Animation

Animation is a method in which pictures are manipulated to appear as moving images. In traditional animation, images are drawn or painted by hand on transparent celluloid sheets to be photographed and exhibited on film. Today, most animations are made with computer-generated imagery (CGI). Computer animation can be very detailed 3D animation, while 2D computer animation can be used for stylistic reasons, low bandwidth or faster real-time renderings. Other common animation methods apply a stop motion technique to two and three-dimensional objects like paper cutouts, puppets or clay figures.

Commonly the effect of animation is achieved by a rapid succession of sequential images that minimally differ from each other. The illusion—as in motion pictures in general—is thought to rely on the phi phenomenon and beta movement, but the exact causes are still uncertain. Analog mechanical animation media that rely on the rapid display of sequential images include the phénakisticope, zoetrope, flip book, praxinoscope and film. Television and video are popular electronic animation media that originally were analog and now operate digitally. For display on the computer, techniques like animated GIF and Flash animation were developed.

Animation is more pervasive than many people realise. Apart from short films, feature films, animated gifs and other media dedicated to the display of moving images, animation is also heavily used for video games, motion graphics and special effects. Animation is also prevalent in information technology interfaces.[1]

The physical movement of image parts through simple mechanics – in for instance the moving images in magic lantern shows – can also be considered animation. The mechanical manipulation of puppets and objects to emulate living beings has a very long history in automata. Automata were popularised by Disney as animatronics.

Animators are artists who specialize in creating animation.

Animexample3edit
The bouncing ball animation (below) consists of these six frames.
Animexample
This animation moves at 10 frames per second.

Etymology

The word "animation" stems from the Latin "animationem" (nominative "animatio"), noun of action from past participle stem of "animare", meaning "the action of imparting life". The primary meaning of the English word is "liveliness" and has been in use much longer than the meaning of "moving image medium".[2]

History

The history of animation started long before the development of cinematography. Humans have probably attempted to depict motion as far back as the paleolithic period. Shadow play and the magic lantern offered popular shows with moving images as the result of manipulation by hand and/or some minor mechanics.

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] In 1833, the phenakistiscope introduced the stroboscopic principle of modern animation, which would also provide the basis for the zoetrope (1866), the flip book (1868), the praxinoscope (1877) and cinematography.

Lanature1882 praxinoscope projection reynaud
A projecting praxinoscope, 1882, here shown superimposing an animated figure on a separately projected background scene

Charles-Émile Reynaud further developed his projection praxinoscope into the Théâtre Optique with transparent hand-painted colorful pictures in a long perforated strip wound between two spools, patented in December 1888. From 28 October 1892 to March 1900 Reynaud gave over 12,800 shows to a total of over 500.000 visitors at the Musée Grévin in Paris. His Pantomimes Lumineuses series of animated films each contained 300 to 700 frames that were manipulated back and forth to last 10 to 15 minutes per film. Piano music, song and some dialogue were performed live, while some sound effects were synchronized with an electromagnet.

When film became a common medium some manufacturers of optical toys adapted small magic lanterns into toy film projectors for short loops of film. By 1902, they were producing many chromolithography film loops, usually by tracing live-action film footage (much like the later rotoscoping technique).

Some early filmmakers, including J. Stuart Blackton, Arthur Melbourne-Cooper, Segundo de Chomón and Edwin S. Porter experimented with stop-motion animation, possibly since around 1899. Blackton's The Haunted Hotel (1907) was the first huge success that baffled audiences with objects apparently moving by themselves and inspired other filmmakers to try the technique for themselves.

J. Stuart Blackton also experimented with animation drawn on blackboards and some cutout animation in Humorous Phases of Funny Faces (1906).

Fantasmagorie (Cohl)
The oldest known animated film created by using what became known as traditional (hand-drawn) animation—the 1908 Fantasmagorie by Émile Cohl

In 1908, Émile Cohl's Fantasmagorie was released with a white-on-black chalkline look created with negative prints from black ink drawings on white paper.[5] The film largely consists of a stick figure moving about and encountering all kinds of morphing objects, including a wine bottle that transforms into a flower.[6]

Inspired by Émile Cohl's stop-motion film Les allumettes animées [Animated Matches] (1908), Ladislas Starevich started making his influential puppet animations in 1910.

Winsor McCay's Little Nemo (1911) showcased very detailed drawings. His Gertie the Dinosaur (1914) was also an early example of character development in drawn animation.[7]

Charlie in Turkey (1916), an animated film by Pat Sullivan for Keen Cartoon Corporation.

During the 1910s, the production of animated short films typically referred to as "cartoons", became an industry of its own and cartoon shorts were produced for showing in movie theaters.[8] The most successful producer at the time was John Randolph Bray, who, along with animator Earl Hurd, patented the cel animation process that dominated the animation industry for the rest of the decade.[9][10]

Quirino Cristiani con una figura
Italian-Argentine cartoonist Quirino Cristiani showing the cut and articulated figure of his satirical character El Peludo (based on President Yrigoyen) patented in 1916 for the realization of his movies, including the world's first animated feature film El Apóstol.[11]

El Apóstol (Spanish: "The Apostle") was a 1917 Argentine animated film utilizing cutout animation, and the world's first animated feature film.[12][13] Unfortunately, a fire that destroyed producer Federico Valle's film studio incinerated the only known copy of El Apóstol, and it is now considered a lost film.[14][15]

The earliest extant feature-length animated film is The Adventures of Prince Achmed (1926) made by director Lotte Reiniger and her collaborators Carl Koch and Berthold Bartosch.

