This history is part of a forthcoming book on animation by Dan McLaughlin. The book will be published by Focal Press. Its tentative title is: Animation Rules. This web history is by no means complete. Updated versions will be posted here as often as possible. Any comments would be appreciated. Please feel free to email Dan at danm@tft.ucla.edu - There is no search function as yet for this information - it is more for your reading pleasure and information. This first posting will only be to 2002.
I would like to thank Andy Blaiklock for his help with this research and Amy Winfrey for the wonderful web design.

A RATHER INCOMPLETE BUT STILL FASCINATING HISTORY OF ANIMATION
By Dan McLaughlin
copyright 2001

A BRIEF PREHISTORY

   
1887
• H.W. Goodwin invents nitrate celluloid film, which is a chemical combination of gun cotton and gum camphor.
   

1892

• Emil Reynaud (1844-1918) ,France, opened his Theatre Optique in Paris with an archetype of animation created by his invention the Praxinoscope. The Praxinoscope was a theatrical Zoetrope with mirrors placed on an inside column that reflected out the sequential drawings that were on the inside of the drum. He was able to project 80 frames without changing reels and could project 10 to 15 minute "films". But the advent of film drove him out of business and in 1910 he threw all his equipment into a river and died destitute in a sanatorium in 1918.
   
1893

• Thomas Edison invents the Kinetsocope. He had already projected quite useful films onto a wall in his factory, but rather than producing a viewing system for the general public he came up with a machine in which reels of celluloid were not unrolled but stretched over a set of wheels that passed in front of a viewing window. Only one viewer at a time could watch. The Kinetsocope did not have an intermittent movement.


• "Art Nouveau" appears in Europe.

   
1894

• Lois Lumiere invents the cinematograph, a combination camera/projector/printer, it was the first machine to show movies successfully on a screen. This system used a claw movement and perforated film that was synced to an intermittent shutter movement.


• Thomas Edison copyrights the first motion picture, "THE RECORD OF A SNEEZE."


• Thomas Edison opens his Kinetoscope Parlor in New York,


• Thomas Edison invents the Kinetsocope.

   
1895

• Auguste and Louis Lumiere project their film, "Workers Leaving the Lumiere Factory in Lyon-Montplaisir", at the Hotel Scribe in Paris, on December 28th. This, the first public screening of a motion picture, is regarded as the "birth of film."


• Max Skaldanowsky presented films in Berlin using a two projector system called a Bioscope


• The first American comic strip, "Hogan's Alley" is published.

   
1899
• First magnetic recording of sound is achieved.
   
1900

• James Stuart Blackton (1875 -1941) England/US makes "THE ENCHANTED DRAWING." The smile and frown of his drawn characters is achieved by the replacement technique used by Melies in his live action films. It is not considered animation but a prototype of animation, as it is not continuous frame by frame filming.


• The live action film "Cinderella" by George Melies is released.

   
1906
 James Stuart Blackton makes the "HUMOROUS PHASES OF FUNNY FACES." This film is usually considered the first known example of animation as some of the drawn sequences are shot frame by frame. Blackton used a combination of blackboard and chalk drawing and cutouts to achieve animation. The film's motif was based on the lightning or quick sketch routine from vaudeville where a drawing is done in front of an audience.
   
1907

• "THE HAUNTED HOTEL" is another animated film by James Stuart Blackton. In this film the animation was created by stop motion and effects animation of 3D objects - wine poured into a glass, bread cut, and a table set without a human present. The film was a success and introduced 3D animation to the world.


• Later that year, Segundo de Chomons (1871-1929), Spain, releases his film "HOTEL ELECTRICO." It used a technique reminiscent of The Haunted Hotel.


• Walter Booth, in England makes and releases a film similar to "Humorous Phases of Funny Faces."

   
   

THE START OF ANIMATION

   

1908



• Emile Cohl, (1857-1938) France, makes his first film, "FANTASMAGORIE." This film is considered by many to be the first animated film. Cohl was well-known for his comic strips before he went into animation. He made 250 animated films from 1908 -1921. Cohl was strongly influenced by the philosophy of the Incoherents, whom he joined in 1884. The Incoherents were an aggressively anti-rational group who believed insanity, hallucinations, dreams, and nightmares were sources of aesthetic inspiration. Cohl died in 1938 in poverty. He had been living in a flat in Paris with no electricity and died of the complications resulting from burns suffered when a candle set fire to his long beard while he was getting ready to see the Paris premiere of "SNOW WHITE." Georges Melies died the day after; he had been making a living by selling chocolates at a stand in a Paris subway.

• Matisse coins the term "Cubism".

• Tex Avery (1908-1980) is born.

   
1909

• Emil Cohl combines live action and drawn animation together in his film, "CLAIR DE LUNE ESPAGNOL" (SPANISH MOONLIGHT).

• The first manufacture of "Bakelite" marks the beginning of the plastic age.

   
1911
• Winsor McCay (1867- Spring Lake, Ohio -1934) makes his first film, "LITTLE NEMO." McCay, who was already famous for his comic strips, used this film in his vaudeville act. His advice on animation was:" Any idiot that wants to make a couple of thousand drawings for a hundred feet of film is welcome to join the club."

• Chinese revolution, Manchu Dynasty falls, Sun Yat Sen elected president. Who's Great great grandson "Eddie Pong" would attend the UCLA Animation Workshop in the 1980s.
   
1912

• Winsor McCay's second film "THE STORY OF A MOSQUITO" ("HOW A MOSQUITO OPERATES") is released.

• Wladyslaw Starewicz (1882 -1965) Russia/France a 3D animator makes "THE CAMERAMAN'S REVENGE." The 3D characters he animated for this stop motion film were embalmed beetles. He continued to make 3D animated films after he moved to France in 1920. In France he changed his name to Ladislas Starevitch.

• Chuck Jones is born in Spokane Wash.

• Approximately 5 million people daily attend the cinema in the US.

• London has 400 cinemas!


 
1913
• John Bray's (1879-1978) US, first film, "THE ARTISTS DREAM" is released.

• Otto Messmer (1892-1983) the future creator and animator of "FELIX THE CAT" series begins his animation career.

• The Balkin war begins setting the stage for WWI.

• Zippers, in use since 1891, become popular.
   
1914

• Winsor McCay's "GERTIE THE DINOSAUR" was the first major triumph in character animation (it is still a marvelous film). 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.

• John Bray opens his studio and patented a great deal of the animation process but not the use of cels. Earl Hurd (1880-1940) born in Kansas City, Missouri had patented the cel technique. Bray convinced Earl to combine their patents and he formed the Bray-Hurd Process Company.

• Bray started producing the COLONEL HEEZA LIAR series that was a take off on Teddy Roosevelt. In his studio Bray introduced the management principles of the assembly line to the production of the animated films. The use of these management principles has continued in most United States studios to this day.

• Raoul Barre (1874-1932) Canadian), starts his own animation studio. He developed a slash and tear technique for doing levels in animation and he also devised the peg system for registration.

• Bill Littlejohn, was born in New Jersey USA.


• The US animation industry was centered in New York until the late 1920's and early 1930's.

• WW I begins.

   
1915

• Bray hired Paul Terry (1887-1971).

• Max Fleischer (1883-1972) Austria/USA, Dave Fleischer (1894-1979) USA patented the rotoscope process. For the source of the rotoscoped live action footage to be traced, Dave was filmed in a clown costume on top of a building in New York.

• International Film Service (IFS) was backed by the Hearst newspaper and used their comics, Katzenjammer Kids, etc., as the basis of their animated films. The studio closed in 1918.

• Pat Sullivan, (1887- 1933) Australia/USA hires Otto Messmer to work in his studio.

• WW I reduced European animation production to a trickle, but animation production continued unabated in the United States so when the war ended the United States had the strongest animation industry and a large inventory of animated films ready for international distribution. This same scenario was repeated at the end of WW II. These might be two excellent reasons why United States animation was able to dominate globally for so long.

• D.W. Griffith's live action film "Birth of a Nation" is released.

