Animated cartoon

An animated cartoon is a film for the cinema, television or computer screen, which is made using sequential drawings, as opposed to animation in general, which include films made using clay, puppets, 3D modeling and other means. Animated cartoons are still created for entertainment, commercial, educational[1] and personal purposes.

A horse animated by rotoscoping from Eadweard Muybridge's 19th-century photos. The animation consists of 8 drawings, which are "looped", i.e. repeated over and over.


Early years

Early examples of attempts to capture the phenomenon of motion into a still drawing can be found in paleolithic cave paintings, where animals are often depicted with multiple legs in superimposed positions, clearly attempting to convey the perception of motion.[2]

A 5,200-year old pottery bowl discovered in Shahr-e Sukhteh, Iran, has five sequential images painted around it that seem to show phases of a goat leaping up to nip at a tree.[3][4]

The phenakistoscope (1832), zoetrope (1834) and praxinoscope (1877), as well as the common flip book, were early animation devices to produce movement from sequential drawings using technological means, but did not develop further until the advent of motion picture film.

Phenakistoscope 3g07690a

An 1893 phenakistoscope disc by Eadweard Muybridge.

Phenakistoscope 3g07690b

Simulated mirror view of the disc

Linnet kineograph 1886

An 1886 Flip book


A modern replica of a Victorian zoetrope (1834)

The first person to make animated movies was a French science teacher named, Charles-Emile Reynaud.

Silent era

How Animated Cartoons Are Made (1919)

The first animated projection (screening) was created in France, by Charles-Émile Reynaud, who was a French science teacher. Reynaud created the Praxinoscope in 1877 and the Théâtre Optique in December 1888.[5] On 28 October 1892, he projected the first animation in public, Pauvre Pierrot, at the Musée Grévin in Paris. This film is also notable as the first known instance of film perforations being used. His films were not photographed, but drawn directly onto the transparent strip.[6] In 1900, more than 500,000 people had attended these screenings.

The first (photographed) animated projection was Humorous Phases of Funny Faces (1906) by newspaper cartoonist J. Stuart Blackton,[7] one of the co-founders of the Vitagraph Company arrived.[8] In the film, a cartoonist's line drawings of two faces were 'animated' (or came to life) on a blackboard. The two faces smiled and winked, and the cigar-smoking man blew smoke in the lady's face; also, a circus clown led a small dog to jump through a hoop.

The first animated projection in the traditional sense (i.e., on motion picture film) was Fantasmagorie by the French director Émile Cohl in 1908.[9] This was followed by two more films, Le Cauchemar du fantoche [The Puppet's Nightmare,, now lost] and Un Drame chez les fantoches [A Puppet Drama, called The Love Affair in Toyland for American release and Mystical Love-Making for British release], all completed in 1908.

One of the very first successful animated cartoons was Gertie the Dinosaur (1914) by Winsor McCay.[10] It is considered the first example of true character animation. At first, animated cartoons were black-and-white and silent. Felix the Cat and Oswald the Lucky Rabbit are notable examples.[11]

"Golden Age"

From the 1920s to 1960s, theatrical cartoons were produced in huge numbers, and usually shown before a feature film in a movie theater. Disney (distributed by Pat Powers, then Columbia, then United Artists, then RKO, then independently), Fleischer (distributed by Paramount), Warner Bros., MGM, and UPA (distributed by Columbia) were the largest studios producing these 5- to 10-minute "shorts." Other studios included Walter Lantz (distributed by Universal), DePatie-Freleng (distributed by United Artists), Van Beuren Studios (distributed by RKO Pictures), ComiColor Cartoons (distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer), Charles Mintz Studios (later Screen Gems) (distributed by Columbia), Famous Studios (distributed by Paramount), and Terrytoons (distributed by 20th Century Fox).

The first cartoon to use a soundtrack was in 1926 with Max Fleischer's My Old Kentucky Home. However the Fleischers used a De Forest sound system and the sound was not completely synchronized with the film.[12] Walt Disney's 1928 cartoon Steamboat Willie starring Mickey Mouse was the first to use a click track during the recording session, which produced better synchronism. "Mickey Mousing" became a term for any movie action (animated or live action) that was perfectly synchronized with music. The music used is original most of the time, but musical quotation is often employed. Animated characters usually performed the action in "loops," i.e., drawings were repeated over and over.

