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Animation Video

A Rollercoaster Ride Through Time: A Quick Peek at Animation’s History!

Go get your popcorn because we’re about to take a wild ride through the incredible journey of animation. From ancient hieroglyphs to today’s intricate CGI, we have seen animation evolve into a powerful art form that continues to captivate audiences worldwide. Let’s take a (not so deep) dive into the history of animation, it’s actually pretty effing cool.

What have cavemen got to do with this?!

The roots of animation go way back, and even the cavemen were getting in on the action! When we talk about animation, ancient cave paintings might not be the first thing that comes to mind, but like most things in life, we have to give kudos to the people of caves. To really understand how animation evolved, we’ve got to go back to the very beginning.

Ancient civilisations were dabbling in visual storytelling long before Pixar came along. Prehistoric cave paintings were found in France and Spain, with examples of animation-like sequences of animals and humans in motion. And it didn’t stop there! Even in places like Egypt and Greece, they were using hieroglyphs and pottery to tell stories through sequential images. These ancient artworks were laying the groundwork for the animation we know and love today.

The Whiz-bang era of Animation Gadgets

Believe it or not, the 19th century wasn’t all about top hats and steam engines- it was also a golden era for animation gadgets. Yes. Animation. Gadgets. One of the coolest contraptions of that time was the zoetrope, created by William George Horner in 1834. I’m sure you will have all seen one at some point, the cylinder lamp type thing with little slits cut into it, and inside there’s a sequence of images, most commonly a dancing figure. When you spin it, the images come to life.

After the zoetrope came onto the scene, folks started getting even more creative. From the phenakistoscope to the good ol’ flip book. Each one adds its own twist to the mix, pushing the boundaries of what was possible and setting the stage for the birth of motion picture.

Lights, Camera, Animation!

This is where animation gets a serious upgrade. It’s the late 19th/early 20th Century and motion picture cameras are now on the scene and have changed the game forever. There are two guys to thank for this. First up we have French inventor Emile Reynaud. Reynaud is credited with creating the first animated films, and he’s got his praxinoscope theatre to thank for it. This contraption projected moving images onto a screen, wowing audiences all over the globe.

But the real OG of animation, the guy who was at the heart of all of the pioneering work, was an American animator J.Stuart Blackton. The mastermind behind “Humorous Phases of Funny Faces” a gem from 1906 that’s considered to be one of the earliest examples of hand-drawn animation on film. By drawing directly onto chalkboard and filming each drawing frame by frame with precision, Blackton brought his whimsical characters to life right before viewers eyes, just like magic. And folks just couldn’t get enough.

The Golden Age of Animation

Next up, we’re diving right into the roaring 20s, a time when animation was about to hit its peak. It’s the “Golden Age of Animation” a period where game-changing innovations and iconic animation studios ruled the scene. And who’s to thank for this, you ask? None other than the legendary Walt Disney, often crowned as the father of modern day animation.

In 1928, Disney unleashed the sensation known as “Steamboat Willie” and bam! The world met Mickey Mouse, who went on to become one of the worlds all time favourite animated characters. Mickey’s success paved the way for other iconic films like “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” (1937) and “Pinocchio” (1940). These classics were a total game changer.

But Disney wasn’t the only player in town. We’ve got other huge competitors like Warner Bros., MGM and Fleischer Studios stepping up to the plate. Giving us unforgettable characters like Bugs Bunny, Tom and Jerry and the iconic Betty Boop. It was an animation frenzy, and these studios were giving us legendary characters that would go down in history.

The Television Animation Revolution

Hold on to your remotes because when television hit the scene in the mid 20th Century, animators hit the jackpot! Animated TV series started skyrocketing in popularity. We’re talking about classics like “The Flinstones” (1960-1966) and the ongoing “The Simpsons” (1989- present because yes, it is STILL going).

New techniques were also coming into play, “Limited Animation” pioneered by studios like Hanna-Barbera Productions. This was a small-screen animation revelation as it didn’t just cut costs, it flipped the script on production methods, making it feasible to churn out animated series for TV on a grand scale.

The Digital Shake up!

We’re now stepping into the latter half of the 20th Century, where the digital revolution was about to take the animation world by storm! We’re talking CGI (computer-generated imagery). Suddenly animators could whip up jaw-droppingly realistic visuals and mind-bending 3D animations that left audiences in awe.

The pioneers of the CGI magic – Pixar Animation Studios. These guys burst onto the scene in 1986 and nothing was ever the same again. With “Toy Story” (1995), they unleashed the world’s first entirely CGI-animated feature film and it. made. waves. Toy Story set the stage for a whole new era of animation, and it didn’t stop there. DreamWorks Animation and Illumination Entertainment joined in on the buzz and they’ve been churning out hit after hit ever since!

Time to wrap it up!

Unfortunately, we’ve only just scratched the surface of the incredible story of animation. From those humble beginnings of doodles in motion, to the mind-blowing CGI extravaganzas, animations history is a shining testament to human creativity. Animators have been the modern-day wizards, pushing the boundaries, weaving spellbinding tales which the world will never forget. And you know what the exciting thing is? The journey is far from over! With the constant evolution of technology and innovation, the art of animation will keep generations sparking wonder for decades to come.

Animation is important to any marketing strategy, if you need a hand getting started get in touch!