In 1932, the first short animated film created entirely with Technicolor (using red/green/blue photographic filters and three strips of film) was Walt Disney's Flowers and Trees, directed by Burt Gillett. But, the first feature film that was done with this technique, apart from the movie The Vanities Fair (1935), by Rouben Mamoulian, was "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs", also by Walt Disney.[16]

In 1958, Hanna-Barbera released The Huckleberry Hound Show, the first half hour television program to feature only in animation.[17] Terrytoons released Tom Terrific that same year.[18][19] Television significantly decreased public attention to the animated shorts being shown in theaters.[17]

Computer animation has become popular since Toy Story (1995), the first feature-length animated film completely made using this technique.[20]

In 2008, the animation market was worth US$68.4 billion.[21] Animation as an art and industry continues to thrive as of the mid-2010s because well-made animated projects can find audiences across borders and in all four quadrants. Animated feature-length films returned the highest gross margins (around 52%) of all film genres in the 2004–2013 timeframe.[22]

Techniques

Traditional animation

Animhorse
An example of traditional animation, a horse animated by rotoscoping from Eadweard Muybridge's 19th-century photos

Traditional animation (also called cel animation or hand-drawn animation) was the process used for most animated films of the 20th century.[23] The individual frames of a traditionally animated film are photographs of drawings, first drawn on paper.[24] To create the illusion of movement, each drawing differs slightly from the one before it. The animators' drawings are traced or photocopied onto transparent acetate sheets called cels,[25] which are filled in with paints in assigned colors or tones on the side opposite the line drawings.[26] The completed character cels are photographed one-by-one against a painted background by a rostrum camera onto motion picture film.[27]

The traditional cel animation process became obsolete by the beginning of the 21st century. Today, animators' drawings and the backgrounds are either scanned into or drawn directly into a computer system.[28][29] Various software programs are used to color the drawings and simulate camera movement and effects.[30] The final animated piece is output to one of several delivery media, including traditional 35 mm film and newer media with digital video.[31][28] The "look" of traditional cel animation is still preserved, and the character animators' work has remained essentially the same over the past 70 years.[32] Some animation producers have used the term "tradigital" (a play on the words "traditional" and "digital") to describe cel animation that uses significant computer technology.

Examples of traditionally animated feature films include Pinocchio (United States, 1940),[33] Animal Farm (United Kingdom, 1954), Lucky and Zorba (Italy, 1998), and The Illusionist (British-French, 2010). Traditionally animated films produced with the aid of computer technology include The Lion King (US, 1994), The Prince of Egypt (US, 1998), Akira (Japan, 1988),[34] Spirited Away (Japan, 2001), The Triplets of Belleville (France, 2003), and The Secret of Kells (Irish-French-Belgian, 2009).

Full animation

Full animation refers to the process of producing high-quality traditionally animated films that regularly use detailed drawings and plausible movement,[35] having a smooth animation.[36] Fully animated films can be made in a variety of styles, from more realistically animated works like those produced by the Walt Disney studio (The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, The Lion King) to the more 'cartoon' styles of the Warner Bros. animation studio. Many of the Disney animated features are examples of full animation, as are non-Disney works, The Secret of NIMH (US, 1982), The Iron Giant (US, 1999), and Nocturna (Spain, 2007). Fully animated films are animated at 24 frames per second, with a combination of animation on ones and twos, meaning that drawings can be held for one frame out of 24 or two frames out of 24.[37]

Limited animation

Limited animation involves the use of less detailed or more stylized drawings and methods of movement usually a choppy or "skippy" movement animation.[38] Limited animation uses fewer drawings per second, thereby limiting the fluidity of the animation. This is a more economic technique. Pioneered by the artists at the American studio United Productions of America,[39] limited animation can be used as a method of stylized artistic expression, as in Gerald McBoing-Boing (US, 1951), Yellow Submarine (UK, 1968), and certain anime produced in Japan.[40] Its primary use, however, has been in producing cost-effective animated content for media for television (the work of Hanna-Barbera,[41] Filmation,[42] and other TV animation studios[43]) and later the Internet (web cartoons).

Rotoscoping

Rotoscoping is a technique patented by Max Fleischer in 1917 where animators trace live-action movement, frame by frame.[44] The source film can be directly copied from actors' outlines into animated drawings,[45] as in The Lord of the Rings (US, 1978), or used in a stylized and expressive manner, as in Waking Life (US, 2001) and A Scanner Darkly (US, 2006). Some other examples are Fire and Ice (US, 1983), Heavy Metal (1981), and Aku no Hana (2013).

Live-action/animation

Live-action/animation is a technique combining hand-drawn characters into live action shots or live action actors into animated shots.[46] One of the earlier uses was in Koko the Clown when Koko was drawn over live action footage.[47] Other examples include Allegro Non Troppo (Italy, 1976), Who Framed Roger Rabbit (US, 1988), Space Jam (US, 1996) and Osmosis Jones (US, 2001).

