What Is Cartoon Animation?

Traditional hand-drawn or computer-generated animation techniques are used to create cartoon animation. While animation can cover any subject, style, or age group, the term “cartoon” usually refers to brightly colored short pieces that are often intended to be amusing and appealing to children. Since the beginning of animated film in the early twentieth century, cartoon animation has been used for this purpose. The term “cartoon” also refers to printed humorous drawings that appear in newspapers or magazines. These, on the other hand, are more appropriately referred to as comic strips or gag panels.

Animation and motion picture photography co-existed for a long time. Persistence of vision is a function of the human eye and mind that allows both to exist. The observer perceives a rapid sequence of different images as a single moving image as a result of this. Shortly after the invention of motion pictures in 1896, the first animated films appeared. Soon after, comic strip artist Winsor McKay pioneered cartoon animation with his groundbreaking cartoon Gertie the Dinosaur.

During the golden age of American cinema, in the 1930s and 1940s, it was common practice for movie theaters to screen a number of short films before the main feature. A short newsreel and a cartoon were frequently included in these short films. Some of the greatest animators in history, including Chuck Jones, Friz Freleng, and the Walt Disney studios’ artists, were among the pioneers of this era of cartoon animation. Many of these theatrical cartoons went on to become beloved animation classics, receiving critical acclaim and awards. When television became widely popular in the 1950s, these cartoons began to be syndicated on a regular basis.

With the introduction of television, a new era of cartoon animation began. Hanna-Barbera Studios, for example, provided a plethora of low-cost cartoons for children’s programming. On Saturday mornings and weekday afternoons, a viewer could find broadcast television channels saturated with cartoon programming. In the 1990s, the rise of computer animation coincided with the rapid expansion of cable networks, many of which catered to children. Several of these new channels aired cartoons 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Another boon for cartoon animation arrived at the turn of the twenty-first century. Feature-length theatrical films with large budgets and celebrity voice actors were produced major film studios. Numerous successful animated series have premiered on broadcast and cable networks. Some of the new cartoons were aimed at adults, but they mimicked earlier eras’ simple drawing styles. The animation styles of countries such as Japan gained a global following, and a new Academy Award category for Animated Feature Film demonstrated increased respect for the art form.