Animhorse
An animated horse.

Animation is a way of making a movie from many still images. The images are put together one after another, and then played at a fast speed to give the illusion of movement.

Animation is a relatively new art form, and though the concept of moving images has been a theme throughout ancient civilizations, it was not until late into the 19th century that experimental animation truly began. Today, the industry of animation is booming, making up a huge commercial enterprise. However, among individual artists, it remains a sacred and unique form of art.

A person who makes animations is called an animator.

There are three ways to animate:

  1. Draw each frame
  2. Use stop-motion: make a model scene and change it to create a new image (frame)
  3. Make computer graphics
    Blender3D CircularWaveAnim
    This is a computer animation of circular waves made by an underwater explosion.

Overview

Because it is expensive to make, most animation comes from professional companies. However, independent animators have existed since the 1950s in America, with many of those people entering the professional industry. In Europe, the independent movement has existed since the 1910s, with animators like pre-revolutionary Russia's Ladislas Starevich and Germany's Lotte Reiniger.

On the internet, many people use a computer program called Adobe Flash to create animations. Flash uses a combination of drawing and computer graphics to make animations. Many animations on the internet are made in Flash. Most animators on the internet do not work for professional companies.

Many television shows, especially those made for children, use limited animation. Companies such as UPA and Hanna-Barbera Productions do this. Simple, limited movement makes the images easier to draw, which allows quicker and cheaper production of animation.

Many people consider animation to be childish and unsophisticated. However, animation has changed the course of art history by giving artists possibilities, not just normal, stationary art. Many animated movies have been made, and some have made a big profit.

Famous names in the business

Famous animation studios

United States

Canada

  • Atkinson Film-Arts
  • Cinar (now Cookie Jar Entertainment)
  • CinéGroupe
  • National Film Board of Canada
  • Nelvana

Europe

Asia

Japan

  • Bandai Visual
  • BONES
  • GAINAX
  • Gonzo
  • Kyoto Animation
  • Madhouse Studios
  • Production I.G.
  • Studio Ghibli
  • Sunrise
  • Tatsunoko Productions
  • Toei

China

  • Beijing Xie Art (mainland)
  • Colorland (Hong Kong)
  • Wang Film Productions (Taiwan)

Philippines

  • Toon City

Australia

Related pages

Images


Animation for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.