Although other producers had made films earlier using 2-strip color, Disney produced the first cartoon in 3-strip Technicolor, Flowers and Trees, in 1932. Technicians at the Fleischer studio invented rotoscoping, in which animators trace live action in order to make animation look more realistic. However, rotoscoping made the animation look stiff and the technique was later used more for studying human and animal movement, rather than directly tracing and copying filmed movements.[13] Later, other movie technologies were adapted for use in animation, such as multiplane cameras with The Old Mill (1937),[14] stereophonic sound in Fantasia (1940), widescreen processes with the feature-length Lady and the Tramp (1955), and even 3D with Lumber Jack-Rabbit.[15]

Today, traditional animation uses traditional methods, but is aided by computers in certain areas. This gives the animator new tools not available that could not be achieved using old techniques.

Feature films

In 1917, Italian-Argentine cartoonist Quirino Cristiani created the first animated feature ever made, El Apóstol, utilizing cutout animation; however, a fire that destroyed producer Federico Valle's film studio incinerated the only known copy of the film, and it is now considered lost.[16]

In 1937, Disney created the first sound and color animated feature film, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.[17]

The name "animated cartoon" is generally not used when referring to full-length animated productions, since the term more or less implies a "short." Huge numbers of animated feature films were, and are still, produced.


Competition from television drew audiences away from movie theaters in the late 1950s, and the theatrical cartoon began its decline. Today, animated cartoons for American audiences are produced mostly for television.

American television animation of the 1950s featured quite limited animation styles, highlighted by the work of Jay Ward on Crusader Rabbit.[18] Chuck Jones coined the term "illustrated radio" to refer to the shoddy style of most television cartoons that depended more on their soundtracks than visuals.[19] Other notable 1950s programs include UPA's Gerald McBoing Boing,[20] Hanna-Barbera's Huckleberry Hound and Quick Draw McGraw,[18] and rebroadcast of many classic theatrical cartoons from Universal's Walter Lantz, Warner Bros., MGM, and Disney.

The Hanna-Barbera cartoon, The Flintstones, was the first successful primetime animated series in the United States, running from 1960 to 1966 (and in reruns since).[21] While many networks followed the show's success by scheduling other cartoons in the early 1960s, including Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!, The Jetsons, Top Cat, and The Alvin Show, none of these programs survived more than a year (save Scooby-Doo, which, despite not being a primetime cartoon, has managed to stay afloat for over four decades). However, networks found success by running these shows as Saturday morning cartoons, reaching smaller audiences with more demographic unity among children. Television animation for children flourished on Saturday morning, on cable channels like Nickelodeon, Disney Channel/Disney XD and Cartoon Network, PBS Kids, and in syndicated afternoon timeslots.

The scheduling constraints of the TV animation process, notably issues of resource management, led to the development of various techniques known now as limited animation. Full-frame animation ("on ones") became rare in its use outside of theatrical productions in the United States.

Primetime cartoons for mature audiences were virtually non-existent in the mainstream of the United States until the 1990s hit, when The Simpsons ushered in a new era of adult animation. Now, "adult animation" programs, such as, Beavis and Butt-head, South Park, King of the Hill, Family Guy, American Dad! and Futurama have increased the number of animated sitcoms on prime-time and evening American television. In addition, animated works from other countries (notably Japan) have had varying levels of airplay in the United States since the 1960s.

Commercial animation

Animation has been very popular in television commercials, both due to its graphic appeal, and the humour it can provide. Some animated characters in commercials have survived for decades, such as Snap, Crackle and Pop in advertisements for Kellogg's cereals.

The legendary animation director Tex Avery was the producer of the first Raid "Kills Bugs Dead" commercials in 1966, which were very successful for the company. The concept has been used in many countries since.

See also



  1. ^ Dalacostaa 2009, p. 1.
  2. ^ Thomas 1958, p. 8.
  3. ^ Cohn, Neil (February 15, 2006). "The Visual Linguist: Burnt City animation VL". The Visual Linguist.
  4. ^ Ball, Ryan (March 12, 2008). "Oldest Animation Discovered In Iran". Animation Magazine.
  5. ^ Bendazzi 1994, pp. 3–4.
  6. ^ Bendazzi 1994, pp. 5–6.
  7. ^ Bendazzi 1994, pp. 7–8.
  8. ^ Bendazzi 1994, p. 16.
  9. ^ Bendazzi 1994, p. 9.
  10. ^ Bendazzi 1994, pp. 16–17.
  11. ^ Bendazzi 1994, pp. 55, 59.
  12. ^ Maltin 1980, p. 89.
  13. ^ Thomas 1958, pp. 14.
  14. ^ Maltin 1980, p. 51.
  15. ^ Maltin 1980, p. 265.
  16. ^ Bendazzi 1994, pp. 49–51.
  17. ^ Bendazzi 1994, pp. 66–67.
  18. ^ a b Bendazzi 1994, p. 234.
  19. ^ Bendazzi 1994, p. 231.
  20. ^ Bendazzi 1994, pp. 131–132.
  21. ^ Bendazzi 1994, p. 235.