   
1916

• Bray acquires more patents and establishes a patent monopoly for the animation process. He tried to enforce the patent by requiring all animation studios using his patented animation process to buy a license and pay a fee. Some studios paid it, some ignored it, some found a way around it, and some took it to court. This issue caused concern in the animation business until the early 1930's. Bray began to produce Army training films, which became very profitable. His interest shifted from entertainment films to educational films. Bray adds the Fleischer brothers to the staff in his studio.

• Earl Hurd does the BOBBY BUMPS series.

• Paul Terry leaves Bray and sets up his own studio.

• Charles Bowers (1889-1945) USA starts the MUTT AND JEFF series based on the Fisher comic strip. Around 500 will be produced by the time the series ended in 1928.

• Barre joined with Bowers to form a new studio.

• Walter Lantz (1900-1995) starts his long career in animation at IFS.

• Victor Bergdahl (1887-1939) Sweden started the KAPTEN GROGG series.

• KRAZY KAT, an extremely popular comic strip by George Herriman, was released as animation.

• Dadaism founded.

• James Joyce's "Portrait of the Artist as Young Man" is published.



 
1917
• Willis O'Brien (1886-1962) who would later do the big ape in KING KONG released 6 puppet animated films.

• Chicago becomes the worlds Jazz center.

• US enters WW I.
   
1918
•  Winsor McCay finishes THE SINKING OF THE LUSITANIA; AN AMAZING MOVING PEN PICTURE. It is animated with cels, washes, and paintings in a very striking and realistic style. This was the first propaganda film done in animation. Unfortunately the Lusitania sank in 1915 and WWI ended in 1918 so its use as a propaganda tool was doubtful and points up the problem of doing topical events in animation.

• Ex-Czar Nicholas II and his family are executed in Russia.
   
1919

• Max Fleischer produced the first OUT OF THE INKWELL shorts featuring a clown based on the rotoscoped footage of Dave Fleischer in a clown costume interacting with Max. The clown character was named Koko the Clown in 1923. His name was changed to Ko-Ko in 1928 for copyright reasons. The interaction of a live action animator with the animation was a commonly used technique during this period.

• Walter Lantz starts work at the Bray Studio.

• Lotte Reiniger (1899-1981) Germany makes the first of her many 2D shadow puppet animated films THE ORNAMENT OF THE ENAMOURED HEART


• WWI ends with Germany Signing the peace treaty at Versailles.

• The 18th Amendment to the Constitution is ratified. Prohibition begins.

   
1920
• 19 year old Walter Elias Disney (1901-1966) started working in animation at the Kansas City Slide Company, with his friend Ubbe Iwerks (1901-1971) who later changed his first name to Ub. They both used the book Animated Cartoons: How they are Made, their origin and Development by Edwin G. Lutz, New York, Scribner, 1920 to help them learn animation.

• Goldwyn-Bray first color animation THE DEBUT OF THOMAS CAT, Done in Brewster Color, a 2 emulsion color process, it was judged too expensive for commercial use.

• FELIX THE CAT, the most popular character and series of this period, started as the Feline Follies from Sullivan's studio. 0tto Messmer not only created Felix, but also he did the stories and directing on a schedule that produced one film every two weeks. The merchandising of Felix's image for dolls, watches, etc was very successful and paved the way for the later merchandising of animated characters.

• The 19th Amendment gives women in the United States the right to vote.

• Visitors to the exhibition of Dadaist Art in Cologne are allowed to smash the paintings.
   
1921

• Winsor McCay, assisted by his son Robert makes and releases three films in a series called DREAM OF THE RAREBIT FIEND. The films are: THE PET, THE FLYING HOUSE, and BUG VAUDEVILLE. This ends his major involvement with animation.

• Paul Terry engages in six years of litigation with Bray over patent infringement.

• Walter Ruttmann (1887-1941) Germany, did OPUS I, an abstract animation film.

• Hans Richter (1888-1976) Germany did RHYTHM 21, an abstract animation film.

• Max Fleischer set up own studio. KoKo was the star character.

• Bob Godfrey is born in Horse Shoe Bend, West Maitland, Australia, but moves to London as a baby.

   
1922

• Disney's first animation studio is located in Kansas City and is called Laugh-O-Gram Films.

• Oskar Fischinger (1900-1067)(wife Elfriede) Germany resigns his engineering job, and moves to Munich to become full time filmmaker. He becomes a master in abstract animation, which he calls "absolute animation",
   
1923

• Walter Lantz heads Bray studio.

• Disney Laugh-O-Grams Films studio in Kansas goes bankrupt. Disney moves to Los Angeles, California and opens a new studio in his uncle's garage in Silverlake. Margaret Winkler who was distributing KoKo and Felix puts Disney under contract for a series, which he had proposed, that combined live action and animation. The series was called "Alice Comedies" and featured a live action girl with animated characters.

• Starevitch makes FROGLAND, a 3D stop motion film in France.

   
1924

• Overview. The Felix and KoKo series were the most popular and well made shorts of this period. Aesop's Fables and Colonel Heeza Liar were not well received and reflected the lack of quality common in most animation of the period. In fact, some people had written animation off, claiming audience booed when the animation came on the screen.

• Lantz started the Dinky Doodles series.

• Disney's Alice series goes into distribution. The animators who did this series were originally from Kansas City. They included, Ub Iwerks, Hugh Harman (1903-1982) USA, Rudolf Ising (1904-1992) USA, and Friz Freleng (1906-1995) USA.

• The very popular English series BONZO THE DOG by Billy Ward was released.

• The First Song Car-Tune (the sing a-long format, sometimes with a bouncing ball) MOTHER PIN A ROSE ON ME is released.

• The Birth of Surrealism.

   
1925 • THE LOST WORLD, a live action film with Willis O'Brien's 3D stop motion animated prehistoric dinosaurs and other creatures was released.

• DIAGONAL SYMPHONIE, Viking Eggeling (Swedish 1880-1925), perhaps the first public showing of an abstract film. Eggeling died six days after premier of depravation.

• Live action films released include "Battleship Potemkin by Eisenstein and "The Gold Rush" by Chaplin, which was the first feature comedy.

   
1926

• Lotte Reiniger, Germany, ADVENTURES OF PRINCE ACHMED, a one hour shadow puppet film is released. This film is claimed by some to be 1st animated feature, (but a feature is usually considered 75 minutes or longer).

• Kodak produces the first 16mm film

   
1927

• Disney started the popular OSWALD THE RABBIT series. Margaret Winkler was his distributor. o Fleischer studio begins distribution through Paramount that continued until 1942.

• Trotsky is expelled from the Communist Party.

   
1928

• Disney was making each of the "OSWALD THE RABBIT" shorts for $2500.00 and when the series was up for renewal he wanted a raise to $2,750.00. Charles Mintz, Margaret Winkler's husband, meeting with Disney in New York, offered him $1800. Mintz owned the character and when Disney said no, Mintz set up his own studio by raiding Disney and hiring away some staff. But Disney in the interim had created Mickey Mouse while returning to California on a train. Disney did two Mickey's PLANE CRAZY and GALLOPING GAUCHO without a distributor. He was working on the third Mickey, STEAMBOAT WILLY, when motion picture sound arrived. Recognizing the breakthrough he added sound to the third Mickey and it opened in New York on Nov. 18, 1928, with the Powers sound system. It was not the first sound film: Terry's DINNER TIME was released on Sept. 1st (Disney saw it and said it was terrible). But STEAMBOAT WILLIE was the first successful sound animated film; it made Mickey an international star, and launched the Disney studio of today. It also ushered in the new age of sound for animation. (Special Note: In 2006 The Walt Disney Company would finally reaquire the rights to the "Oswald the Rabbit" character in a trade with Universal for a Sportscaster.)

Carl Stalling (1888-1972) leaves his job as a movie music accompanist in Kansas City and joins Disney (he knew Disney in Kansas City and was an original investor in the studio). He would compose the music for nineteen of Disney's first twenty sound cartoons.

• Lantz signed with Universal and later took over Disney's OSWALD THE LUCKY RABBIT series.

• Amadee Van Beuren (-1937) bought 90% of Aesop's Fables Studio (Paul Terry's studio); it became the Van Beuren Studio. It distributor was RKO. The studio closed in 1936. Paul Terry left in 1929 and started own studio, Terrytoons. Georgia O'Keefe paints "Nightwave " an abstract painting. And so the "Silent Era" ended and the "Sound Era" began. How did this effect animation? Did Live Action and Animation take different directions when sound came in? How did sound affect the nature of comedy? How did the great depression, which started a year later, effect animation?

