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    Ethan Altshuler Robert J. Nielsen 05-26-17

    Drawing Conclusions - An Analysis of the Picture Animation Paints in the 20th Century

    The purpose of this paper is to inform people that during the twentieth century, both good

    and bad lessons permeated animated films. The paper will include sections about the earliest

    works of animation that were ever created, how they became popular, how the effects of

    animation spanned the 20th century, the historical significance of animation, how animation has

    perpetuated racism and sexism, and the important positive moral lessons that are to be learned

    from animation.

    In 1906, Englishman J. Stuart Blackton created the first hand-drawn animation known as

    Humorous Phases of Funny Faces. This was a silent cartoon with piano music showing faces 1

    being hand-drawn on a chalkboard that then altered their appearance. The drawings of the

    characters such as clowns and dogs started doing multiple actions. Twenty years later, Lotte

    Reiniger from Germany created the oldest surviving animated feature film, The Adventures of

    Prince Achmed, or Die Abenteuer des Prinzen Achmed. It was more like a magical fairytale 2

    with sorcerers, princes, and a magical flying horse that was based on the book The Arabian

    Knights. Animation continued to develop and thrive from this time on. In 1995, another 3

    dramatic change in animation occurred. Toy Story, the first computer animated full-length feature

    1 Popova, Maria. (2011, 1-13). Before Walt Disney: 5 Pioneers of Early Animation. TheAtlantic. 2 Marshall, Colin. (1-32). The First Animated Feature Film: The Adventures of Prince Achmed by Lotte Reiniger (1926). Open Culture. 3 The J. Paul Getty Museum. (Unknown, 1-2). Dungen presents The Adventures of Prince Achmed. The Getty Center.

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    film, was introduced. The traditional cel animation used in prior films was no longer necessary.

    This film gave people the perspective of what it would be like if toys came to life, and because it

    was computer animated, the characters were more lifelike in terms of how they looked and


    The creation of hand-drawn, stop-motion, and computerized animation propelled what

    became an important and popular form of entertainment. One reason why animation became

    popular was because these types of films were designed deliberately to appeal to children.

    Children kept watching, as these films were presented in a format suitable to their viewing. With

    bright colors, simple language, talking animal characters, straightforward storylines, and basic

    themes such as true love and good vs. evil, many animated films were well-suited for a child

    audience. Since cartoons were popular with children, children got to see cartoon characters from

    books and magazines that they looked up to come to life. Seeing the characters move around

    made the characters more real in the eyes of children, along with the lessons they taught.

    The effects of animation spanned the 20th century, as it began thriving at the start and has

    remained prevalent through today. J. Stuart Blackton was the first person to create animation

    originating in America. He was also the first to use stop-motion, as seen in his 1900 creation The

    Enchanted Drawing. Along with the notable works of J. Stuart Blackton, Walt Disney produced 4

    Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in 1937, which was the worlds first full-length cel animated

    feature film to use color and sound. DreamWorks Animation, originally DreamWorks Pictures,

    released Antz in 1998. Antz was the first 3-D computer animated film that was released by a

    company other than Pixar. By spanning the 20th century, animation reached viewers across

    4 Popova et al, Before Walt Disney, The Atlantic. (6).

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    generations both as children and when they grew into adults. It became a form of entertainment

    that could convey information and values, including social norms and morals, to a massive


    Animation is historically significant because it has had both negative and positive effects

    on American culture. Animation has reflected and perpetuated a racist culture in America and

    other countries. In America, films like Song of the South stereotyped African-Americans through

    characters such as Uncle Remus and Aunt Tempy. Germany used animation for propaganda to

    convince their people that Jews were bad. Animation has also promoted sexism. Disneys 1937 5

    hit film Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs passes on sexist thoughts to women and young girls,

    including the idea that women demonstrate subservience to men and take care of their needs.

    Snow White shows subservience to the dwarves by tidying up their home for them and not

    having them do the work themselves. The fact that their home was all filthy and disorganized

    was not an issue for Snow White to manage. This reflected expectations about a females role in

    the house during that time period.

    On a positive note, animation has also provided the medium to teach people important

    morals. One moral that has been taught through animation is that one should always be sure that

    a task is finished completely. In other words, never leave a loose string or task undone. Charles

    R. Bowers 1919 creation AWOL, all wrong old Laddiebuck, an animated short piece of

    propaganda, taught American soldiers in Germany not to leave even if the war was technically

    over. They were needed to complete the entire task after the war, just to ensure things

    5 Patten, Fred. (2012, 1-4). Book Review: Animation Under the Swastika: A History of Trickfilm in Nazi Germany.

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    transitioned smoothly for all the people and institutions that were impacted. This promoted the 6

    idea that finishing a task makes someone a kinder, better person.

    Animations appeal spurred its popularity and growth. During the 20th century, animators

    emerged from around the world, and the impact of animation was global. The first successful

    animators during the first decade of the 20th century were non-American animators who hailed

    from France, Germany, and the United Kingdom. Along with Englishman J. Stuart Blackton and

    German Lotte Reininger, two famous French animators were Emile Cohl and Georges Melies. 7

    Melies was the first cinemagician to use special effects in cinema, especially in his notable

    work from 1903, The Prolific Magic Egg (L'oeuf du sorcier). Cohl, on the other hand, has been 8

    called "the father of the animated cartoon," based on his 1908 hand-drawn creation

    Fantasmagorie. American animation came later. Four brothers named Harry, Albert, Sam, and 9

    Jack Warner, founded Warner Bros. on April 4, 1923. Warner Bros. started as a local company

    that eventually expanded internationally. Six months later, Walt Disney and his brother Roy

    founded The Walt Disney Company on October 16, 1923. This company grew into a major

    animation studio with films and cartoon characters that connected well with audiences and

    helped grow animations popularity.

    Eleven years after the Walt Disney Company was founded, Walt Disney created the

    entertaining cartoon character Donald Duck, a white duck with a yellow-orange bill, skinny legs,

    and webbed feet. Donald Duck was physically human-like in that he typically wore a mariner

    6 Bowers, Charles R., Animation, American Motion Picture Corporation, and Afi/Rhode Island Historical Society Collection. AWOL, all wrong old Laddiebuck. [United States: American Motion Picture Co, 1919] Video. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, (Accessed April 23, 2017.) 7 Popova et al, Before Walt Disney, The Atlantic. (2-4) 8 Popova et al, Before Walt Disney, The Atlantic. (3-4) 9 Popova et al, Before Walt Disney, The Atlantic. (2)

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    shirt along with a hat and tie. A popular Disney animated character, Donald Duck was used to

    spread pro-American propaganda during World War II. He made an appearance in the 1943

    animated short Der Fuehrer's Face. In this short, Donald drudges away making war weapons in

    a manufacturing plant, with officers looking on. He needs to yell "Heil Hitler!" in time with his

    work, and his hands spin quicker and speedier until he goes crazy. At that point, Donald awakens

    from his fantasy and finds out that he is really lying