Stop motion animation

Stop-motion animation is used to describe animation created by physically manipulating real-world objects and photographing them one frame of film at a time to create the illusion of movement.[48] There are many different types of stop-motion animation, usually named after the medium used to create the animation.[49] Computer software is widely available to create this type of animation; traditional stop motion animation is usually less expensive but more time-consuming to produce than current computer animation.[49]

  • Puppet animation typically involves stop-motion puppet figures interacting in a constructed environment, in contrast to real-world interaction in model animation.[50] The puppets generally have an armature inside of them to keep them still and steady to constrain their motion to particular joints.[51] Examples include The Tale of the Fox (France, 1937), The Nightmare Before Christmas (US, 1993), Corpse Bride (US, 2005), Coraline (US, 2009), the films of Jiří Trnka and the adult animated sketch-comedy television series Robot Chicken (US, 2005–present).
    • Puppetoon, created using techniques developed by George Pal,[52] are puppet-animated films that typically use a different version of a puppet for different frames, rather than simply manipulating one existing puppet.[53]
Claychick
A clay animation scene from a Finnish television commercial

Computer animation

Computer animation encompasses a variety of techniques, the unifying factor being that the animation is created digitally on a computer.[30][72] 2D animation techniques tend to focus on image manipulation while 3D techniques usually build virtual worlds in which characters and objects move and interact.[73] 3D animation can create images that seem real to the viewer.[74]

2D animation

Catenary animation
A 2D animation of two circles joined by a chain

2D animation figures are created or edited on the computer using 2D bitmap graphics and 2D vector graphics.[75] This includes automated computerized versions of traditional animation techniques, interpolated morphing,[76] onion skinning[77] and interpolated rotoscoping.

2D animation has many applications, including analog computer animation, Flash animation, and PowerPoint animation. Cinemagraphs are still photographs in the form of an animated GIF file of which part is animated.[78]

Final line advection animation is a technique used in 2D animation,[79] to give artists and animators more influence and control over the final product as everything is done within the same department.[80] Speaking about using this approach in Paperman, John Kahrs said that "Our animators can change things, actually erase away the CG underlayer if they want, and change the profile of the arm."[81]

3D animation

3D animation is digitally modeled and manipulated by an animator. The animator usually starts by creating a 3D polygon mesh to manipulate.[82] A mesh typically includes many vertices that are connected by edges and faces, which give the visual appearance of form to a 3D object or 3D environment.[82] Sometimes, the mesh is given an internal digital skeletal structure called an armature that can be used to control the mesh by weighting the vertices.[83][84] This process is called rigging and can be used in conjunction with keyframes to create movement.[85]

Other techniques can be applied, mathematical functions (e.g., gravity, particle simulations), simulated fur or hair, and effects, fire and water simulations.[86] These techniques fall under the category of 3D dynamics.[87]

Mechanical animation

  • Animatronics is the use of mechatronics to create machines that seem animate rather than robotic.
    • Audio-Animatronics and Autonomatronics is a form of robotics animation, combined with 3-D animation, created by Walt Disney Imagineering for shows and attractions at Disney theme parks move and make noise (generally a recorded speech or song).[92] They are fixed to whatever supports them. They can sit and stand, and they cannot walk. An Audio-Animatron is different from an android-type robot in that it uses prerecorded movements and sounds, rather than responding to external stimuli. In 2009, Disney created an interactive version of the technology called Autonomatronics.[93]
    • Linear Animation Generator is a form of animation by using static picture frames installed in a tunnel or a shaft. The animation illusion is created by putting the viewer in a linear motion, parallel to the installed picture frames.[94] The concept and the technical solution were invented in 2007 by Mihai Girlovan in Romania.
  • Chuckimation is a type of animation created by the makers of the television series Action League Now! in which characters/props are thrown, or chucked from off camera or wiggled around to simulate talking by unseen hands.[95]
  • The magic lantern used mechanical slides to project moving images, probably since Christiaan Huygens invented this early image projector in 1659.

Other animation styles, techniques, and approaches

World of Color overview
World of Color hydrotechnics at Disney California Adventure creates illusion of motion using 1200 fountains with high-definition projections on mist screens.
  • Hydrotechnics: a technique that includes lights, water, fire, fog, and lasers, with high-definition projections on mist screens.
  • Drawn on film animation: a technique where footage is produced by creating the images directly on film stock, for example by Norman McLaren,[96] Len Lye and Stan Brakhage.
  • Paint-on-glass animation: a technique for making animated films by manipulating slow drying oil paints on sheets of glass,[97] for example by Aleksandr Petrov.
  • Erasure animation: a technique using traditional 2D media, photographed over time as the artist manipulates the image. For example, William Kentridge is famous for his charcoal erasure films,[98] and Piotr Dumała for his auteur technique of animating scratches on plaster.
  • Pinscreen animation: makes use of a screen filled with movable pins that can be moved in or out by pressing an object onto the screen.[99] The screen is lit from the side so that the pins cast shadows. The technique has been used to create animated films with a range of textural effects difficult to achieve with traditional cel animation.[100]
  • Sand animation: sand is moved around on a back- or front-lighted piece of glass to create each frame for an animated film.[101] This creates an interesting effect when animated because of the light contrast.[102]
  • Flip book: a flip book (sometimes, especially in British English, called a flick book) is a book with a series of pictures that vary gradually from one page to the next, so that when the pages are turned rapidly, the pictures appear to animate by simulating motion or some other change.[103][104] Flip books are often illustrated books for children,[105] they also be geared towards adults and employ a series of photographs rather than drawings. Flip books are not always separate books, they appear as an added feature in ordinary books or magazines, often in the page corners.[103] Software packages and websites are also available that convert digital video files into custom-made flip books.[106]
  • Character animation
  • Multi-sketching
  • Special effects animation

Animator

An animator is an artist who creates a visual sequence (or audio-visual if added sound) of multiple sequential images that generate the illusion of movement, that is, an animation. Animations are currently in many areas of technology and video, such as cinema, television, video games or the internet. Generally, these works require the collaboration of several animators. The methods to create these images depend on the animator and style that one wants to achieve (with images generated by computer, manually ...).