   
1929

• Walt Disney's, SKELETON DANCE, first Silly Symphony, Carl Stalling music, Ub Iwerks animator, where the use of prerecorded music in animation leads to a very tight synchronization of sound and picture which sets the standard in animation for the use of prerecorded sound. Columbia becomes Disney distributor until 1932.

• Walter Lantz studios open. Distributor Universal.

• For Columbia/Screen Gems Charles Mintz starts a studio with Krazy Kat as a main series. Columbia distributor.

• Great Depression begins with "Black Friday"

   
1930

• The Warner Bros. Cartoons are born. The First Warner Bros. short was SINKING IN THE BATHTUB with the character BOSKO who was a take off on Mickey Mouse. Harman, Ising, and Friz Freleng, who were old Disney people, started the studio with Leon Schlesinger as the producer. He was a cousin of the Warner BrotherÕs and had helped back the "Jazz Singer". As a condition for the studio each short must contain a Warners song. So Looney Tunes series, a take off on the Silly Symphonies, began. "Our policy has always been laughs, the more the better", was the Warner's philosophy (Schlesinger).

• Disney: Ub Iwerks and Carl Stalling left the studio. Roy signed contract-starting Disney merchandising. David Hand joins as DisneyÕs fourth animator. Norm Ferguson's Pluto character born in THE PICNIC.

• Fleischer: introduced the character of in Betty Boop "DIZZY DISHES." Grim Natwick developed and animated Betty, he also animated Snow White. Betty started as part human part dog character that later changed to completely human. Bimbo, her boyfriend remained a dog. Mae Questel did BettyÕs first voice.

• First Terrytoons, "CAVIAR." is released. Distributed by 20th Century Fox.

• The plant Pluto is discovered. o Dashiell Hammett writes the "Maltese Falcon".

   
1931

• Ub Iwerks opens his own studio to produce "Flip the Frog" cartoons. His studio would close in 1936.

• Warner Bros. introduces "Merrie Melodies" as one shot shorts. Webb Smith, at Disney, starts the use of storyboards. (Some would claim that the storyboard was developed first at the Fleischer studios in 1930.)

• Disney starts a studio school under direction of Don Graham. Jack Kinney joins Disney for 27 years.

• Hamilton Luske begins 37 year tenure with Disney. He became a co-director on many features until his death in 1968.

   
1932

• Walt Disney wins his first Academy Award for "FLOWERS AND TREES." This film was the first to use 3 strip Technicolor (color) in animation.

• In Walt Disney's "MICKEY'S REVUE" Goofy is born. Disney changes distributor to United Artists, which lasts until 1937.

• Oskar Fischinger completes his studies #5-12, done in an abstract style. He called his style "absolute animation"

• Czech animator Berthold Bartosch creates "THE IDEA" a 30 minute film using woodcuts. He also worked on "PRINCE ACHMED."

• Chuck Jones lands his first job in the animation industry as a cel washer for Ub Iwerks. Norman McLaren, while a 16 year old art student in England, turns to animation after seeing an Oskar Fischinger film.

• Dan McLaughlin born. Hollywood CA.

• Raoul Barre dies, (1874-1932) Canada

• Amelia Earhart is the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic.

• Al Capone is jailed for tax evasion.

   
1933

• Walt Disney wins his second Academy Award for "THE THREE LITTLE PIGS."

• At Warner Bros., Harman and Ising leave over money issues taking Books with them to MGM. Meanwhile back at Warner's Friz Freleng becomes a head director. Bob Clampett and Chuck Jones, earning $18.50 for a six-day week, start working at the studio and Ben Hardaway arrives from Kansas City. Friz Freleng directs "BOSKO IN DUTCH" and a cartoon Hitler chases Jimmy Durant with an ax in "BOSKO'S PICTURE SHOW".

• Alexander Alexeieff and Claire Parker release animated film "NIGHT ON BALD MOUNTAIN", made with pinscreen animation in Paris.

• Max Fleischer animates "Popeye" from Elzie Segar's comic strip, "POPEYE THE SAILOR." Jack Mercer's muttering voice was used later. "Betty Boop" first appears in a Fleishcer "Popeye" cartoon as a dog.

• All books by non-Nazi and Jewish authors are burned in Germany.

• "Ulysses" by James Joyce is allowed into the US after a court ruling.

   
1934

• Disney's "THE TORTOISE AND THE HARE" wins the Academy Award. MGM studios begins producing "Happy Harmonies" with Ising and Harmon.

• Donald Duck voice debuts on Mickey Mouse's NBC radio program. Donald first appeared in "THE WISE LITTLE HEN."

• Warner Bros. first "Merrie Melodies" cartoon is produced in color. The Looney Tunes were animated in B&W until 1943. Much of these cartoons were re-filmed in color during the sixties by a Japanese studio. This required re-creating all of the cels as Warner Bros. had burnt all the original cels from this series to free up storage space.

• Walt Disney in a four hour staff meeting lays out his vision for SNOW WHITE. o Stalin begins purge of the Communist Party. o Robert Graves writes "I, Claudius"

   
1935

• Disney's "THREE ORPHAN KITTENS" wins the Academy Award. Don Graham begins teaching at the Disney studios.

• Hollywood Production Code comes into effect. Len Lye, (1901 - 1980) creates "COLOR BOX" the first film to be animated by painting directly on film and shown to audience, British GPO unit

• Norman McLaren joined GPO unit. He strips away everything but action, feels the most important thing is what happens between frames, not what is on the frame. Tex Avery said it's not what the character looks like, but what the character does, that matters.

• "I HAVEN'T GOT A HAT" the first cartoon to feature Porky Pig is produced. Joe Dougherty, a bit part actor with a pronounced speech impediment, vioces the original Porky in this short, which gave Schlesinger Studios its first success.

• Ub Iwerks adapts Hans Christian Anderson's tale for one of the first of his Comicolor Cartoon releases "THE BRAVE TIN SOLDIER."

• Marc Davis, one of the Nine Old Men, begins working at Disney. He will spend 42 years there.

• The rumba becomes the fashionable dance. Mussolini invades Abyssinia.

 

   
1936

• Disney's "COUNTRY COUSIN" wins the Academy Award.

• Warner Bros. produces "GOLD DIGGERS OF '49" Tex Avery's first film for them. He was an animator working at Walter Lantz's studio from1930 to 1935. Chuck Jones, Bob Clampett, and Bo Cannon also work at Warner Bros. They dub the animation unit "Termite Terrace." Frank Tashlin (1913-1972) directs "PORKY IN THE NORTH WOODS." Carl Stalling joined the studio and set the style of "cartoon music" going on to compose music for over six hundred films. Mel Blanc joined the studio as well either in1936 or 1937.

• Max Fleischer produces "POPEYE THE SAILOR MEETS SINBAD THE SAILOR" a 20 minute film. It is shot on a horizontal rig with 3D models for background and the characters drawn on cels and placed between two sheets of glass and set in front of the models. This was way before computers.

• Oskar Fischinger moves to Hollywood. His color films "MURATTI MARCHES ON" and "COMPOSITION IN BLUE" had gained so much critical and popular acclaim that Paramount Studios offers him a contract.

• Spanish Civil War begins.

• Mondriaan paints Composition in Blue.

   
1937

• Walt Disney's "THE OLD MILL" Wins the Academy Award

• Walt Disney produces "SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS" his first animated feature. (general release 1938). RKO becomes Disney's new distributer until 1956.

• At Warners Bros. Robert Clampett directs "PORKYS BADTIME STORY" and Tex Avery directs "PORKYS DUCK HUNT" which introduces the character of Daffy Duck. Tex Avery based the character on a duck that lived on a pond across from his high school. Tex Avery was now developing the Looniest of Looney Tunes that set the tone for the entire studio.

• Animators go on strike at the Fleischer Studios in New York.

• The Japanese seize Peking, Nankin, and Shanghi.

• "Whistle While you Work" is one of the most popular songs of the day.

   
1938 • Walt Disney's "FERDINAND THE BULL" wins the Academy Award. Disney's mother dies.

