The Magic Lantern - 17th Century
The magic lantern was an early form of projector that is made from a con-caved mirror inside. When light passes through this it reaches the aperture and thus projecting an enlarged image onto a surface like a wall. The image that is produced is from a reflected image seen by the mirror made from the light.
The thaumatrope was an invention which was mainly used as a toy in Victoria England. With an image on one side of a circle cut out and another on the opposite the images would be separated by a piece of string. The string would then be spun by a person and when fast enough the two images would look like one. An example of this is if there was an image of an empty cage and then a bird on the other side when spun fast enough the thaumatrope would then give the illusion of the bird inside the cage.
Phenakistoscope - 1841
Planned in 1839 and invented in 1841 by a man named Plateau, the phenakistoscope is made from a spinning disc connected vertically to a handle. Around the edges of this disc would be a selection of images that are similar showing each shot of the animation. Next to these images would be a slit where the user would look through whilst the disc is spinning and see the illusion of the animation in the reflection of a mirror on the other side.
Zoetrope - 1833
The original zoetrope was invented by a Chinese inventor called Ting Haun in 180 AD. This was the earliest style of zoetrope found and was originally called Chao Hua Chich Kuan, which translates into 'The pipe that makes fantasies appear'. This was hung over a lamp to which rising air would cause the vanes to move at the top, and along with translucent paper when spun at the right speed, pictures painted on the panels would appear to move. The modern zoetrope however was invented in 1833 by a British mathematician William G. Horner. This was much like the phenakistoscope but the images were drawn on a strip of card that would sit on a third of the way in a metal drum. the slit's being above the images on the top half of the metal drum the was placed on top of a spindle and spun. when looked through the user could see the images and with a faster spin of the spindle the smoother the animation was.
Flip Book - 1868
A flip book, originally called the kineograph meaning moving picture, was designed by John B Linnett consisted of many pages all having a similar image on. This book was then quickly flipped through and the images would cause an illusion of the images moving. This is because of the brain seeing multiple images instantly one after another causing the images to merge and make you think that it is once sequence from start to finish.
Praxinoscope - 1877
This was an devise that was the successor to the zoetrope. With a French inventor the praxinoscope was better than the zoetrope by replacing the slit's with an inner mirror. When the praxinoscope is spun fast enough the images are reflected in the mirror and is shown to the user as an animation. By doing this it made the image brighter and less distorted than previous.
Kinetoscope - 1888
This was an important part in film as it was an early motion picture exhibition device. This was done by not projecting the image but by the user looking through a peep hole and seeing a large amounts of images in a sequence to make a film. The kinetoscope would then be further developed by Thomas Edison in 1895 by adding the kinetophone to record and replay sound. This then became the basis for all film projectors.
Cinematograph - 1892
This, invented by Léon Bouly but licensed by the Lumiére brothers, this was a device the not only filmed but also projected the captured image onto a wall. This was later considered to some as the birth of cinema and a device that "replaced" pre-cinema.
Fantasmagoria - 1908
The french animation, Fantasmagoria, by Emile Cohl was created by drawing each frame off the film on an individual piece of paper and then filming each frame onto a negative frame. This gave the impression that the film had a blackboard look to it. The film was made up of 700 drawings, to which each of them was double-exposed leading to a running time of just under two minutes.
Felix the Cat - 1925
Felix the cat is an animated character made during the silent film era. With his black body, white eyes, and giant grin, fused with the surrealist situations that the cartoon places himself in, Felix the Cat was made out to become one of the most recognizable characters in animation history. Felix was the first character from animation to attain a level of popularity sufficient to draw movie audiences in, which later came to a low where Disney had the arrival of sound in their animated shorts.
Steamboat Willie - 1928
Steamboat Willie was an animated short starring Mickey Mouse produced by Walt Disney. It was the first animation to have synchronized sound and although was the third film made with the character Mickey Mouse, it is classed as his debut as it was the first animation involving him to be put into some form of production.
Momotaro's God-Blessed Sea Warriors - 1945
Directed by Mitsuyo Seo, Momotaro: Umi no Shinpei was the first ever animation from japan. Originally a propaganda film created by the Japanese Navel Ministry for the second world war, the film was lost for many years up until 1983 where a negative copy was found in Shochiku's Ofuna Warehouse. The film was re-released in 1984 and lead onto the birth of a new technique of animation called anime, with hit films like Spirited Away and Summer Wars.
The Beatles Yellow Submarine - 1968
The Beatles Yellow Submarine is an important part of animation as an animation originally had the intent of being aimed at an older audience. With animations being produced over time the target audience had become more specified to a younger audience and mainly for children. With the film Yellow Submarine used to capture the creativity and fantasy of the music and story of the Beatles Yellow Submarine and Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club, this brought back a film that an older audience could enjoy too. this would be the start of many adult animations like South Park, Family Guy, and Haunted World of El Superbeasto.
Pixar - 1979
In 1979 the animator John Lasseter formed a company that specialized with a new type of animation. This was known as 3D animation which was the start of a new style in which this company was then funded by the Apple Inc. company on 1986. This started to put films in production and by 1995 Pixar had finally made their first film, Toy Story. The company led onto twelve other film and counting with other companies like Dreamworks following the same animated style.