Animators can be divided into animators of characters (artists who are specialized in the movements, dialogue and acting of the characters) and animators of special effects (for example vehicles, machinery or natural phenomena such as water, snow, rain).

Production

The creation of non-trivial animation works (i.e., longer than a few seconds) has developed as a form of filmmaking, with certain unique aspects.[107] Traits common to both live-action and animated feature-length films are labor-intensity and high production costs.[108]

The most important difference is that once a film is in the production phase, the marginal cost of one more shot is higher for animated films than live-action films.[109] It is relatively easy for a director to ask for one more take during principal photography of a live-action film, but every take on an animated film must be manually rendered by animators (although the task of rendering slightly different takes has been made less tedious by modern computer animation).[110] It is pointless for a studio to pay the salaries of dozens of animators to spend weeks creating a visually dazzling five-minute scene if that scene fails to effectively advance the plot of the film.[111] Thus, animation studios starting with Disney began the practice in the 1930s of maintaining story departments where storyboard artists develop every single scene through storyboards, then handing the film over to the animators only after the production team is satisfied that all the scenes make sense as a whole. [112] While live-action films are now also storyboarded, they enjoy more latitude to depart from storyboards (i.e., real-time improvisation).[113]

Another problem unique to animation is the requirement to maintain a film's consistency from start to finish, even as films have grown longer and teams have grown larger. Animators, like all artists, necessarily have individual styles, but must subordinate their individuality in a consistent way to whatever style is employed on a particular film.[114] Since the early 1980s, teams of about 500 to 600 people, of whom 50 to 70 are animators, typically have created feature-length animated films. It is relatively easy for two or three artists to match their styles; synchronizing those of dozens of artists is more difficult.[115]

This problem is usually solved by having a separate group of visual development artists develop an overall look and palette for each film before animation begins. Character designers on the visual development team draw model sheets to show how each character should look like with different facial expressions, posed in different positions, and viewed from different angles.[116][117] On traditionally animated projects, maquettes were often sculpted to further help the animators see how characters would look from different angles.[32][116]

Unlike live-action films, animated films were traditionally developed beyond the synopsis stage through the storyboard format; the storyboard artists would then receive credit for writing the film.[118] In the early 1960s, animation studios began hiring professional screenwriters to write screenplays (while also continuing to use story departments) and screenplays had become commonplace for animated films by the late 1980s.

Criticism

Criticism of animation has been common in media and cinema since its inception. With its popularity, a large amount of criticism has arisen, especially animated feature-length films.[119] Many concerns of cultural representation, psychological effects on children have been brought up around the animation industry, which has remained rather politically unchanged and stagnant since its inception into mainstream culture.[120]

Awards

As with any other form of media, animation too has instituted awards for excellence in the field. The original awards for animation were presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for animated shorts from the year 1932, during the 5th Academy Awards function. The first winner of the Academy Award was the short Flowers and Trees,[121] a production by Walt Disney Productions.[122][123] The Academy Award for a feature-length animated motion picture was only instituted for the year 2001, and awarded during the 74th Academy Awards in 2002. It was won by the film Shrek, produced by DreamWorks and Pacific Data Images.[124] Disney/Pixar have produced the most films either to win or be nominated for the award. The list of both awards can be obtained here:

Several other countries have instituted an award for best-animated feature film as part of their national film awards: Africa Movie Academy Award for Best Animation (since 2008), BAFTA Award for Best Animated Film (since 2006), César Award for Best Animated Film (since 2011), Golden Rooster Award for Best Animation (since 1981), Goya Award for Best Animated Film (since 1989), Japan Academy Prize for Animation of the Year (since 2007), National Film Award for Best Animated Film (since 2006). Also since 2007, the Asia Pacific Screen Award for Best Animated Feature Film has been awarded at the Asia Pacific Screen Awards. Since 2009, the European Film Awards have awarded the European Film Award for Best Animated Film.

The Annie Award is another award presented for excellence in the field of animation. Unlike the Academy Awards, the Annie Awards are only received for achievements in the field of animation and not for any other field of technical and artistic endeavor. They were re-organized in 1992 to create a new field for Best Animated Feature. The 1990s winners were dominated by Walt Disney, however, newer studios, led by Pixar & DreamWorks, have now begun to consistently vie for this award. The list of awardees is as follows:

See also

References

Citations

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Anime

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.

Computer animation

Computer animation is the process used for generating animated images. The more general term computer-generated imagery (CGI) encompasses both static scenes and dynamic images, while computer animation only refers to the moving images. Modern computer animation usually uses 3D computer graphics, although 2D computer graphics are still used for stylistic, low bandwidth, and faster real-time renderings. Sometimes, the target of the animation is the computer itself, but sometimes film as well.