• Chuck (Charles) Jones directs "THE NIGHT WATCHMAN" for Warner Bros.

• Emile Cohl dies.

• 40 hour work week established in the USA.

   
1939

• Walt Disney's "THE UGLY DUCKLING" wins the Academy Award. It was also the last Silly Symphony produced at Disney. The Disney studios begin 'their move to Burbank from Hyperion Ave. in Los Angeles.

• MGM's "PEACE ON EARTH" a strong pacifist film, is nominated for an Academy Award.

• Mary Ellen Bute and McLaren create "SPOOK SPORT" an abstract film.

• Fleischer Studios produce "GULLIVERS TRAVELS" their first feature. Fleischer Animators go on strike in Florida.

• The Film Act is passed in Canada by Parliament. This creates The National Film Board of Canada to "interpret Canada to Canadians through the medium of film."

• Victor Bergdahl dies (1887-1939) Sweden.

• WWII begins in Europe with the German invasion of Poland.

 

   
1940

• MGM's "MILKY WAY" wins the Academy Award.

• Disney Produces "PINOCCHIO" and "FANTASIA".

• Harry Smith, Experimental animator, creates "NO.1, alchemist"

• Tex Avery directs "A WILD HARE" for Warner Bros. where he defines the character of Bugs Bunny. There were three previous Bugs, but this was the film where the real Bugs was born. This was the start of Warners' supremacy in animated humor.

• Bill Hanna (1911 - 2001) & Joe Barbera(1911-) start work at MGM.

• MGM produces "PUSS GETS THE BOOT" the first Tom and Jerry cartoon. It was also the first co-production effort of Bill Hanna and Joe Barbera

• Walter Lantz's Woody Woodpecker is introduced in "KNOCK: KNOCK"

• Trotsky is assassinated in Mexico on Stalin's orders.

• Duke Ellington becomes known as a composer and a jazz pianist.

   
1941

• Walt Disney's "LEND A PAW" wins the Academy Award.

• Walt Disney releases "DUMBO."

• Disney animators Strike.

• Norman McLaren joins National Film Board (NFB).

• Fleischer Studios produce the "SUPERMAN" series and their second feature film "MR. BUG" is retitled "HOPPITY GOES TO TOWN" then released.

• Walter Ruttmann dies, (1887-1941) Germany

• James Stuart Blackton (1875- 1941) England/USA is, hit by a bus on Pico Blvd in Los Angeles. He dies in poverty.

• US enters WWII.

• Manhattan Project begins the intensive research into atomic bombs and power.

   
1942

• Walt Disney's "DER FUEHRERS FACE" wins the Academy Award.

• Disney releases "BAMBI."

• Fleischer studios close.

• Paramount/Famous studios open with the old Fleischer artists.

•Fort Roach, the old Hal Roach studios, becames the military animation/film studio in Hollywood, 18th Air Force Base Unit. Lt. Ronald Regan was stationed there.

•In the WWII propaganda films, Japanese soldiers were often shown wearing rimless glasses. The reason young Japanese men worn these glasses was because the silent film star Harold Lloyd wore them.

• Tex Avery left Warner Bros.and directed the pilot "SPEAKING OF ANIMALS" (with its Hoary Toad sequence) for Paramount. However the series was quicly taken away from him. He then moved to MGM where he stayed until 1955.

• Director Fred Quimby, upon seeing Tex Avery's caricature of Hitler as the wolf in "The Blitz Wolf" for MGM, advised Avery to tone it down because, "After all, no one knew who was going to win the war."

• "COMING SNAFU", in the style of a coming attraction the Private Snafu series is introduced (named for the acronym "Situation normal. All fouled up"). Snafu is described as "licentious, lazy, envious of every duty but his own, a shirker and the Warner Bros. animation department's idea of the American fighting man in his larval form, or a positive genius at doing things the wrong way."

• Terrytoons introduces the prototype of "Mighty Mouse."

•Norman McLaren joins the NFB of Canada as the head of animation.

• By this year many important European filmmakers, artists (Surrealist painters, Bauhaus designers, etc.) had come to America.

• The first electronic brain or automatic computer is developed in the US.

• Magnetic recording tape is invented.

• Gandhi demands independence for India and is arrested.

• Germans reach Stalingrad.

   
1943

• MGM's "YANKEE DOODLE MOUSE" wins the Academy Award.

• Walt Disney produces "SALUDOS AMIGOS" a collection of shorts, the studio did several of these. Bill Tytla resigns, Bill Shull was his assistant.

• John and James Whitney produce their first film.

• Tex Avery directs "DUMB HOUNDED" the first Droopy cartoon for MGM.

• Penicillin is successfully used in the treatment of chronic diseases.

• Germans surrender at Stalingrad.

• Japanese driven from Guadalcanal.

• Jackson Pollock has his first one man show.

   
1944

• MGM's "MOUSE TROUBLE" wins the Academy Award.

• "HELL BENT FOR ELECTION" - a independent short done for the Democrats for the 1944 presidential election. It was so effective that, as the story goes, both political parties made a gentleman's agreement not to use animation for election films.

•Leon Schlesinger's studio is sold to Warner Bros.

• Warner Bros. Yosemite Sam character is introduced in "HARE TRIGGER."

• Mitsuyo Seo's Japanese wartime animated feature film "MOMOTAROÕS GOD BLESSED SEA WARRIORS" is produced. In the film Momotaro and his cute little bunny, monkey and elephant friends. happily clear an airstrip, oil machine guns, and fly their Zeroes to victory while singing happy songs.

• "REYNARD THE FOX" completed by Dutch Nazi's.

• D-Day landing in France.

• Vietnam, under Ho Chi Minh, declares itself independent of France.

   
1945

• MGM's "QUIET PLEASE" wins the Academy Award.

• UPA (United Productions of America) is formed.

• Warners Bros. character "Pepe Le Pew" is introduced in "ODOR-KITT" directed by Chuck Jones.

• UCLA Animation's Phil Denslow is born

• War ends in Europe.

• USA drops Atomic bombs Hiroshima and Nagasaki forcing Japan to surrender.

   
1946

• MGM's "THE CAT CONCERTO" wins the Academy Award.

• Warners Bros. character "Foghorn Leghorn" is introduced in "WALKY TALKY HAWK" directed by Bob McKimson (1911-1977).

•Walt Disney produces "SONG OF THE SOUTH" combining live action and animation.

• Terrytoons's "HECKLE AND JECKLE" series is introduced.

• UPA produces "BROTHERHOOD OF MAN" directed by Bob Cannon.

• The Xerography process invented.

• A Truce is declared in the Chinese Civil War.

   
1947

• Warner Bros' "TWEETIE PIE" wins the Academy Award. This is the first short featuring Tweetie and Sylvester together and the first animated short to win the Academy Award for Warner Bros. It was directed by Friz Freleng.

• Bob Clampett leaves Warner Bros.

• Around this time new contracts were made for animators which almost doubled their wages. However the contracts did not include residuals. A big mistake.

• Bill Shull, a former Disney animator founded the UCLA Animation Workshop. Hooray!!!

• Flying Saucer sightings are reported in US.

• India is proclaimed independent and partitioned into India and Pakistan.

• Jackie Robinson becomes the first African American to sign a contract with a major league baseball club.

 

   
1948

• MGM's "THE LITTLE ORPHAN" wins the Academy Award.

• UPA makes their first theatrical release (they did educational films before) "ROBIN HOODLUM."

• "Fox and Crow" is animated by John Hubley.

• Supreme Court makes ruling on "Sherman anti trust act"declaring motion picture companies monopolies and forcing them to break up. Ends block booking.

• Czech. Jiri Trnka animates "THE EMPERORS NIGHTENGALE" a feature length puppet film.

• Columbia/Screen Gems ends production.

• A special department of cartoon and puppet films comes into being as part of the Bulgarian State Film Industry.

• Gandhi assassinated.

• Berlin Airlift begins.

• Jewish state comes into existence.

 

   
1949

• Warner Bros.' "FOR SCENT-IMENTAL REASONS" wins the Academy Award.

