Toy Story

Animation History Research

Through the years animations has evolved, from the very basics of paper to the multi million dollar crossing films that we see today. Animation can be seen as far back as 1824, when Peter Roget produced his paper ‘The persistence of vision with regard to moving objects’. Roget was one of the first people to look into the theory of ‘afterimage’, the idea that images stay on the humans retina for about a 25th of second after.

One of the first pieces of machinery to produce animation was created by, Dr. Joseph Antoine Plateau and Dr. Simon Rittrer and was name the phenakistoscope. The concept behind this device was when spun the overlapping of the slots and images would create an animated sequence, as seen below.   tumblr_mrcplcnsSa1r9jbwno1_500

More than 40 years later two more inventions helped create a new age in animation, the praxinoscope and kinetoscope. The praxinoscope was soon taken to new levels and used in theatres with the use of a projector, as a result creating a new form of animation that could be easily accessible to audiences. The method of my stop motion watch GIF can be traced back to J. Stuart Blackton in 1906. He would use the simple, but time-consuming technique of filming one face, stopping the film and erasing the face and drawing another, as seen in the video below.

In the 1920,s animation took a big step forward into forming the animation as we known it today. This was thanks to, ‘El Apostol’, the first feature length animated film and also the very important founding of Disney Brothers Cartoon Studio. Walt and Roy Disney created a continuous high standard of animation, best seen in the creation of Micky Mouse. Micky Mouse was first seen in the film ‘Steam Boat Willy’, being the first cartoon based film to have synchronised sound

The hugely successful animated films that we see today would have only been possible with the work of John Whitney. Whitley was considered to be one of the key contributors in the world of computer animation. Computer animation would continue to evolve rapidly. Walt Disney would continue to play their hand in animation and produced Tron, the first film with CG. tron_2

 Less than ten years on animation made the biggest break through yet with the creation Jurassic Park and Toy Story. Jurassic Parking being the first film to use CG to create a realistic living object and Toy Story being the first full length feature film to use CG. Even in these computer animated films there are aspects of techniques used a hundred years before, such as drawings, as depicted in the picture below.



Animation in the past few years has reached a level that would never have seen possible. Films like Avatar or apps on tablets which enable users to animated on the go, have all created an easily accessible and easily enjoyable form of animation and who knows where animation may be in ten or twenty years.


Mosley, J. (2014). Animation History Timeline. [online] Available at: [Accessed 18 Oct. 2014]., (2014). – History of Web Animation timeline. [online] Available at: [Accessed 18 Oct. 2014].

YouTube, (2014). J. Stuart Blackton – Humorous Phases of Funny Faces – 1906. [online] Available at: [Accessed 18 Oct. 2014].