Animation and Its History Essays

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Animation and Its History

According to Stacey Steers, an artist and an instructor at the University of Colorado, “There’s this idea that animation can’t be probing, proactive, and inquiring because it also has to be entertainment…” This idea is false, given the fact that most animation artists enjoy their line of work. This paper will discuss the reason behind animation, animators who have changed animation history, different types of animation, and animation for adults.
There are a few reasons as to why people animate, like the feeling of pride when people are entertained by their work. Some artists animate for the love of animating (Crandol 4-5). They understand that with animation, there are many things characters can do that they wouldn’t be able to achieve in live action. An example of this would be dropping a piano on someone’s head and them surviving it. Animation back in the 1910s to the late 1920s used to be simple like Winsor McCay’s Gertie the Dinosaur (in which would sometimes take over a year to finish to make the five minute cartoons), but as time has progressed, animation changed into what is now called complex animations (Mason 2). Audiences love to these complex animations, like The Simpsons and Looney Tunes because of their well-written scripts and humor. It is also the aim of the creators of these to entertain the audience. However, most companies chose to have animated programming because it is easy money for them (Crandol 4). It is easy money for them because they can just throw an animation out there and people, most likely children, will watch it. In the late 60s and early 70s, cartoon companies like Hanna and Barbara recycled successful shows like Scooby Doo, Where Are You? and recycle them into other shows similar to it like Speed Buggy, Jabber Jaw, and Clue Club. This causes a stunt of creativity, making them think that people will like them the same as the other shows. Though some animated shows and movies are good, they are only as good as the artists behind them.
There have been many different animators throughout time who have changed history. Walt Disney is one of many who have done so. His first company Laugh-O-Grams Films, based out of Kansas City, MO, went bankrupt in 1912, but Walt didn’t give up (Baron Scinta Staten 1-2). Instead, he moved to Los Angeles later that year and created the first cartoon with sound. This cartoon was called Steamboat Willy. Mickey Mouse was the main character. However, Disney wasn’t the only animator who has changed animating history. Although they were a few decades apart, Chuck Jones was another brilliant artist who has worked on many different animated features (Crandol 3-4). He is most notable for his work with Looney Tunes and Tom and Jerry, and also for animating the 1966 Christmas TV special, Dr. Seuss’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas, in which he helped bring the book to life for audiences to enjoy Christmas after Christmas for generations to come. Another famous animator from the 1920s, Otto Messmer, is still well known to this day in the world of animation (Crandol 2). Even though he wasn’t given the credit for the creation of Felix the Cat, who was a studio character like many others, animation historian John Canemaker went out to find Messmer in 1976 and made him known for his work. A studio character is an animated character that is owned by the animation studio, who would be featured in various numbers of animation. This meant people could see him again and again. Of course, each artist has his or her preferred method of animation.
For as long as animation has been around, there have been many different ways of animating. One animation that started in late 1914 is cel animation. This is when the animation artist paints a character on a clear piece of celluloid and produces others to show the character moving (Crandol 2). Because of this style, the animators didn’t have to redraw and/or repaint the background for the cartoon over and over again.…