• "CRUSADER RABBIT" first cartoon series made for TV is introduced on NBC. Done by Alex Anderson, nephew of Paul Terry. They were paid $250.00 per five minute episode. Looking like an illustrated radio show they were TV's first example of limited animation.

• Frostbit Follies genesis for "Rocky and Friends" 1959 (storyboard only).

• MGM produces "BAD LUCK BLACKIE" directed by Tex Avery.

• Warners Bros. introduces "The Road Runner" in "FAST AND FURRY-OUS" directed by Chuck Jones.

• UPA introduces "Mr. Magoo" in "THE RAGTIME BEAR" directed by John Hubley.

• Bob Godfrey enters the film world. Later to be called "Master of the Absurd". "I try in my own lousy, noisy way to make an audience laugh" Bob Godfrey.

• Communist People's Republic is proclaimed under Mao Tse-tung.

• The Samba comes into fashion.

• USSR tests their first atomic bomb.

   
1950

• UPA's "GERALD MCBOING MCBOING" wins the Academy Award.

• The first computer animation is created (that we know of) it was an animated "Bouncing Ball" done at MIT by Saxenian.

• Disney produces "CINDERELLA" (return to feature animation), first live action feature "TREASURE ISLAND" and their first TV special.

• TV Arts Productions, they did the original "CRUSADER RABBIT," goes out of business.

• Animation for TV commercials becoming an important segment of the animation industry.

• The Korean conflictbegins.

• McCarthy era begins.

• Ralph Bunche wins Nobel prize for Peace.

• The number of TV sets reach 15 million in the US.

• North Korean forces invade South Korea.

• China's forces occupy Tibet.

• Antihistamines become popular remedy for colds and allergies. Sniff!

• Cool Jazz developed from bebop.

 

   
1951

• MGM's "TWO MOUSEKETEERS" wins the Academy Award.

• Bretislav Pojar (Czechoslovakia) creates "THE GINGERBREAD COTTAGE."

• Ion Popesco-Gopo (Rumania) creats "THE NAUGHTY DUCK, THE BEE AND THE DOVE."

• Raoul Servais (Belgium) creates "GHOST STORY, THE SAND MAN"

• Evita Peron re-elected President of Argentina.

• J.D. Salinger's "Catcher in the Rye" published.

• Color television is first introduced in the US.

   
1952

• MGM's "JOHANN MOUSE" wins the Academy Award.

• "MASTER MANOL" Bulgaria's first color film by Dimo Lingurski.

• "NEIGHBORS" Norman McLaren's pixillation film, labeled by some a "one of the most controversial films the NFB ever made". because there was too much violence, wins an Oscar for best documentary.

• First Hydrogen bomb tested.

   
1953

• Disney: Walt Diseny's "TOOT, WHISTLE, PLUNK AND BOOM' wins the Academy Award. It is a return to Silly Symphonies done in a UPA style.

• "THE SIMPLE THINGS" Disney's last Mickey Mouse short is released. Tecnically.

• Walt Disney's " PETER PAN" is released.

• Paul Grimault (France: 1905-1994): La Bergere et le ramoneur (MR. WONDERBIRD): first French feature (?)

• Most US movie theaters are adapted for Cinemascope projection.

• Warners Bros. Releases "DUCK AMUCK'' directed by Chuck Jones.

• GUMBY first appears in "GUMBASIS" by Art Clokey

• Korean armistice signed in Panmunjon.

• Stalin dies.

• Lung cancer reported attributable to cigarette smoking

• Tenzing and Hillary become the first to reach the summit of Mount Everest.

   
1954

• UPA's "WHEN MAGOO FLEW" wins the Academy Award.

• In this year as well as 1955 and 1956 the major studios started selling their animated shorts to TV for syndication.

• Warners Bros. introduce "The Tasmanian Devil" in "DEVIL MAY HARE" directed by Bob McKimson.

• Independent TV Authority established in Britain.

• 29 million homes have TV's in US.

• Herblock (1910-2001) wins second Pulitzer Prize for editorial cartoons.

• There is a terrible desert locus plague in Morocco.

   
1955

• Warner Bros.' "SPEEDY GONZALES" directed by Friz Freleng, wins the Academy award.

• Disney starts phasing out shorts as the cost rises to $75,000 each.

• Disneyland opens.

• Paul Terry sells Terrytoons to CBS for $3,500,000 and retires.

• Peter Foldes (Hungry 1924-1977), creates "A SHORT VISION".(shown on US TV).

•Todor Dinov, (Bulgaria), Creates "THE MIGHTY MARKO."

• Tex Avery moves to the Walter Lantz Studio.

• Warner Bros. releases ?ONE FROGGY EVENING" directed by Chuck Jones.

• African Americans in Montgomery, Ala. Boycott segregated city bus lines.

• Bernard Buffet paints "Circus." His painting style influences the UPA style.

• Prokofiev's opera Fiery Angel opens in Venice.

   
1956

• UPA's "MR. MAGO0'S PUDDLE JUMPER' wins the Academy Award.

• CBS Terrytoons, Gene Deitch hired as supervisor.

• John Hubley and Faith Elliot start "Storyboard Productions."

• UPA produces "GERALD MCBOING BOING SHOW" for TV.

• Zagreb Studio started.

• Disney Studios stop release of their last shorts on a regular basis.

• Annecy, the first major international animation festival begins within the framework of the Cannes Festival. In 1960 becomes an independent festival at Annecy under the auspices of the Association Francaise pour la Diffusion du Cinema.

• Tom Sito is born. Currently he is a Director, animator, and teaches a course at the UCLA Animation Workshop.

• Martin Luther King Jr. emerges as leader of the desegregation movement.

• Pakistan becomes a Islamic republic.

   
1957

• Warner Bros' "BIRDS ANONYMOUS" wins the academy award.

• Hanna and Barbera are asked to leave MGM, they along with George Sidney start Hanna Barbera studios. "RUFF AND REDDY SHOW" is their first TV series.

• Shanghai Studio opened

•Warners bros. releases "WHAT'S OPERA DOC?" directed by Chuck Jones.

• "GUMBY" TV series premiers on NBC.

• Association Internationale de Film D' Animation (ASIFA) is founded in France.

• Jack Kinney leaves Disney and goes on to produce and direct over a hundred "POPEYE" cartoons.

• USSR launches Sputnik I and II. These are the first Man-made Earth satellites.

• Jack Kerouac writes "On the Road."

• Dr. Seuss writes "The Cat in the Hat."

• UCLA Animation Workshop's Dug Ward is born.

   
1958

• Warner Bros' "KNIGHTY KNIGHTY BUGS" wins the Academy Award.

• Richard Williams (Canada), creates "THE LITTLE ISLAND" (Stan Hayward, writer)

• Jay Ward Productions opens.

• Hanna-Barbera introduces "HUCKLEBERRY HOUND" the first half-hour all cartoon TV program.

• First studio in Australia opened.

• CBS Terrytoons introduces "TOM TERRIFIC" for TV. Directed by Gene Deitch and written Jules Feiffer.

• European Common Market comes into being.

• The Beatnik movement spreads throughout America and Europe. One of the consequences of this was a musical group called the Beatles. (who?)

• The Cha Cha Cha is the new dance vogue.

   
1959 • "MOONBIRD" created by Storyboard Inc. (Hubley Studio) wins the Academy Award.

• Karel Zeman (Czechoslovakia) creates "BARON MUNCHHAUSEN."

• Jiri Trnka, (Czechoslovakia 1912-1970), Creates "MIDSUMMER NIGHTS DREAM" and animated puppet feature.

• UPA closes its doors

• Jay Ward's ROCKY AND HIS FRIENDS premiers on TV.

• Hawaii becomes the 50th state

• Fidel Castro becomes the Premier of Cuba.

• USSR launches a rocket with two monkeys aboard.

   
1960

• "MUNRO" by Rembrandt Films wins the Academy Award.

• Bruno Bozzetto (Italy), creates "AN AWARD FOR MR. ROSSI."

• Giulio Gianin and Emmanuele Luzzati, (Italy), creates "PALADIN."

• Yoji Kuri (Japan), creates "HUMAN ZOO."

• Hanna-Barbera intrudoces "THE FLINTSTONES" (as a homage to the Honeymooners) the first prime time animated TV series.

• UNESCO charters ASIFA.

