Which is the art form of the 20th century? The answer is Animation. This art form has blended with all the modern technologies to give visual ideas a who new meaning. It was developed around the later decades of the 19th century and rose to prominence some decades later. Though many theories exist about its birth but most consider Winsor McCay as the father of animation. The earliest form of proper animation is credited to Gertie the Dinosaur. Some say that French cartoonist Emil Cohl devised the medium much before McCay. Along with modern drawing tools, sound and color were added to give a full-proof experience. Though it was primary generated towards children through fantasy stories, more accepted storyline was inducted to expand the viewership at later times.

The Golden Age (late 1930s to early 1960s)

M.A. in Multimedia Animation With the success of Mickey Mouse in Steamboat Willie of the Disney productions and the rise of MGM along with the Warner Brothers ushered a new age of animation in the world. The animated shorts gave way to feature films


which was loved by the children and adults alike. The market of the animation

industry was also spread over America and across the world. Around 30 Academy awards were conferred to some Walt Disney features. Some of the famous films of this period are Three Little Pigs, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Superman, Cindrella, etc. Some of the most popular cartoon characters that became during the time were Felix the Cat, Mickey Mouse, Betty Boop and Gumby. This also saw the birth of animation legends like Walt Disney, Ub Iwerks, Hayao Miyazaki, Chuck Jones, Max Fleischer and many more.   ©

The Second Golden Age (early 1960s to late 1980s)

img3This is also called the television era. Short television features got a new lease of life in the early 1960s and the boom of television saw many new and old animation studios cashing on the craze.  After the fallout of some animators from the Disney studios, many of them joined UPA productions, Hanna and Barbera studios, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer production produced some of the popular animations of the period such as Tom and Jerry series, the Flinstones, the Yogi Bear series, Scooby-Doo series, etc. Milt Kahl, Marc Davis , William Hanna, Joseph Barbera, Bob Singer, Ralph Bakshi, Maurice Sendak, Theodor Geisel better known as Dr. Seuss, Tex Avery, Iwao Takamoto, Matt Groening, Stan Lee were the legends of the times. Top Cat, Scooby-Doo, the Simpsons, the Flinstones, Tom and Jerry, and Superman were the well-known characters from that age. ©

The Age of Computer Animation (1980s to early 1990s)

img4With the development of graphical user interfaces by MIT graduate Ivan Sutherland, animation filming took a new turn. The advent of computers and drawing hardware tools such as the lightpen helped to build a new industry of computer animation. Some modern filmmakers started their own studios to adapt the new ideas and blend the age old animation art with the modern tools. Lucas films, Blue Sky studios and Pixar animation, Ghibli studio ushered a new age in the history of animation. The favorite animation films of the period are Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Tron, Wallace and Gommit, etc. This age saw a burst of new faces who defined the future of animation in the coming ages. Tim Burton, George Lucas, Steve Jobs, Robert Zemeckis, Richard Williams, Hayao Miyazaki were some of the most influential names of those times.            ©

The start of CGI (early 1990s to late 2000s)

img5This age saw the start of integration of computer-generated imagery or CGI in to live action films resulting in breathtaking visuals and unlimited opportunities for the filmmaker. Some of the best modern films using both the classical and the advanced techniques were made in this period. This decade saw the birth of the one of the most modern animation studios like the   DreamWorks animations and Aardman Studios. Clay or stop-motion animation was revived in this era with the some breadth-taking films produced in America and Britain. Nick Park, Tim Burton, Stephen Spielberg, James Cameron, Brad Bird were some of the prominent personalities who defined this era. Some of the highest grossing films of the generation used the CGI technology for create maximum appeal in films like Toy Story, Antz, Star Wars, Jurrasic Park, Beauty And The Beast, Nightmare Before Christmas, The Iron Giant, Titanic, etc. ©

 2D & 3D Animation


The Present Times (2000s to present)

img6This century saw this medium attaining its highest glory and conquering the world by combining animation and live-action to produce the new visual effects studios. The most difficult visuals were easy created by the advent of this latest technology and there was a mark rise in the adventure and action genre films during this period. The animation scenery gave more important to strong storyline and experimented with the medium like never before. There also started competition between the animation studios to produce  films and garnering maximum awards by utilizing the market. These present times also saw the sudden emergence of the Japanese animation or anime beyond Japan and influencing the American animation scene. Some of the famous films of these millennium being the Spirited Away, Persepolis, Shrek, Finding Nemo, Shrek, Avatar, Harry Potter, The Lord of the Rings, Spider Man, Ice age, Life of Pie which defined a new era in the age of animation. The VFX studios that began operation during these times were Blur Studio, Digital Domain, Sony Pictures Imageworks, Tippett Studio, Weta Digital, Rhythm & Hues Studios, Prime Focus and Prana Studios. ©



image of bsc animation courses in pune at VEDAThe Market

One of the biggest industries of our times with a market capitulation of around US$ 1000 million dollars is the animation and video game industry. The advent of digital age saw the rapid rise of animation, visual effects and gaming studios. More and more industrialists are entering this market after analyzing the huge growth potential in this field. The entertainment franchisees are collaborating with these animations and gaming studios to reach more audience and enhance popularity for their products. Statistically speaking, the major markets of the industry are situated in United States, Japan, Canada, France, Britain and Germany. The upcoming countries with huge potentials are China, India, Brazil and South Africa. NASSCOM and other analysts estimates the total animation market will cross the US$ 500 billion mark in the next 50 years.


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Suggested Reading

Clay Animation: A Brief Introduction

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