

In 1834 the Zoetrope was invented, having been developed from a series of similar ideas. and in 1867 it was further adapted to produce the Praxinascope. This was similar to the Zoetrope but had a series of mirrors in the center of the drum and the viewer watched the animation in the mirrors. This was later developed to allow the images to be projected onto a screen.

In 1874 the first comic book was produced in Britain.
1895 saw the first film show by the Lumiere Brothers in Paris.
In 1906 J. Stuart Blackton made the first ever piece of animation in America. At about the same time Emile Cohl made a piece of animation in France (1908)


The drum later disappeared to allow for the early animation films as we know them today and in 1913 the invention of the cell allowed for animation on celluloid photographed against a background that needed to be changed only when the scene changed. This was discovered by Earl Hurd.
1927 saw the Warner Brothers' make the first sound movie, "The Jazz singer" and in 1928, Disney introduced a character called Mickey Mouse in the first sound animation film, "Steamboat Willie".


The first color process was made in 1929. In 1934 Donald Duck made his debut in "The Wise Little Hen".




About today's Guest Writer:
Samet Bilir writes about fashion, book reviews, holiday shopping and a lot of other things, such as tankini swimsuits. To read more articles from him click this link.


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