• Belgian Congo granted full independence

• Antonioni's film "La Notte" is released.

   
1961

• "ERSATZ" by Zagreb Film (Dusan Vukotic 1927- ) wins the Academy Award.

• Bob Godfrey (Australia/England), creates "DO IT YOURSELF CARTOON KIT."

• TETSUWAN ATOMU (ASTRO BOY) Japan's first television animation series begins. Created by Osamu Tezuka.

• Start of the "Nine Old Men" era at Disney

• Hanna barbera introduce "YOGI BEAR' on TV.

• Walt Disney releases "ONE HUNDRED AND ONE DALMATIANS" the first Disney feature to use Xeroxed cels.

• UN General Assembly condemns apartheid.

• Berlin Wall constructed.

• Yuri Gagarin (USSR) orbits the earth in a six ton satellite.

   
1962

• "THE HOLE" by Storyboard Films (Hubley Studio) wins the Academy Award.

• First general assembly of ASIFA (at Annecy France).

• Warner Bros. Animation closes. (Will re-open in the 90s)

• Willis OÕBrien dies (1886 - 1962) USA.

• Cuban missile crisis.

• Uganda and Tanganyika become independent.

• Alexander Solzhenitayn writes: "One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich"

• Charles Shultz writes: "Happiness is a Warm Puppy"

   
1963

• "THE CRITIC" by Pintoff-Crossbow Productions wins the Academy award.

• In computer animation Ivan Sutherland's doctoral dissertation at MIT opens the way to interactive computer animation.

• "THE STORY OF A CRIME" by Feodor Khitrouk, (Russia),

• "THE INSECTS" by Jimmy Murakami,

• DePatie-Freleng studio formed.

• "LABYRINTH" by Jan Lenica, (Poland 1928- ), (absurdist),

• President Kennedy assassinated

   
1964

• "THE PINK PHINK" by DePatie-Freleng wins the Academy Award.

• Halas and Batchelor create first British animated feature, "ANIMAL FARM."

• Walerian Borowczyk (Poland 1925- ), creates "LES JEUX DE ANGES" (The Game of the Angels).

• Ralph Bakshi begins directing carreer CBS Terrytoons, "GADMOUSE THE APPRENTICE GOOD FAIRY."

• "THE ADVENTURES OF JOHNNY QUEST" airs on prime time TV.

• Jan Svankmajer's, (1934-) Czechoslovak, first film "THE LAST TRICK OF MR. SCHWARZWALD AND MR. EDGAR."

• Arafat takes over leadership of Arab guerrilla force Al Fatah.

• The Watusi, Frug, Monkey, Funky Chicken, and other varieties of the Twist drive many people to discotheques.

• The Beatles film "HARD DAYS NIGHT" is released.

   
1965

• MGM's "THE DOT AND THE LINE" (Chuck Jones) wins the Academy Award.

•Rene Laloux, (French), Les Escargots 1966 Gerry Anderson's THUNDERBIRDS premiere on British TV

• "Op" art becomes the rage: non objective art directed at optical illusions based on the use of color, form, and perspective.

• Severe race riots in the Watts district of Los Angeles. "Op" art becomes the rage: nonobjective art directed at optical illusions based on the use of color and form and perspective.

   
1966

• Hubley Studio's "HERB ALPERT AND THE TIJUANA BRASS DOUBLE FEATURE" wins the Academy Award.

• James Whitney does "LAPIS" in motion control animation.

• Walter Elias Disney dies, (1901-1966) USA

• The Superhero vogue is started on Saturday Morn TV by Fred Silverman.

• KIMBA THE WHITE LION arrives in US from Japan.

• IT'S THE GREAT PUMPKIN, CHARLIE BROWN, becomes the first Peanuts TV special.

• DR. SEUSS' "HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS",
Chuck Jones

• Mrs. Indira Gandhi becomes Prime Minister of India.

• Two male dogs sent into orbit aboard Soviet "Cosmos 110"

• Miniskirts come into fashion

   
1967

• "THE BOX" Murakami & Wolf Films (Fred Wolf) wins the Academy Award.

• John Whitney's "PERMUTATIONS", computer animation

• John Stehura, "CIBERNETIC 5.3", first computer-animated film at the UCLA Animation Workshop

• Nedeljko Dragic (Yugoslavia, Zagreb), TAMER OF WILD HORSES.

• Vietnam War anti-war demonstrations begin.

• SPEED RACER appears.

• Oscar Fischinger dies (1900-1967) Germany/USA. Survived by his widow, Elfriede Shah of Iran crowns himself

• Six day war between Israel and Arab nations.

   
1968

• Disney's "WINNY THE POOH AND THE BLUSTERY DAY" wins the Academy Award.

• George Dunning (Canada 1920-1977), THE YELLOW SUBMARINE, British, TVC Bob Coates was the producer.

• 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY, by Stanley Kubrick is released. This film contained the first major use of motion control animation (which John Whitney invented and first used it commercially in Hitchcock's VERTIGO)

• CBS Terrytoons ends theatrical production.

• Czechoslovakia invaded at night by Soviet and Warsaw Pact troops.

• Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. assassinated.

   
1969

• Disney's "IT'S TOUGH TO BE A BIRD", wins the Academy Award.

• Internet is born at UCLA

• Debut on TV of SCOOBY DOO, WHERE ARE YOU

• Red Cross flies relief airlifts into Biafra

• Apollo 11 lands lunar module, first man on the Moon.

   
1970

• "IS IT ALWAYS RIGHT TO BE RIGHT", wins the Academy Award. Stephen Bosustow

• THE FURTHER ADVENTURES OF UNCLE SAM, Bob Mitchell,
(1933 -1985) US, Annecy Grand Prize Winner.

• First Freak Bros. Comic book published.

• Jiri Trnka dies, (1912-1970). Czechoslovakia.

• Arab commandos hijack three jets bound for New York

• Student protests against Vietnam War results in the killing of four by National Guard soldiers at Kent State University in Ohio

   
1971`

• "THE CRUNCH BIRD". wins the Academy Award. Maxwell-Petok-Petrovich Productions

• "FRITZ THE CAT", Steve Krantz producer, Ralph Bakshi director, the first X-rated feature in the USA.

• Robert Abel (1937-2001) and Assoc. studio began. First by doing motion control and in a few years began doing high quality computer animation commercials.

• Ub Iwerks dies, (1901-1971) USA. He was considered one of the greatest animators ever.

• Paul Terry dies, (1887-1971) USA

• First computer animation used in a feature film "THE ANDROMEDA STRAIN" as a special effect. Special effect animation during this period played a major role in the amount of animation produced.

• THE POINT, TV special, first hour animation film on US TV by Fred Wolf.

• Canadian based Nelvana Ltd. Founded

• India and Pakistan go to war.

• "Conceptual Art" becomes a new art form in the US

   
1972

• Richard Williams' "THE CHRISTMAS CAROL" wins the Academy Award.

• ASIFA - Hollywood established.

• Jerzy Kucia's debut film POWROT. "I am interested in man's mental states. I endeavor to observe him through his emotional experiences - his joy and stresses. I treat the cinema as a psychic fact" - J. Kucia.

• Jan Svankmajer is forced to begin seven year Czech government impose "silencing" during which he is not permitted to make films of any kind.

• MARCO POLO JR. VS THE RED DRAGON, Australia's first feature animated film is released.

• Carl Stalling 1888-1972) dies, a music director and composer who set the standards for animation music in the "Golden Age of Animation". Disney and Warners were two of the studios where he set the standards.

• Frank Tashlin (Tish-Tash) dies (1913-1972) - director at Warners - went on to direct live action hits starring Jerry Lewis and Bob Hope.

•Max Fleischer dies (1883-1972) born in Vienna, Austria

• Police arrest five men in Democratic national Headquarters in the Watergate.

Ceylon becomes a republic, changes it name to Sri Lanka

   
1973

• "FRANK FILM" wins the Academy Award., Frank Morris USA

• "HEAVY TRAFFIC", Krantz/Bakshi

• Cease-fire signed in South Vietnam

• Arab oil producing nations impose an embargo, which causes an energy crisis.

