From the Paleolithic era to the great productions: Discover the history of animation

Cartoons appeal to everyone and have gone through a journey of evolution and success.

Neanderthals already made cartoons, not as we know them, but the portraits found in caves, which were their homes, usually portrayed prehistoric animals and, as the firelight illuminated the environment, it gave the impression that the paintings moved. This phenomenon occurs due to the flickering and movement of the torches, which shed light on a few elements of the drawing at a time.

Jumping back in time, the first time animation met cinema was in 1892. The person responsible for this successful union is the French artist Emile Reynaudinventor of the praxynoscope, a 12-image animation system.

In 1900, ‘The Enchanted Drawing’, directed by J. Stuart Blackton, was the first kind of live-action. Well below what we are used to today, the story is about a cartoonist who takes three-dimensional characters from a drawing pad. And six years later, ‘Comic phrases of funny faces’ was the first drawing considered a real animation by historians, a pioneer in using photographic support.

Already in the year 1908, Emile Cohl created ‘Fantasmagorie’, the first traditional animation cartoon. But at the very beginning, the short film was silent and made with moving stick figures. The technique was used by drawing on paper and then copied on the negative.

Soon the Sullivan studio appeared, which despite having many animations, it was in 1919 that Felix the Cat appeared and gave deserved consecration to the work done.

And it was this studio that inspired walt disney, but of course not for long, already innovated anthropomorphic creatures, first with a rabbit named Oswald, which they lost in a copyright dispute. Despite being devastated, they pulled a card from their sleeve that would be the basis of success, Mickey Mouse.

With all this context, the great producer discovered what exactly was the focus, animation should be used to tell stories that generate emotions, learning and inspiration in children and, why not, in adults too. It was then that ‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs’ (1937) emerged as the first animated feature film.

The effect used by Disney’s film brought many innovations, including the multiplane camera, which simulated parallax, and gave the impression of moving objects.

After that, they saw many other considerable tools that changed the history of animation in film and television as well. As an example, the stop-motion, which is characterized in the photography of the drawings during changes of positions — which in sequence made the character animated.

This technique, which began in 1897, produced increasingly complex puppets that are part not only of consecrated animations, such as ‘Chicken Run’, by Aardman studios, but also of live-action films, such as Star Wars (in the classic universe of this series, the original AT-AT walker transport was created with stop-motion).

In the 1940’s, things evolved a lot with computer animation, known as CG (Computer Graphic). After years of subsisting in primary forms, CG expanded and created cinema icons such as ‘The Incredibles’, ‘Jurassic Park’, among others.

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There are even filmmakers who use two techniques at the same time, as an example ‘Toy Story’which did not leave stop-motion aside and added CG to manage to make one of the most successful children’s films today.

And so that Children’s Day doesn’t go unnoticed, I’m going to show you some curiosities about three unmissable films that create emotions and leave us quite impacted with their exquisite production.

Viva: life is a party

Graphic quality and details are the pinnacle of animation. With a plot that stirs the viewer’s emotions, the design is very similar to reality, made with innovations in computer graphics, blending techniques and 3D modeling. Pixar certainly managed to stand out from what had long been done in the industry.

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Spider-Man in the Spider-Verse

It won an Oscar for best animation, it doesn’t even need more details. With the most modern resources, such as computer graphics, Marvel has achieved one of the best films of recent times, when it comes to design. But beyond technology, printing the stories directly from the comics was what really brought the difference to this animation.

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Jack’s wierd world

A variant of stop-motion, the claymotion technique features clay or modeling clay characters structured on steel, which allow changing movement in each frame. To get an idea, so that Jack’s expressions were convincing, 400 different molds of his face were produced. In all, 277 dolls and many different faces were built.

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From the Paleolithic era to the great productions: Discover the history of animation

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