Computer animation is essentially a digital successor to the stop motion techniques using 3D models, and traditional animation techniques using frame-by-frame animation of 2D illustrations. Computer-generated animations are more controllable than other more physically based processes, constructing miniatures for effects shots or hiring extras for crowd scenes, and because it allows the creation of images that would not be feasible using any other technology. It can also allow a single graphic artist to produce such content without the use of actors, expensive set pieces, or props. To create the illusion of movement, an image is displayed on the computer monitor and repeatedly replaced by a new image that is similar to it, but advanced slightly in time (usually at a rate of 24, 25 or 30 frames/second). This technique is identical to how the illusion of movement is achieved with television and motion pictures.

For 3D animations, objects (models) are built on the computer monitor (modeled) and 3D figures are rigged with a virtual skeleton. For 2D figure animations, separate objects (illustrations) and separate transparent layers are used with or without that virtual skeleton. Then the limbs, eyes, mouth, clothes, etc. of the figure are moved by the animator on key frames. The differences in appearance between key frames are automatically calculated by the computer in a process known as tweening or morphing. Finally, the animation is rendered.For 3D animations, all frames must be rendered after the modeling is complete. For 2D vector animations, the rendering process is the key frame illustration process, while tweened frames are rendered as needed. For pre-recorded presentations, the rendered frames are transferred to a different format or medium, like digital video. The frames may also be rendered in real time as they are presented to the end-user audience. Low bandwidth animations transmitted via the internet (e.g. Adobe Flash, X3D) often use software on the end-users computer to render in real time as an alternative to streaming or pre-loaded high bandwidth animations.

DreamWorks Animation

DreamWorks Animation LLC (also simply known as DreamWorks) is an American animation studio that is a subsidiary of Universal Pictures, a division of Comcast through its wholly owned subsidiary NBCUniversal. It is based in Glendale, California and produces animated feature films, television programs and online virtual games. The studio has currently released a total of 36 feature films, including ones from the Shrek, Madagascar, Kung Fu Panda, How to Train Your Dragon, The Croods, Trolls and The Boss Baby franchises. Originally formed under the banner of its main DreamWorks studio in 1994 by some of Amblin Entertainment's former animation branch Amblimation alumni, it was spun off into a separate public company in 2004. DreamWorks Animation currently maintains its Glendale campus, as well as satellite studios in India and China. On August 22, 2016, NBCUniversal acquired DreamWorks Animation for $3.8 billion, making it a division of the Universal Filmed Entertainment Group as an acquisition for the animation studio.

As of October 2017, its feature films have grossed $14.457 billion worldwide, with a $417.8 million average gross per film. Shrek 2 (2004) is among the 50 highest-grossing films of all time, being the fiftieth, and fourteen of the other films produced by the studio are also among the 50 highest-grossing animated films. Although the studio also made traditionally animated films in the past, as well as stop-motion co-production with Aardman Animations, all of their films now use computer animation. The studio has earned three Academy Awards, as well as 41 Emmy Awards and numerous Annie Awards, and multiple Golden Globe and BAFTA nominations. In recent years, the animation studio has acquired and created new divisions in an effort to diversify beyond the high-risk movie business.

Films produced by DreamWorks Animation were formerly distributed worldwide by its main DreamWorks studio, DreamWorks Pictures, from 1998 to 2005, Paramount Pictures from 2006 to 2012, and 20th Century Fox from 2013 to 2017. Universal Pictures will distribute subsequent DreamWorks Animation films, starting on February 22, 2019 with the release of How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World. Universal also now owns the rights to DreamWorks' back catalogue.

GIF

The Graphics Interchange Format (GIF, JIF or GHIF), is a bitmap image format that was developed by a team at the online services provider CompuServe led by American computer scientist Steve Wilhite on June 15, 1987. It has since come into widespread usage on the World Wide Web due to its wide support and portability.The format supports up to 8 bits per pixel for each image, allowing a single image to reference its own palette of up to 256 different colors chosen from the 24-bit RGB color space. It also supports animations and allows a separate palette of up to 256 colors for each frame. These palette limitations make GIF less suitable for reproducing color photographs and other images with color gradients, but it is well-suited for simpler images such as graphics or logos with solid areas of color.

GIF images are compressed using the Lempel–Ziv–Welch (LZW) lossless data compression technique to reduce the file size without degrading the visual quality. This compression technique was patented in 1985. Controversy over the licensing agreement between the software patent holder, Unisys, and CompuServe in 1994 spurred the development of the Portable Network Graphics (PNG) standard. By 2004 all the relevant patents had expired.

Hanna-Barbera

Hanna-Barbera Productions, Inc. (simply known as Hanna-Barbera and also referred to as H-B Enterprises, H-B Production Company and Hanna-Barbera Cartoons, Inc.) was an American animation studio. It was founded in 1957 by former Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer animation directors and Tom and Jerry creators William Hanna and Joseph Barbera, in partnership with film director George Sidney.For more than three decades in the mid-20th century, it was a prominent force in American television animation. The studio is known for creating a wide variety of popular animated characters and for 30 years, it produced a succession of cartoon shows, including The Flintstones, The Yogi Bear Show, The Jetsons, Wacky Races, Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! and The Smurfs.Hanna and Barbera together won seven Academy Awards, a Governors Award, eight Emmy Awards, a Golden Globe Award, a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and were inducted into the Television Academy Hall of Fame in 1993. On December 29, 1966, with Hanna-Barbera established as a successful company, Hanna, Barbera and original investor Sidney sold it to Taft Broadcasting, which continued to operate the studio for the next quarter-century.Hanna-Barbera's fortunes declined in the mid-1980s when the profitability of Saturday morning cartoons was eclipsed by weekday afternoon syndication. In late 1991, it was purchased from Taft (by then renamed Great American Broadcasting) by Turner Broadcasting System, which used much of its back catalog as programming for its new channel, Cartoon Network.After Turner purchased the company, Hanna and Barbera continued to serve as creative consultants and mentors. The studio became a subsidiary of Warner Bros. Animation in 1996 following Turner Broadcasting's merger with Time Warner, and was ultimately absorbed into Warner Bros. Animation in 2001.