   
1974

• "CLOSED MONDAYS"wins the Academy Award: Bob Gardiner - Will Vinton, USA

• "HUNGER" an Academy Award nomination by Peter Foldes (1924-1977) Hungry done at the NFB was the first animated computer generated film nominated.

• Worldwide inflation helps create sharp price increases in food and fuel costs.

• Nixon resigns

• Streaking becomes a short lived fad in the US.

   
1975

• "GREAT" wins the Academy Award. Bob Godfrey. England

• US evacuates last remaining personnel from South Vietnam.

• Leo Salkin's TV special of Mel Brooks' "2,000 YEAR OLD MAN" premiers.

• Industrial Light and Magic Founded by George Lucas.

• "CAROSELLO" a ten-minute daily Italian advertising program on the state-owned television station after the evening newscast begins a twenty year run that gave life to many hand drawn, stop-motion characters and ingenuous experimental techniques.

• Six thousand life size pottery figures from the 3rd century BC are found in China.

   
1976

• "LEISURE" wins the Academy Award., National Film Board of Canada.

• The United States turns 200.

• North and South Vietnam reunited as one country after 22 years.

   
1977

• "SAND CASTLE" wins the Academy Award., National Film Board of Canada, Co Hoedeman

• Single frame video tape animation systems were introduced. Used for pencil testing they were a major development in the production of animation.

• First Anime fan club started in Los Angeles.

• Peter Foldes dies (1924-1977) Hungry.

• John Hubley dies.

• US tests neutron bomb that kills with massive radiation.

• Egyptian president Anwar Sadat makes the first visit by an Arab leader to the Jewish State since it was founded in 1948.

   
1978

• "SPECIAL DELIVERY" wins the Academy Award., National Film Board ofCanada

• Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston retired from Disney.

• Peter Lord, Davis Sproxton establish Aardman Animation in England.

• John Bray dies, (1879-1978) US

• Violence sweeps Nicaragua as leftist Sandinistas guerrillas try to overthrow president Anastasio Somoza

• A military junta seizes power in Afghanistan

• "Test tube baby" born in England

• National Lampoon's Animal House starring John Belushi is released

   
1979

• "EVERY CHILD" wins the Academy Award., National Film Board ofCanada

• Turnkey systems are first introduced in computer animation.

• Dave Fleischer dies (1894-1979)

• Idi Amin overthrown by Tanzanian backed rebels

• Camp David Peace Treaty signed

   
1980

• "THE FLY" wins the Academy Award., Pannonia Studios, Hungary, Ferenc Rofusz

• Pacific Data Images (PDI) founded.

• Fred "Tex" Avery dies (1908 - 1980) USA. Fred Bean Avery was related to Judge Roy Bean (who was known as the "law west of the Pecos, give you a fair trail and hang you". Roy Bean's real name was Roy Boone and he was descended from Daniel Boone). There is a story that Disney did not want his animators to see Tex Avery films as they were too extreme in their humor and animation.

• John Lennon shot dead in New York

• Border conflict between Iran and Iraq erupts into war

   
1981

• "CRAC" wins the Academy Award., Frederic Back, Canadian

• Lotte Reiniger dies (1899-1981) Germany, developed silhouette and did many films in that form.

• Steve Bosustow dies (1912-1981) US, became head of UPA in the 1950's.

• Clair Parker dies (1906 -1981)

• Solidarity's first national conference is held in Gdansk, Poland

• Scientists identify Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS)

   
1982

• "TANGO" wins the Academy Award., Zingier Rybczynski, Poland. He was arrested after winning the Oscar when he went outside for a smoke and spent his Academy Award night in a Los Angeles jail - so much for animation.

• "TRON", A Disney feature has 15 minutes of computer animation (most all computer animation by now is digital except effects done on tape using the analog system) for 235 scenes at a cost of $1,200 per second.

• "STAR TREK II, THE WRATH OF KHAN" Features computer generated "Genesis effect" scene.

• Disney starts selling home videos.

• Tim Burton produces hid puppet short "VINCENT".

• Alexandre Alexieff dies (1901-1982) Russia/France

• 28 million US households have cable TV

• UK's fourth TV channel (Channel 4) begins broadcasting

   
1983

• "SUNDAY IN NEW YORK" wins the Academy Award., Jimmy Picket USA.

•Otto Messmer dies, (1892-1983)

• Syndication, as a new form of distribution for children's TV starts.

Filmation creates "HE-MAN AND THE MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE" 85 1/2 hour shows that play every weekday.

• The Disney Channel begins broadcasting.

• The compact disc is launched

• De Kooning's "Two Women" is sold for 1.2 million, a record for a living artist

   
1984

• "CHARADE" wins the Academy Award. John Minnis, Canada

• LAST STAR FIGHTER, Features 30 minutes of computer animation at a cost of 4.5 million.

• Bob Clampett dies (1913-1984) USA

• "NAUSICAA" Hayao Miyazake, Japan

• Upper Volta renamed Burkina Faso (the republic of honest men)

• The space shuttle "Discovery" makes its maiden flight

   
1985

• "ANNA AND BELLA" wins the Academy Award. Borge Ring, Holland

• "YOUNG SHERLOCK HOLMES" the first live action film to feature a complete computer animated character is released.

• Daniel Ortega is inaugurated president of Nicaragua

• Mikhail Gorbachev unilaterally halts deployment of medium range missiles in Europe

   
1986

• "A GREEK TRAGEDY" wins the Academy Award. Nicole Van Goethem, Belgium

• Iwerks Entertainment founded.

• "AMERICAN TALE" is released. Steven Spielberg Production, Don Bluth director.

• Marcos flees the Philippines, Corazon Aquino becomes new president

• World's worst nuclear accident, Chernobyl Power Station, Kiev, USSR

   
1987

• "THE MAN WHO PLANTED TREES" wins the Academy Award. Frederic Back, Canada

• THE SIMPSONS begins as spots on the Tracey Ullman Show. David Silverman, who had just graduated from UCLA, was one of the 2-3 original animators.

• "ALICE" Jan Svankmajer's first feature film

• Norman McLaren dies (1914-1987), Scotland.

• In Japan 24 anime features are produced as well as 72 anime features for video release

• The last California Condor is trapped and sent to a zoo for breeding

• Van Gogh's "Irises" sold for 49 million

   
1989

• "TIN TOY" wins the Academy Award. John Lasseter, William Reeves, Pixar, first computer animated film to win, US.

• "WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT" is released. Grossing over $300 million it proved that animation, at least when combined with live action, was not limited to a children's audience.

• LAND BEFORE TIME released.

• Internet computer virus designed by US students jams over 6,000 military computers across the US

   
1990

• "BALANCE" wins the Academy Award. Wolgang and Christopher Lauenstein, Germany

• Osamu Tezuka dies (1926-1989). He was born in Osaka, Japan and is often called the Walt Disney of Japan. In his last years he turned the control of his studio over to others and began making his own personal short films. JUMPING was one of these films. Before he became a cartoonist and animator he was a certified medical doctor and had a Ph.D. in entomology.

• Mel Blanc "the man of a thousand voices" dies (1908 -1989). His gravestone in the Hollywood Memorial Cemetery reads "That's All Folks". He was the first voice talent to receive screen credit.

• Richard Williams presented with a Special Achievement Oscar for directing the animation in "WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT". The only time this award had been previously given for animation was to Walt Disney for "SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS".

• The last Soviet troops leave Afghanistan

• Tiananmen Square massacre in China.

• Mysterious "crop circles" appear in UK cornfields

   
1991

• "MANIPULATION" wins the Academy Award. Daniel Greaves,

• Disney's "BEAUTY AND THE BEAST" becomes the first animated feature to be nominated for the Academy Award as Best Picture.

• REN & STIMPY premiere.

• Hanna-Barbera Productions bought by Turner Broadcasting

• USSR dissolves

• Hostilities between newly independent Croatia and Serbia begin

• US begins "Operation Desert Storm" to push the invading Iraqi army from Kuwait.

   
1992

• "MONA LISA DESCENDING A STAIRCASE" wins the Academy Award.Joan Grantz, USA

• Art Babbit dies

• "FERN GULLY" and animated feature by Bill and Sue Kroyer is released.

• Cartoon Network broadcasts in 2 million homes, by 1995 it's in 22 million.

