“Animation is for kids”. This popularly held view is partly historical – Disney and later Warner
Brothers, and also partly due to the sheer quantity of children’s cartoon animation on television.
Nowadays animation occurs in many different situations from children’s tv, to TV advertising, and to
feature film animations. Animation also occurs in many hybrid situations combined with live action.
There are also many animation techniques and formats. and history reveals how techniques have evolved
since the early flick-books and drawing-on-paper methods.
Many of the craft approaches have now been superseded by computer techniques. SouthPark looks like
cut-out paper, The Simpsons looks like painted cel-animation, Chicken Run looks like stop-motion
puppets etc. But many animators still adopt traditional techniques, and ‘drawing’ always remains an
Many early examples e.g. ‘The Sinking of the Lusitania’ by Winsor McCay in 1918
“Betty Boop was first created in the late 1920’s and into the 1930’s by Grin Natwick as a poodle character. Max Fleischer finally made Betty human in 1932 in the cartoon called “Any Rags”. Her poodle ears turned into hoop earrings, and her poodle nose turned into a girl’s button nose.”
Toy story – Zoetrope
The zoetrope consists of a cylinder with slits cut vertically in the sides. On the inner surface of the cylinder is a band with images from a set of sequenced pictures. As the cylinder spins, the user looks through the slits at the pictures across. The scanning of the slits keeps the pictures from simply blurring together, and the user sees a rapid succession of images, producing the illusion of motion.
Modern day examples of animation relevant to the task I have been set can include sketches such as ‘Simon’s cat’ which is a series of drawings that have then been grouped together and animated to create a short film sequence, accompanied by very basic sounds.