How animation has changed throughout the years

How animation has changed throughout the years

Sabrina Ngu, News Editor

Animation has been around longer than people realize. Due to technological advancements, cost and time, animation has evolved. Here’s a history behind animation and what it was like before “Coco” or “Frozen.”  

30,000 B.C to 1500 A.D: 
The earliest form of animation was through drawings, which would portray sequences of events that would occur in a low frame rate. Not only were they short, they lacked liveliness. 

Machines were made in order to make moving images. Made in 1603, the magic lantern used paintings, prints or photographs on sheets of transparent plates of glass, making it one of the first examples of projected animation. Assuming that it existed before the 19th century, the flip book, or the kinograph, is filled with a series of pictures that gradually change from one page to the next.  

The era was dubbed “The Silent Era” due to the creation of silent cartoons. People have grown aware of animation and its capabilities, creating many animation studios. Created by Emile Cohl, the earliest animation film, “Fantasmagorie,” was made in 1908. “Steamboat Willie”, featuring Mickey Mouse, was created in 1928 and was the first cartoon with sound printed on the film. 

Considered the “Golden Age of American Animation,” theatrical cartoons have become crucial to pop culture. These years also defined the growth of studios like Walt Disney and Warner Bros. Produced by Warner Bros., “Looney Tunes” and “Merry Melodies” were comedy short films that ran from 1930 to 1969. In 1937, Walt Disney released “Snow White and the Seven Dwarves” as the first hand-drawn animated feature film. 
“I feel like traditional animation will always be pretty,” junior Lauren McGovern said. “The fluid movement, the colors and shading, it’s not trying to imitate reality in the same way. I can’t imagine a time where ‘Bambi’ or ‘The Lion King’ wasn’t beautiful, fluid and visually remarkable.” 

Animation became televised. In 1960, Hanna-Barbera produced and released “The Flintstones,” an animated sitcom that took place in a romanticized Stone Age. With the help of cable channels such as “Disney Channel” and “Nickelodeon”, cartoons became prominent, the main audience being American families. 

Late 20th century:  
Technology evolved, and so did animation with the revolution of computer generated imagery (CGI). The first fully CGI-animated film was “The Adventures of Andre and Wally B” created by the Graphics Group, Pixar’s predecessor. In 1995, “Toy Story” was released and became the first fully computer-animated feature film. 

3D animation has blossomed in popularity within movies, while there is a lack of hand-drawn animation. However, there are a wide range of American animated shows found on cable channels such as “Nickelodeon” and “Cartoon Network.” Hand-drawn animation can also be found outside of the United States, such as Japanese animation, which frequently uses hand-drawn animation. 
Various sorts of animation styles are still used to this day, each one different than the next. 
“Unique animation often speaks to the creativity and passion behind the project with there being substantial effort to make it visually interesting,” McGovern said.