Early Animation Beginnings
Animation traces back to prehistoric cave paintings, where animals were depicted with multiple legs in superimposed positions, suggesting motion. Thaumatrope, a 1824 invention, used a spinning disk to merge two images, simulating movement and marking the groundwork for animation.
Phenakistoscope Introduces Motion
In 1833, the phenakistoscope introduced the principle of sequential images. Invented by Joseph Plateau, it was a spinning disc attached vertically to a handle. Arrayed around the disc's center were series of images showing phases of motion.
Eadweard Muybridge in 1879, constructed the zoopraxiscope, which projected a series of successive images to create the illusion of motion. His work, especially 'The Horse in Motion' study, was critical in the development of motion pictures.
First Animated Cartoon
In 1906, J. Stuart Blackton created 'Humorous Phases of Funny Faces,' considered the first animated film. Using chalkboard drawings and stop-motion, it showcased facial expressions changing. This predated Disney by over two decades, pioneering animated storytelling.
Disney's Technological Leap
Disney's 'Steamboat Willie' (1928) was a game-changer, introducing synchronized sound. Disney continued to innovate with 'Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs' (1937), the first full-length cel-animated feature in motion picture history, using multiplane camera techniques.
The Rise of Computer Animation
The 1995 release of 'Toy Story' marked a revolution as the first feature-length film created entirely with computer-generated imagery (CGI). Developed by Pixar, this ushered in a new era, with CGI becoming the standard for major animated movies.
Animation's Future: VR and AR
Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) are taking animation into immersive realms. Projects like 'Dear Angelica' and 'Google Spotlight Stories' explore storytelling within 360-degree environments, hinting at the future of interactive and experiential animation.