International Animation Day was first established in 2002 by the International Animated Film Association as a way to celebrate the hugely talented artists that contribute to the animation industry; one of the oldest and most celebrated film genres in history. The 28th of October was selected to commemorate the premiere of Charles-Émile Reynaud’s Théâtre Optique in 1892. Théâtre Optique was a moving picture system that enabled audiences to see live animation for the first time, predating the Lumiere brother’s short commercials, which are often cited as the birth of cinema. This means that the first moving images many people saw were animated! The French animator Emile Cohl created the first animation as we know it today in 1908 when he released the fully animated Fantasmagorie. The word animation comes from an indirect translation of the French word for ‘soul’ which means that to animate characters means to imbue them with a soul. Walt Disney ushered in a new era of animation with the creation of Mickey Mouse, the lovable face of his company. Disney first approached Louis B. Mayer, the head of Metro Goldwyn Mayer, with his designs for Mickey, but Mayer turned down the character saying that most women liked animation and women were afraid of mice. Mickey Mouse debuted in Steamboat Willie in 1928 and was an instant fan favourite. The first feature-length animated film was Disney’s Snow White, which took three years and $1.5 million dollars to produce. Today, technology has advanced to the point that CGI and animation can blend together seamlessly.
Learn more about the wonderful world of animation with these activities!
- Get together to have a go at our carton catchphrase activity – here
- Print out and enjoy our Artistic Activity Book – here
- Draw some cute animated animals with our partner Liz Million – here
- Learn more about the animation studio Hanna-Barbera with our special edition digest – coming soon!
- Organise a fun film night with our animated film flashcards – coming soon!