As of 2019, Warner Bros., which uses the Hanna-Barbera brand to market properties and productions associated with it's library, now owns the rights to Hanna-Barbera's back catalogue.

Hayao Miyazaki

Hayao Miyazaki (宮崎 駿, Miyazaki Hayao, born January 5, 1941) is a Japanese animator, filmmaker, screenwriter, cartoonist, author, and manga artist. A co-founder of Studio Ghibli, a film and animation studio, he has attained international acclaim as a masterful storyteller and as a maker of anime feature films, and is widely regarded as one of the greatest animation filmmakers.

Born in Bunkyō Ward of Tokyo, Miyazaki expressed interest in manga and animation from an early age, and he joined Toei Animation in 1963. During his early years at Toei Animation he worked as an in-between artist and later collaborated with director Isao Takahata. Notable films to which Miyazaki contributed at Toei include Doggie March and Gulliver's Travels Beyond the Moon. He provided key animation to other films at Toei, such as Puss in Boots and Animal Treasure Island, before moving to A-Pro in 1971, where he co-directed Lupin the Third Part I alongside Takahata. After moving to Zuiyō Eizō (later known as Nippon Animation) in 1973, Miyazaki worked as an animator on World Masterpiece Theater, and directed the television series Future Boy Conan. He joined Telecom Animation Film/Tokyo Movie Shinsha in 1979 to direct his first feature films, The Castle of Cagliostro in 1979 and Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind in 1984, as well as the television series Sherlock Hound.

Miyazaki co-founded Studio Ghibli in 1985. He directed multiple films with Ghibli, including Castle in the Sky in 1986, My Neighbor Totoro in 1988, Kiki's Delivery Service in 1989, and Porco Rosso in 1992. The films were met with commercial and critical success in Japan. Miyazaki's film Princess Mononoke was the first animated film to win the Japan Academy Prize for Picture of the Year, and briefly became the highest-grossing film in Japan following its release in 1997; its distribution to the Western world greatly increased Ghibli's popularity and influence outside Japan. His 2001 film Spirited Away became the highest-grossing film in Japanese history, winning the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature at the 75th Academy Awards and considered among the greatest films of the decade. Miyazaki's later films—Howl's Moving Castle, Ponyo, and The Wind Rises—also enjoyed critical and commercial success. Following the release of The Wind Rises, Miyazaki announced his retirement from feature films, though he returned to work on a new feature film in 2016.

Miyazaki's works are characterized by the recurrence of themes such as humanity's relationship with nature and technology, the wholesomeness of natural and traditional patterns of living, the importance of art and craftsmanship, and the difficulty of maintaining a pacifist ethic in a violent world. The protagonists of his films are often strong girls or young women, and several of his films present morally ambiguous antagonists with redeeming qualities. Miyazaki's works have been highly praised and awarded; he was named a Person of Cultural Merit for outstanding cultural contributions in November 2012, and received the Academy Honorary Award for his impact on animation and cinema in November 2014. In 2002, American film critic Roger Ebert suggested that Miyazaki may be the best animation filmmaker in history, praising the depth and artistry of his films.

List of Disney theatrical animated features

This list of theatrical animated feature films consists of animated films produced or released by The Walt Disney Studios, the film division of The Walt Disney Company.

The Walt Disney Studios releases films from Disney-owned and non-Disney owned animation studios. Most films listed below are from Walt Disney Animation Studios which began as the feature animation department of Walt Disney Productions, producing its first feature-length animated film Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in 1937 and as of 2018 has produced a total of 57 feature films. Beginning with Toy Story in 1995, The Walt Disney Studios also released animated films by Pixar Animation Studios, which became a wholly owned subsidiary in 2006.Other studio units have also released films theatrically, namely Walt Disney Television Animation's Disney MovieToons/Video Premiere unit (now DisneyToon Studios) and the studio's distribution unit, which acquires film rights from outside animation studios to release films under the Walt Disney Pictures, Touchstone Pictures, or previously owned Miramax film labels. In 1996, The Walt Disney Studios signed a deal with Tokuma Shoten for distribution rights to the theatrical works of Studio Ghibli worldwide (excluding Asia except for Japan and Taiwan and excluding Grave of the Fireflies which was not published by Tokuma), including what then was the most recent film, Princess Mononoke. The deal later grew to include DVD rights and newer Ghibli movies; the English language Disney release of Spirited Away won the 2002 Academy Award for Best Animated Feature. Studio Ghibli remains wholly independent of Disney and maintains strict creative control over the handling of the foreign language localization Disney produces. All of the theatrical Ghibli back catalog originally included in the deal have since been released to DVD in North America and several other countries. Other studios globally have released films through Walt Disney Pictures which maintains distribution rights in certain territories.

