Starting with toys that used a principle of animation called persistence of vision, the art of animation has a long and varied history. Animation began with this simple concept used toys. The first example captured on film, the first animated character, and the first animated film with sound are all significant events in animation history. The first full-length feature film and the first digital- or computer-generated animated film are among the later events.
The history of animation began long before it was captured on film. Toys like the Zoetrope, which required the viewer to peer through a slit at a spinning wheel with a series of pictures on it. The images would appear to be one continuous image rather than many separate ones as the wheel turned. Persistence of vision is the term for this phenomenon, and it is the concept that has inspired future advances in animation.
The first animated film is a significant milestone in animation history. J Stuart Blackton created it in 1906 drawing pictures on a blackboard with chalk. “Humorous Phases of Funny Faces” was the title. Blackton drew a picture of two faces, filmed it, then paused the video, erased the drawing, and drew a new one, which he then filmed. This was repeated in a cycle known as stop motion animation, and when the film was played back, the faces in the finished product appeared to be moving.
Gertie the Dinosaur, the first animated character in animation history, was born not long after this. Winsor McCay created her in 1914, using hundreds of hand-drawn images that he drew and filmed himself. This laborious process could take more than a year to complete a five-minute film. He was the first person to portray a character with animation. For his efforts, he is credited as the “Father of the Modern Cartoon.”
“Steamboat Willie,” the first animated film with synchronized sound, was another milestone in animation history. This was a very early Mickey Mouse film, released in 1928 Walt Disney. Previously, the animation was silent, with occasional additions of separate music. Synchronized sound allowed animators to more effectively use sound as part of their storytelling, eventually leading to character dialogue.
Walt Disney’s “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,” released in 1937, was the first full-length animated feature film to survive. It was Disney’s first feature film, as well as the first in color. It used a multiplane camera, a new type of camera that created the illusion of depth. It was revolutionary at the time, and it is still regarded as a timeless classic. It was the first of many Disney films to follow.
Pixar’s 1995 release of “Toy Story” was a more recent event in animation history. It was the first feature-length animated film to be entirely created with computer-generated imagery. Each frame took hours to make, and the final product had incredible clarity, depth, and color. Many people believe that computer-generated animation is the way of the future in animation.