A History of Animation

Animation Timeline

2005 'Wallis and Gromit' created by Aardman animations.  The

characters were brought alive by Nick Park using modelling clay and wire for the characters and then animated using stop motion animation.

1995 Pixar (American computer animation company) created 'Toy


1975 Will Vinton received an award for best animated film

‘Closed Mondays’.  He also copyrighted the term 'Claymation' to describe the process of the film production that was built around using clay models.

1962 ‘Spiderman’ written by Stan Lee and artist Steve Ditko

illustrated the cartoon to increase the sales of the Amazing Fantasy Comic

1934 ‘Superman’, written by Jerome Siegal and Joseph Shuster, is created as a newspaper comic strip.

1930s Golden Age of comics, which feature heroes like 'Flash Gordon', 'Dick Tracey' and 'Tarzan'.

1888 Louis Le Prince shot the first moving pictures in Leeds on Leeds Bridge and Roundhay Garden Scene. 

1886 Louis Le Prince built and patented a one lens camera.

1871 Leeds Technical School of Art was founded by Louis Le

Prince and his wife Elizabeth.

1865 First modern comic strip ‘Max and Mortiz’ created by Wilhelm Busch.

1851 At the Great Exhibition the Stereoscope was on display.

1838 The Stereoscope was invented by Charles Wheatstone. The

invention created a 3D image for the viewer looking through two lenses at two images placed next to each other.

1832 The Phenakistoscope [pronounced fen-akiss-to-scope]

invented by Joseph Plateau. A round disc with slots around the edge showing individual pictures and when spun the images merge together showing continuous movement e.g. horses running.

1834 The Zoetrope or The Wheel of Life was invented by George

Horner. This was similar to a Phenakistoscope and created the

illusion of animation.

1825 The Thaumotrope [pronounced taw-mo-trope] was invented.

(Disc with, for example, a picture of a bird on one side and a cage on the other.  When the disc is spun it looks like the bird is in the cage). 

1817 The 'kaleidoscope' was invented by Sir David Brewster, a tube using two mirrors to reflect multiple images of coloured glass pieces. It proved to be one of the most popular optical toys ever created.

1700s Shadow theatre became popular in France. This involved

creating black silhouettes on a screen.

1500s In Turkey a mischievous character called ‘Karagoz’ was

developed on a real person living in Turkey. It worked by having a coloured shadow puppet made from camel hide moving behind a screen made out of muslin with a candle illuminating the scene from the back.

1066 The Bayeux Tapestry was created as a visual record of the Battle of Hastings.

28,000 BC In prehistoric times cave paintings were used to

tell stories of hunting expeditions. The artists used techniques which created the illusion of the movement in their images of animals.

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