Original video animation

Original video animation (Japanese: オリジナル・ビデオ・アニメーション, Hepburn: Orijinaru bideo animēshon), abbreviated as OVA (オーブイエー / オーヴィーエー / オヴァ, ōbuiē, ōvīē or ova) and sometimes as OAV (original animated video), are Japanese animated films and miniseries made specially for release in home video formats without prior showings on television or in theatres, though the first part of an OVA series may be broadcast for promotional purposes. OVA titles were originally made available on VHS, later becoming more popular on LaserDisc and eventually DVD. Starting in 2008, the term OAD (original animation DVD) began to refer to DVD releases published bundled with their source-material manga.

Pixar

Pixar Animation Studios, commonly referred to as Pixar (), is an American computer animation film studio based in Emeryville, California, that is a subsidiary of Walt Disney Studios, owned by The Walt Disney Company. Pixar began in 1979 as the Graphics Group, part of the Lucasfilm computer division, before its spin-out as a corporation in 1986, with funding by Apple Inc. co-founder Steve Jobs, who became the majority shareholder. Disney purchased Pixar in 2006 at a valuation of $7.4 billion by converting each share of Pixar stock to 2.3 shares of Disney stock, a transaction that resulted in Jobs becoming Disney's largest single shareholder at the time. Pixar is best known for CGI-animated feature films created with RenderMan, Pixar's own implementation of the industry-standard RenderMan image-rendering application programming interface, used to generate high-quality images.

Pixar has produced 20 feature films, beginning with Toy Story (1995), which was the first-ever computer-animated feature film; its most recent film was Incredibles 2 (2018). All of the studio's films have debuted with CinemaScore ratings of at least an "A−," indicating positive receptions with audiences. The studio has also produced dozens of short films. As of August 2018, its feature films have earned approximately $13 billion at the worldwide box office, with an average worldwide gross of $659.7 million per film. Finding Nemo (2003), along with its sequel Finding Dory (2016), as well as Toy Story 3 (2010) and Incredibles 2 (2018) are among the 50 highest-grossing films of all time, with the latter being the second-highest-grossing animated film of all time with a gross of $1.2 billion. Fifteen of Pixar's films are also among the 50 highest-grossing animated films of all time.

The studio has earned 19 Academy Awards, 8 Golden Globe Awards, and 11 Grammy Awards, among many other awards and acknowledgments. Many of Pixar's films have been nominated for the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature since its inauguration in 2001, with nine winning; this includes Finding Nemo (2003) and Toy Story 3 (2010), along with The Incredibles (2004), Ratatouille (2007), WALL-E (2008), Up (2009), Brave (2012), Inside Out (2015), and Coco (2017). Monsters, Inc. (2001) and Cars (2006) are the only two films that were nominated for the award without winning it, while Cars 2 (2011), Monsters University (2013), The Good Dinosaur (2015), Finding Dory (2016), and Cars 3 (2017), were not nominated. Up and Toy Story 3 were also the respective second and third animated films to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture, the first being Walt Disney Animation Studios' Beauty and the Beast (1991). Luxo Jr., a character from the studio's 1986 short film of the same name, is the studio's mascot.

On September 6, 2009, Pixar executives John Lasseter, Brad Bird, Pete Docter, Andrew Stanton, and Lee Unkrich were presented with the Golden Lion award for Lifetime Achievement by the Venice Film Festival. The award was given to Lucasfilm's founder George Lucas.

Primetime Emmy Award

The Primetime Emmy Award is an American award bestowed by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (ATAS) in recognition of excellence in American primetime television programming. First given out in 1949, the award was originally referred to as simply the "Emmy Awards" until the first Daytime Emmy Award ceremony was held in 1974 and the word "prime time" was added to distinguish between the two.

The Primetime Emmy Awards generally air in mid-September, on the Sunday before the official start of the fall television season. They are currently seen in rotation among the four major networks (ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox). The ceremony is typically moved to late-August if it is broadcast by NBC (such as in 2006, 2010, and 2014), so that it does not conflict with NBC's commitment to broadcasting Sunday-night NFL games (due to another conflict, this time with the MTV Video Music Awards, the 2014 ceremony was also shifted to a Monday). However, the 2018 ceremony, to be broadcast by NBC, was moved back to September and aired on a Monday.

They are considered television's equivalent to the Academy Awards (film), Grammy Awards (music), and Tony Awards (theater). The awards are divided into three categories: Primetime Emmy Awards, Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards, and Primetime Engineering Emmy Awards.

Sony Pictures Animation

Sony Pictures Animation Inc. is an American animation studio that is the animation label of Sony Pictures through their Motion Picture Group division, and founded on May 9, 2002. The films are distributed worldwide by Sony Pictures Releasing under Columbia Pictures, and all home video releases are released by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. Its first film Open Season was released on September 29, 2006 and its latest release was Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse on December 14, 2018; with their next release being Wish Dragon on July 26, 2019, although the animation will be done by Base FX.

Stephen Hillenburg

Stephen McDannell Hillenburg (August 21, 1961 – November 26, 2018) was an American cartoonist, voice actor, and marine biologist. He was best known as the creator of the Nickelodeon animated television series SpongeBob SquarePants (1999–), which he also directed, produced, and wrote. It has gone on to become the fifth longest-running American animated series.

