Animation, while often thought of as a more or less modern medium, has been being used in different forms since 1906! Throughout the last century, we have used it to entertain, as propaganda, and to tell stories that invoke emotion.
Written by Dylan Gibson
The earliest known animated film was made in France in 1906, titled Humorous Phases of Funny Faces, and was made from chalk pictures. Since then, other small animations were made, but the first animated cartoon with synchronized was made by Walt Disney in 1928, called Steamboat Willie. Many cartoons like this followed, and they were used to entertain viewers with gags and charades of drawn characters. Nine years later, Disney released the first full-length future film, Snow White. And in 1993, software for 3D animation was created.
All of these events lead up to the animation and films we see today. From Spiderman: Into the Spiderverse to live action movies with CGI, to popular YouTube animators like the animator Jaiden Animations, animation has become a popular form of storytelling that has helped shape the modern world.
Animation is important because it makes us be able to tell stories and communicate emotions and ideas in a unique, easy-to-perceive way that both small children and adults can understand. Animation has helped connect people throughout the world in a way that sometimes writing and live-action films cannot. Today, anyone can pick up a drawing tablet and show their ideas to the world.
Drawn figures can be funny, or make something sad or serious have a playful, less intimidating feel to it to make the viewer feel more comfortable. Other times, it allows people to be united by a single passion, such as a fandom, and work on huge projects (called MAPs, which stands for multi animator project) about their interest to make something as high-quality as a professional film, such as The Five Giants [COMPLETE Warrior Cats M.A.P.], regardless of what beliefs and opinions differ.
Often, it has simply served as a way to make a heartwarming story that makes you think. Through live-action movies, people can form biases based on appearance and real-life personality of an actor playing a character. But as an animated character, the character feels like their own being.
No matter what the exact use, animation is one of the most powerful creative tool we have, and we should continue to use it as a form of uniting people, no matter their beliefs, biases, or interests.
This article was first published on StoneSoup. It can be read here.