History Of Animated Cartoons

ENTERTAINMENT | September 28, 2019

The Little Mermaid. Source: (Disney.wikia.com)

Today’s most popular cartoons have been turned into some really entertaining movies not only for children but adults as well. Well-known characters from the cartoons, comic strips, and comic books all came from somewhere. Who started animations and how did they evolve into full-blown movies today?

Gertie The Dinosaur. Source: (history.traditionalanimation.com)

Animations started out in black and white with no sound – pretty much as the silent movies did. Windsor McCay, who was a cartoonist in the 1900s, produced a short film in 1911 of his character “Little Nemo” and then later in 1914 made another film of his character “Gertie The Dinosaur” that he had created from drawings using animation. He had literally thousands of hand-drawings for this character that he used in order to make his films. Two other films that he did were “How A Mosquito Operates” in 1912 and “The Sinking Of The Lusitania” in 1918.

Fantasmagorie. Source: (pinterest.com)

Even before the works of Windsor McCay, there was one called “Fantasmagorie” which was the first completely animated film created by Emile Cohl that was released in 1908. Emile Cohl was a French caricaturist, cartoonist, and animator. He also created two other films called “The Puppet’s Nightmare,” and “A Puppet Drama.”  

Betty Boop. Source: (commons.wikimedia.org)

Other cartoon characters that came out by other artists included “Heckle and Jeckle” (two magpies), “Betty Boop,” “Popeye,” “Woody Woodpecker,” and “Felix The Cat.” Betty Boop, created by Max Fleischer as a black and white cartoon, was not only a popular cartoon in the 1930s but also popular as tattoos and imagery on various types of merchandise. In the 1960s, new and improved color cartoons replaced the old black and white cartoons.   

Mickey Mouse. Source: (wikipedia.org)

Mickey Mouse was first introduced in 1928 by Walt Disney in an animation series called “Steamboat Willie” and considered to be the first cartoon to have all the added features such as music, dialogues, and sound effects. Walt Disney did a test run before actually completing it. He did the test run by showing it to a small group of women and having the sounds done by live animators. The group loved it. And many people still love Mickey today, women, children, and all. Mickey has become the most popular character of all time.  

Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs 1937. Source: (wikimedia.org)

Full length animated movies produced by Walt Disney began in the 1930s with Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs (1937). In the 1940s came Pinocchio (1940), Fantasia (1940), Dumbo (1941), Bambi (1942), Saludos Amigos (1943), The Three Caballeros (1944), Make Mine Music (1946), Fun And Fancy Free (1947), Melody Time (1948), and The Adventures of Ichabod And Mr. Toad (1949) which was based on the stories of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and The Wind In The Willows. Then in the 1950s Cinderella (1950) came along, Alice In Wonderland (1951), Peter Pan (1953), Lady And The Tramp (1955), and Sleeping Beauty (1959). In the 1960s the last few movies that were produced by Walt Disney before his death were One Hundred And One Dalmatians (1961) and The Sword In The Stone (1963). He did not get to see his last film released as he passed away during its production which was The Jungle Book (1967).

A Wild Hare (1940), a Bugs Bunny film and The Incredible Mr. Limpet (1964) were produced by Warner Brothers and The Yogi Bear Show (1961) was produced by Hanna-Barbara.  

Lion King II. Source: (wikipedia.org)

There were many more animated movies that went on to be produced by various other producers including Walt Disney Productions even though Walt Disney himself had passed away. There have even been remakes of previous movies. The Lion King (1994) was one of the more popular movies which led to the sequels The Lion King II – Simba’s Pride (1998) and The Lion King 3 – Hakuna Matata (2004).

Animated cartoons and movies have become a booming business. Families spend an enormous amount of money each year going to the theatres to watch these movies as well as buying the DVDs and collectibles that advertise them. Who knew that a simple little animated drawing created years ago would lead to such a multi-million dollar business today? 

Tags: Animated Cartoons

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Penny Chavers


Penny, besides writing, loves to spend her time with family and friends. In her spare time, she also enjoys playing the piano, board games, and taking online classes on topics that interest her.