A Brief History of Film

Project Happening’s animated brief history of film. The documentary ranges from 1500 with Leonardo Da Vinci, to George Eastman in 1888, and concludes in 1895 with the Lumiere brothers, all in less than 5 minutes.


The Sculptor’s Nightmare - United States, 1908

One of the first examples of animation using clay, and the process of stop motion.

Description: At a political club, the members debate whose bust will replace that of Theodore Roosevelt. Unable to agree, each goes to a sculptor’s studio and bribes him to sculpt a bust of the individual favorite. Instead, the sculptor spends their fees on a dinner with his model during which he becomes so inebriated that he is taken to jail. There he has a nightmare, wherein three busts are created and animated from clay (through stop-motion photography) in the likenesses of Democrat William Jennings Bryan and Republicans Charles W. Fairbanks and William Howard Taft. Finally an animated bust of Roosevelt appears.


The Tantalizing Fly by Max Fleischer (United States, 1919)

Mr Fleischer later went on to popularize Popeye in animated form, taking the already popular character from comic strip to the silver screen. This piece features some brilliantly beautiful rotoscoping.


Feline Follies (United States, 1919)

Starring Master Tom, soon to be known as Felix the Cat.


Forging The Frame ~ The Roots of Animation

Excellent documentary about the early days of the animated image, and the people responsible for bringing drawings to life!


Krazy Kat and Ignatz Mouse at the Circus (United States, 1916)

Produced by Hearst-Vitagraph News, the characters creator George Herriman was not involved in taking the duo from newspaper comic strip to the silver screen in animated form.


The Dinosaur and the Missing Link - by Willis O’Brien (United States, 1915)

His first animated film, using puppets and stop-motion animation. O’Brien later went on to create the fantastic “King Kong” in 1933.


Two films by Emile Cohl:

Le Cauchemar de Fantoche (The Puppets Nightmare) and Un Drame Chez Fantoches (Drama at a Puppets House). Both made in 1908 in France.

Eadweard Muybridge’s “horse in motion” experiment.

Eadweard Muybridge’s “horse in motion” experiment.

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