Animation Timeline

1824
‘The persistence of vision with regard to moving objects’ – Peter Roget

1872
Phenakistoscope invented – produced an illusion of movement

1889
Kinetoscope invented by Thomas Edison- projected a 50ft length of film in approximately 13 seconds.

1906
J. Stuart Blackton made the first animated film which he called “Humorous phases of funny faces.” His method was to draw comical faces on a blackboard and film them. He would stop the film, erase one face to draw another, and then film the newly drawn face.

1910
En Route – Emile Cohl -first paper cutout animation

1911
Winsor McCay produced an animation sequence using his comic strip character “Little Nemo.”

1914
Winsor McCay produced a cartoon called “Gertie, The Trained Dinosaur” which amazingly consisted of 10,000 drawings. It was shown as a film in the theaters and also as a multi media event on stage with McCay interacting with the animated Gertie.

1915
Max Fleischer – patented the rotoscope process – live action footage to be traced.

1920
“Felix the Cat”, the most popular character and series of this period, started as the Feline Follies from Sullivan’s studio. The merchandising of Felix’s image for dolls, watches, etc was very successful and paved the way for the later merchandising of animated characters.

1923
Walt and Roy Disney found Disney Brothers Cartoon Studio.

1928
STEAMBOAT WILLIE was the first successful sound animated film; it made Mickey an international star, and launched the Disney studio of today.

1930
Warner Bros. Cartoons was born. 

First WB short was SINKING IN THE BATHTUB 

Pluto character born in THE PICNIC. Fleischer: introduced the character of in Betty Boop

1934
Donald Duck voice debuts on Mickey Mouse’s NBC radio program. Warners, first Merrie Melody in color, the Looney Tunes were in B&W until 1943, colored in 70’s in Japan. In the 1950’s Warner’s burnt all their cels from these series to make storage space available

1935
First Porky Pig I HAVEN’T GOT A HAT. Marc Davis, one of the Nine Old Men begins working at Disney, spending 42 years there.

1936
Tex Avery’s first film at Warner’s – Jones, Clampett, and Bo Cannon were also in the unit, which they called Termite Terrace.

1937
SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS

PORKYS DUCK HUNT, introduced the proto type character of Daffy Duck.

1938
First Chuck Jones, THE NIGHT WATCHMAN.

1940
– Disney: PINOCCHIO and FANTASIA
– Warners: Avery’s, A WILD HARE, where he defines the character of Bugs Bunny. There were three previous Bugs, but this was the film where the real Bugs was born.
– First Tom and Jerry (MGM: PUSS GETS THE BOOT). first co-effort of Bill Hanna and Joe Barbera
– Lantz: Woody Woodpecker introduced: KNOCK: KNOCK 1941

1942
Bambi

1943
MGM, Tex Avery’s DUMB HOUNDED, first Droopy.

1944
– Leon Schlesinger studio sold to Warners
– Warners, Yosemite Sam introduced in HARE TRIGGER

1945
Warners, Pepe Le Pew introduced, ODOR-KITTY, Chuck Jones.

1946
– Warners: Foghorn Leghorn: WALKY TALKY HAWK
– Terrytoons: HECKLE AND JECKLE series is introduced.
– Xerography process invented.

1947
TWEETIE PIE, AA, Warners: Tweetie and Sylvester together, first Tweetie, first AA for Warners, Friz Freleng.

1949
Warners, The Road Runner introduced, FAST AND FURRY-OUS, Chuck Jones Director

1950
– Cinderella
– Animation for TV commercials becoming an important segment of the animation industry.

1953
– Disney: PETER PAN released.
– Warners, DUCK AMUCK, Chuck Jones Director.
– GUMBY first appears in GUMBASIS by Art Clokey

1954
Warners, Tasmanian Devil, DEVIL MAY HARE, Bob McKimson

1955
– SPEEDY GONZALES, AA, Friz Freleng, first major Speedy.
– Disneyland opened.
– Warners, ONE FROGGY EVENING, Chuck Jones

1957
– Hanna and Barbera were asked to leave MGM, started Hanna Barbera studios.
– Warners: WHAT’S OPERA DOC? Chuck Jones
– Dr. Seuss wrote Cat in the Hat

1959
Rocky & Bullwinkle: Jay Ward’s on TV.

1960
– The Flintstones
first prime time TV series -Hanna-Barbera

1961
– Start of the “Nine Old Men” era at Disney
– The first use of Xerox cels
– 101 Dalmatians

1962
– Warner Bros. Animation closes.
– Charles Shulz writes: “Happiness is a Warm Puppy”

1965
– THE DOT AND THE LINE, AA, MGM (Chuck Jones)
– A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS
First Peanuts TV special

1966
DR. SEUSS’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas, directed by Chuck Jones

1967
SPEED RACER

1968
WINNY THE POOH AND THE BLUSTERY DAY, AA, Disney

1969
SCOOBY DOO, WHERE ARE YOU debut on TV

1971
Fritz the Cat: Steve Krantz producer, Ralph Bakshi director, the first X-rated feature in the USA.

1982
Tim Burton’s VINCENT.

1986
Don Bluth’s An American Tail becomes the first animated feature to successfully challenge Disney’s prominence at the box office

1987
The Simpsons: Started as spots on the Tracey Ullman Show.

1989
– Disney’s last animated feature-length film to use traditional cels.
– John Lasseter, William Reeves, Pixar, first computer animated film to win an Academy Award for best Animated Short
– Grossed over $300 million and proved that animation was not limited to a children’s audience.

1991
– Beauty & the Beast: The first animated feature to be nominated for the Academy Award as Best Picture.
– Ren & Stimpy Airs

1992
– Cartoon Network starts in 2 million homes, by 1995 in 22 million.
– FROG BASEBALL, starring Beavis Butthead, by Mike Judge, screened to an MTV focus group.
– Bill Plympton completes first feature film THE TUNE.

1993
Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas

1994
The Lion King

1995
Toy Story: First full-length 3D CG feature film

1996
The merger of Time Warner and Turner brings Warner Bros. Feature, TV, and Classic Animation, Hanna-Barbera, Cartoon Network, plus a couple of others under one roof.

1997
King of the Hill

2001
Shrek: This CG animated movie won the Academy Award for Best Animation.

2003
Finding Nemo: All time highest grossing animation of all time, beating out Beauty and the Beast.

2005
The Simpsons: In its 16th season, becomes the longest running television comedy series ever made surpassing The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet, which tallied 15 seasons from 1952-66