External links

A Coach for Cinderella

A Coach for Cinderella is a 1936 Technicolor animated cartoon sponsored film based on the Cinderella fairy tale. Directed by Max Fleischer, and Produced by Jaminson Handy, the film is an advertisement for Chevrolet automobiles.

Animated series

An animated series is a set of animated works with a common series title, usually related to one another. These episodes should typically share the same main characters, some different secondary characters and a basic theme. Series can have either a finite number of episodes like a miniseries, a definite end, or be open-ended, without a predetermined number of episodes. They can be broadcast on television, shown in movie theatres, released direct-to-video or on the internet. Like animated films, animated series can be of a wide variety of genres and can also have different target audiences, from children to adults.


Anime () (Japanese: アニメ, Hepburn: anime, [aɲime] (listen), plural: anime) is hand-drawn and computer animation originating from or associated with Japan.

The word anime is the Japanese term for animation, which means all forms of animated media. Outside Japan, anime refers specifically to animation from Japan or as a Japanese-disseminated animation style often characterized by colorful graphics, vibrant characters and fantastical themes. The culturally abstract approach to the word's meaning may open up the possibility of anime produced in countries other than Japan. For simplicity, many Westerners strictly view anime as a Japanese animation product. Some scholars suggest defining anime as specifically or quintessentially Japanese may be related to a new form of Orientalism.The earliest commercial Japanese animation dates to 1917, and Japanese anime production has since continued to increase steadily. The characteristic anime art style emerged in the 1960s with the works of Osamu Tezuka and spread internationally in the late twentieth century, developing a large domestic and international audience. Anime is distributed theatrically, by way of television broadcasts, directly to home media, and over the Internet. It is classified into numerous genres targeting diverse broad and niche audiences.

Anime is a diverse art form with distinctive production methods and techniques that have been adapted over time in response to emergent technologies. It consists of an ideal story-telling mechanism, combining graphic art, characterization, cinematography, and other forms of imaginative and individualistic techniques. The production of anime focuses less on the animation of movement and more on the realism of settings as well as the use of camera effects, including panning, zooming, and angle shots. Being hand-drawn, anime is separated from reality by a crucial gap of fiction that provides an ideal path for escapism that audiences can immerse themselves into with relative ease. Diverse art styles are used and character proportions and features can be quite varied, including characteristically large emotive or realistically sized eyes.

The anime industry consists of over 430 production studios, including major names like Studio Ghibli, Gainax, and Toei Animation. Despite comprising only a fraction of Japan's domestic film market, anime makes up a majority of Japanese DVD sales. It has also seen international success after the rise of English-dubbed programming. This rise in international popularity has resulted in non-Japanese productions using the anime art style. Whether these works are anime-influenced animation or proper anime is a subject for debate amongst fans. Japanese anime accounts for 60% of the world's animated cartoon television shows, as of 2016.

Charlie Dog (Looney Tunes)

Charlie Dog, Charlie the Dog or Charles the Dog is an animated cartoon fictional character in the Warner Brothers Looney Tunes series of cartoons.

Claude Cat

Claude Cat is an animated cartoon character in the Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies series of cartoons from Warner Brothers.

Goopy Geer

Goopy Geer is an animated cartoon character in the Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies series of cartoons from Warner Bros.

Gossamer (Looney Tunes)

Gossamer is an animated cartoon character in the Warner Bros. Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies series of cartoons. The character is a hairy, orange monster. His body is perched on two giant tennis shoes, and his heart-shaped face is composed of only two oval eyes and a wide mouth, with two hulking arms ending in dirty, clawed fingers. The monster's main trait is bright uncombed orange hair. He originally was voiced by Mel Blanc and has been voiced by Frank Welker, Maurice LaMarche, Joe Alaskey, Jim Cummings, and Kwesi Boakye.