Born in Lawton, Oklahoma and raised in Anaheim, California, Hillenburg became fascinated with the ocean as a child and developed an interest in art. He started his professional career in 1984, instructing marine biology, at the Orange County Marine Institute, where he wrote The Intertidal Zone, an informative comic book about tide-pool animals, which he used to educate his students. In 1989, two years after leaving teaching, Hillenburg enrolled at the California Institute of the Arts to pursue a career in animation. He was later offered a job on the Nickelodeon animated television series Rocko's Modern Life (1993–1996) after his success with The Green Beret and Wormholes (both 1992), short films that he made while studying animation.

In 1994, Hillenburg began developing The Intertidal Zone characters and concepts for what became SpongeBob SquarePants. The show premiered in 1999 and has aired since then. He also directed The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie (2004), which he originally intended to be the series finale. However, Nickelodeon wanted to produce more episodes, so Hillenburg resigned as the showrunner. He went back to making short films, with Hollywood Blvd., USA (2013). In 2015, The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water was released; the second film adaptation of the series, it marked Hillenburg's return to the franchise, wherein he co-wrote the story and acted as an executive producer on the project.

Besides his two Emmy Awards and six Annie Awards for SpongeBob SquarePants, Hillenburg also received other recognition, such as an accolade from Heal the Bay for his efforts on elevating marine life awareness, and the Television Animation Award from the National Cartoonists Society. Hillenburg was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) in 2017, but stated he would continue to work on SpongeBob SquarePants as long as possible. He died due to complications of the disease on November 26, 2018, at the age of 57.

Stop motion

Stop motion is an animated-film making technique in which objects are physically manipulated in small increments between individually photographed frames so that they will appear to exhibit independent motion when the series of frames is played back as a fast sequence. Dolls with movable joints or clay figures are often used in stop motion for their ease of repositioning. Stop-motion animation using plasticine figures is called clay animation or "clay-mation". Not all stop motion, however, requires figures or models: stop-motion films can also be made using humans, household appliances, and other objects, usually for comedic effect. Stop motion using humans is sometimes referred to as pixilation or pixilate animation.

Studio Ghibli

Studio Ghibli, Inc. (Japanese: 株式会社スタジオジブリ, Hepburn: Kabushiki gaisha Sutajio Jiburi) is a Japanese animation film studio based in Koganei, Tokyo, Japan. The studio is best known for its anime feature films, and has also produced several short films, television commercials, and one television film. It was founded on 15 June 1985, after the success of Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (1984), with funding by Tokuma Shoten. Studio Ghibli has also collaborated with video game studios on the visual development of several video games.Six of Studio Ghibli's films are among the 10 highest-grossing anime films made in Japan, with Spirited Away (2001) being the second highest, grossing over US$290 million worldwide. Many of their works have won the Animage Anime Grand Prix award, and four have won the Japan Academy Prize for Animation of the Year. Five of Studio Ghibli's films have received Academy Award nominations. Spirited Away won the Golden Bear in 2002 and the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature Film in 2003. Totoro, a character from My Neighbor Totoro, is the studio's mascot.On 3 August 2014, Studio Ghibli temporarily halted production following the retirement of director Hayao Miyazaki, who co-founded the studio with the late Isao Takahata. In February 2017, Toshio Suzuki announced that Miyazaki had come out of retirement again to direct a new feature film, How Do You Live?, with Studio Ghibli.

Traditional animation

Traditional animation (or classical animation, cel animation or hand-drawn animation) is an animation technique in which each frame is drawn by hand on a physical medium. The technique was the dominant form of animation in cinema until the advent of computer animation.

Walt Disney Animation Studios

Walt Disney Animation Studios (WDAS), also referred to as Disney Animation, headquartered at the Walt Disney Studios in Burbank, California, is an American animation studio that creates animated feature films, short films and television specials for The Walt Disney Company. Founded on October 16, 1923, it is a division of Walt Disney Studios. The studio has produced 57 feature films, from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937) to Ralph Breaks the Internet (2018).It was founded as the Disney Brothers Cartoon Studio in 1923 and incorporated as Walt Disney Productions in 1929. The studio was exclusively dedicated to producing short films until it expanded into feature production in 1934. In 1983, Walt Disney Productions named its live action film studio Walt Disney Pictures. During a corporate restructuring in 1986, Walt Disney Productions was renamed The Walt Disney Company and the animation division, renamed Walt Disney Feature Animation, became a subsidiary of its film division, The Walt Disney Studios. In 2007, Walt Disney Feature Animation took on its current name, Walt Disney Animation Studios after Pixar was acquired by Disney in the same year.

For much of its existence, the studio was recognized as the premier American animation studio; it developed many of the techniques, concepts and principles that became standard practices of traditional animation. The studio also pioneered the art of storyboarding, which is now a standard technique used in both animated and live-action filmmaking. The studio's catalog of animated features is among Disney's most notable assets, with the stars of its animated shorts – Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, Daisy Duck, Goofy and Pluto – becoming recognizable figures in popular culture and mascots for The Walt Disney Company as a whole.

Walt Disney Animation Studios continues to produce films using both traditional animation and computer-generated imagery (CGI).

Warner Bros. Animation

Warner Bros. Animation is the animation division of Warner Bros. The studio is closely associated with the Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies characters, among others. The studio is the successor to Warner Bros. Cartoons, the studio which produced Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies cartoon shorts from 1933 to 1963, and from 1967 to 1969. Warner reestablished its animation division in 1980 to produce Looney Tunes–related works.In recent years, Warner Bros. Animation has focused primarily on producing television and feature animation featuring characters created by other properties owned by Warner Bros., including DC Comics and Hanna-Barbera.

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