• FROG BASEBALL, by Mike Judge, screened to an MTV focus group.

• Bill Plympton completes first feature film THE TUNE.

• Sammy Timberg dies (1903- 1992) USA. Composed for Fleischer Studios (later Famous Studios) Betty Boop, Superman, Little Lulu, Casper as well as features "MR. BUGS GOES TO TOWN" and "GULLIVER'S TRAVELS". Best known for "It's a Hap-Hap-Happy Day".

• Acquittals in Rodney King trial spark riots in Los Angeles, 51 killed.

• UN expels Yugoslavia.

   
1993

• "THE WRONG TROUSERS" wins the Academy Award. Nick Park, England

• "BEAVIS AND BUTTHEAD", by Mike Judge, released on cable. MTV.

• "ANIMANIACS" debuts

• 'NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS" by Tim Burton, is released

• Czechoslovakia divides into Czech and Slovak republics.

• New York - World Trade Center bombed the first time.

   
1994

• "BOBÕS BIRTHDAY" wins the Academy Award. Alison Snowden and David Fine, Canada.

• "LION KING" One of Disney's highest grossing pictures to date..

• DreamWorks studio formed.

• Walter Lantz dies (1900-1994). A pioneer in animation he was head of the Walter Lantz Studio and creator of Woody Woodpecker.•

• Mexican peasants revolt in Chiapas

• Russian Army invades Chechnya

Morphing of digital images comes into vogue

   
1995

• "A CLOSE SHAVE" wins the Academy Award. Nick Park, England.

• "TOY STORY", first computer animated feature released and it takes in more money at the box office than any other film in 1995.

• "BABE" combination of live action and computer animated effects is nominated for an Academy Award.

• DreamWorks Feature Animation begins.

• John Whitney dies (191701995) experimental animator and pioneer computer animator

• Friz Freleng (1906-1995) dies

• Preston Blair dies, an animator who wrote the book "Animation" which is the classic book on how to animate.

• Paul Julian, background artist and director at UPA and other studios

• Jerry Garcia dies at 53

• Aung San Suu Kyi , winner of the Nobel Peace Prize freed after 6 years house arrest.

   
1996

• "QUEST" wins the Academy Award. Tyron Montgomery, Thomas Stellmach, German.

• "BEAVIS AND BUTTHEAD" Animated feature based on the series is released and makes over 60 million.

• " MARS ATTACKS" Tim Burton. During its production the Manchester studio Bare Bones spends 9 months animating stop-motion aliens for the film, only to be told that computer generated images (CGI) would be used instead.

• Shamus Culhane dies at 88, Max Fleischer once told him, "You know what your problem is Culhane? You're an artist!" Read his book "Talking Animals and other People" for a good view of early animation.

• Virgil Ross dies at 88, a master animator at Warners and other studios.

• 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.

• Taliban captures Kabul

Legal battle over freedom of speech on the Internet 1997

   
1997

• "GERI'S GAME" wins the Academy Award.Pixar. Directed by Jan Pinkava.

• "KING OF THE HILL" the series created by Mike Judge begins on Fox.

• Hayao Miyazaki's "PRINCESS MONONOKE" released in Japan to become its biggest motion picture hit of all time, animated or live action.

• Pol Pot captured and sentenced to life in jail

• Seven cows, the first in Germany with "mad cow" disease, are destroyed.

• The film "The Full Monty" is released

   
1998

• "BUNNY" wins the Academy Award. Blue Sky. Chris Wedge.

• "THE PRINCE OF EGYPT" DreamWorks first animated feature is released.

• "CELEBRITY DEATH MATCH" begin's as a special and is expanded into a series five months later.

• "QUEST FOR CAMELOT" Warner Bros.

• Mae Questel, 89, dies, an actress and voice talent, best known for doing the voice of Betty Boop and Olive Oyl.

• Global recession spreads, deepest since WWII in parts of the world

• The first TV stations in US begin broadcasting in high definition (HDTV)

   
1999

• "THE OLD MAN AND THE SEA" wins the Academy Award. Alexander Petrov, Various Countries

• "IRON GIANT" Directed by Brad Bird, based on the 1968 work by Poet Laureate Ted Hughes.

• "SOUTH PARK: BIGGER, LONGER AND UNCUT" is released

• "THE PRINCESS MONONOKE" is released in the US, Hayao Miyazaki, Director.

• "TOY STORY 2" released, Disney/Pixar

• "STUART LITTLE" released, Columbia/Sony

• Falun Gong outlawed in China

• Latin pop explosion with performers like Jennifer Lopez and R. Martin.

   
2000

• "FATHER AND DAUGHTER" wins the Academy Award. Michael Dudok de Wit.

• Marc Davis dies (1913-2000), born in Bakersfield, CA., he was one of the Nine Old Men from Disney. He was well known for doing female characters.

• Bill Hurtz dies at the age of 81. At a Screen Cartoonists Guild meeting in 1941, Bill made the motion to strike the Disney studio, his motion was unanimously approved. Received an Academy Award nomination for UPA's "Unicorn in the Garden" in 1953. He directed at the Jay Ward Studios 1959 to 1984.

   
2001

• William (Bill) Hanna (1911-2001) dies

• Bob Abel (1937-2001) dies. Bob was a pioneer in computer animation, especially in the 1970's commercials, through his company, Robert Abel and Associates.

• Faith Hubley dies at 77, she made 25 personal films, and won the academy award 3 times with husband John Hubley, she was a great friend of the UCLA workshop. Faith was a person who lived her life fully according to her belief, that the expression of art is the most ennobling experience of the human spirit. She expressed her art and her belief through her animation.

• Ray Patterson dies (1911-2001). Began as an inker in Mintz's studio in 1929. Worked at Disney, MGM, Hanna-Barbera.

• Sam Weiss dies, animator at UPA, Jay Ward and others.

• Lee Mishkin dies, animator, director.

• Jan Lenica dies at 73. Famed Polish animator.

• Attack on New York and the Pentagon on Sept. 11th

   
2002

• Nine feature animated films were rules eligible for the three nominations in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science first ever Feature Length Animation category. They are: "Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within", "Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius", "Marco Polo, Return to Xanadu", "Monsters, Inc.", "Osmosis Jones", "Shrek", "The Trumpet of the Swan", "The Prince of Light", "Waking Life".

• "Shrek" from Dreamwork Feature animation won the first ever Oscar for animated feature they beat out Pixar/Disney's "Monsters Inc.

• Chuch Jones passes away in the spring of 2002

 

 

   
2003  
   
2004  

Copyright by Dan McLaughlin 2001

Copyright by Dan McLaughlin 2001 For further information on animation history these are some of the books that you could read.

Solomon, Charles. The History of Animation: Enchanted Drawings. New York: Wings Books, 1994.

Crafton, Donald Before Mickey, The Animated Film 1898-1928. University of Chicago Press 1993

Bendazzi, Giannalberto. Cartoons, One Hundred Years of Cinema Animation. Indiana University Press, 1994 Any of these biographies by

John Canemaker: The Animated Raggedy Ann and Andy.

(Bobbs Merrill, 1977) Winsor McCay - His Life and Art.

(Abbeville Press, 1987) Treasures of Disney Animation Art

(Abbeville Press, 1982) Felix: The Twisted Tale of the World's Most Famous Cat

(De Capo Press,1991, 1996) Tex Avery: The MGM Years,

(Turner, 1996) Before the Animation Begins: The Art and Lives of Disney Inspirational Sketch Artists (Hyperion, 1996) Paper Dreams: The Art and Artists of Disney Storyboards.

(Hyperion, 1999) And his latest book will be out next month from Disney Editions: Walt Disney's Nine Old Men and the Art of Animation And speaking of the Nine Old Men you should read: Disney Animation - The Illusion of Life by Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston (Abbeville Press 1981)

 

 

 

 

For further information on animation history these are some of the books available:
Solomon, Charles. The History of Animation: Enchanted Drawings. New York: Wings Books, 1994.
Crafton, Donald Before Mickey, The Animated Film 1898-1928. University of Chicago Press 1993
Bendazzi, Giannalberto. Cartoons, One Hundred Years of Cinema Animation. Indiana University Press, 1994
Any of the biographies by John Canemaker