The word gossamer means any sort of thin, fragile, transparent material. In particular, it can refer to a kind of delicate, sheer gauze or a light cobweb. The name is meant to be ironic because the character is large, menacing, and destructive.

Hector the Bulldog

Hector the Bulldog is an animated cartoon character in the Warner Bros. Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies series of cartoons. Hector is a muscle-bound bulldog with gray fur (except in "A Street Cat Named Sylvester" and "Greedy for Tweety", where his fur is yellowish) and walks pigeon-toed. His face bears a perpetual scowl between two immense jowls. He usually wears a black collar with silver studs.

List of animated short series

The following is a list of theatrical short animated cartoon (or "short animations") series. Most notable animated film series were produced during the silent era and the Hollywood golden era. All series below are from the United States except as noted.

List of one-shot Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer animated shorts

This is a list of theatrical animated cartoon shorts distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer which were not part of any other series such as Tom and Jerry, Droopy, Barney Bear, Screwy Squirrel, George and Junior, Spike and Tyke, Spike or Happy Harmonies. All cartoons were in Technicolor.

List of programs broadcast by YTV

This is a list of television programs currently and formerly broadcast by the Canadian television channel YTV.

Merlin the Magic Mouse

Merlin the Magic Mouse is an animated cartoon character, an anthropomorphic mouse, who starred in five Looney Tunes shorts late in the series.

Muzzle Tough

Muzzle Tough is a 1954 Merrie Melodies animated cartoon directed by Friz Freleng and featuring Tweety, Sylvester the Cat, Granny and Hector the Bulldog.

The title is a play on the Yiddish expression "mazel tov", which roughly translates to "good luck".

Penelope Pussycat

Penelope Pussycat is an animated cartoon character, featured in the Warner Bros. classic Looney Tunes animated shorts as the protagonist of the Pepé Le Pew shorts. Although she is typically a non-speaker, her "meows" and "purrs" (or "le mews" and "le purrs") were most often provided by Mel Blanc using a feminine voice. In the 1959 short Really Scent, she was voiced by June Foray, in the 1962 short Louvre Come Back to Me!, she was voiced by Julie Bennett, and in the 2000 movie, Tweety's High-Flying Adventure, she was voiced by Frank Welker. Her first speaking role was in the 1995 short Carrotblanca, where she was voiced by Tress MacNeille.

Playboy Penguin

Playboy Penguin is a character in the animated cartoon Looney Tunes, created by Chuck Jones in the late 1940s and early 1950s. He debuted in 1949's Frigid Hare and he re-appeared in 8 Ball Bunny.

Quentin Quail

Quentin Quail is a screwball animated cartoon, part of the Merrie Melodies series, directed by Chuck Jones and released in 1946. It presents a tale about a quail (voiced by Tedd Pierce) who goes through various trials and tribulations to try to get a worm for his baby, Toots (a take-off on Fanny Brice's radio character, Baby Snooks), only to be rebuffed by her because the worm looks like Frank Sinatra.

Television comedy

Television comedy had a presence from the earliest days of broadcasting. Among the earliest BBC television programmes in the 1930s was Starlight, which offered a series of guests from the music hall era, which often included singers and comedians. Similarly, many early United States television programs were variety shows including the Texaco Star Theater featuring Milton Berle; comedy acts often taken from vaudeville were staples of such shows.

The range of television comedy is extremely broad to the extent that anything under the heading comedy can be put before an audience through the medium of television. However, it is true to say that certain genres of comedy transfer to the small screen more successfully than others.

Thai animation

The Thai animation (Thai: แอนิเมชันไทย) industry began after World War II when artist Sanae Klaikluen was asked by the Thai government to make a short animated cartoon that instructed Thai citizens to wear hats and farmers to wear boots.

The Squawkin' Hawk

The Squawkin' Hawk is an American animated cartoon short in the Merrie Melodies series, first released to theatres on 8 October 1942. It was produced by Leon Schlesinger (credited on the original issue), supervised by Chuck Jones (credited as Charles M. Jones on the original issue), featuring characters animated by the quartet (except Robert Cannon's solo animation credit on the original issue) with effects animated by the solo effects animator (A.C. Gamer) and music directed by Carl Stalling (credited as Carl W. Stalling on the original issue) and orchestrated by uncredited Milt Franklyn, and released to theatres by Warner Bros. Its running time is 6:46 minutes. It marked the debut of Henery Hawk.

Animation topics
By country
Related topics
By style
By theme
By movement
or period
By demographic groups
By format,
or production

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.