Origins of American Animation offers a variety of ways to examine the early days of films and its relationship with popular culture. The films in this collection can be used to trace the development of animation during the early-twentieth century and to understand its roots in comic strips. Other animated motion pictures provide an opportunity to assess the role of consumerism in the United States and to analyze the depiction of ethnicity in popular culture.
Chronological Thinking Skills
Pioneers of early animation were required to create thousands of separate line drawings to complete a one-reel film. Between 1914 and 1920, however, technological advances simplified the animation process and yielded economic stability and artistic growth for animators. This collection's Chronological Title List can be used to examine the development of animation in the early-twentieth century.
- Why do you think that early animated films, such as Fun in a Bakery Shop, (1902) featured both actors and illustrations?
- Why do you think that films such as Men's Styles (1915) included the composition of the cartoon as the first scene?
- How did the topics and presentation of animated films change during the first decades of the twentieth century?
- How do you think that the development of animation compares to the development of live-action motion pictures represented in the American Memory collection Inventing Entertainment: The Motion Pictures and Sound Recordings of the Edison Companies?