Archived

Cartoon Network rediscovers the history of cartoons

MANILA, OCTOBER 12, 2012 – Did you know that the first cartoons were dated as far back as 40,000 BC? Ancient mankind drew some of the very first cartoon character art on the walls of their caves. One of them is Zomo, a trickster rabbit who was very similar to Bugs Bunny. He is one of the earliest cartoon characters on record.

In 4,000 BC, the Greeks created "mosaics" – pictures created using all kings of different materials like glass. Mosaics were used to show stories of deities and heroes, many of which are basis for current cartoons on TV.

The popularity of cartoons really grew with the inclusion of comic strips in newspapers in the 19th Century – still cartoons, placed side by side, each scene telling a different story.
 
Cartoons began to move in 1914, when Winsor McKay created Gertie the Dinosaur. McKay would interact with Gertie as part of the show, appearing to direct the dinosaur to eat, drink, dance and even scold her when she misbehaves!
 
This led to "cel animation" – where transparent sheets with the characters drawn on them were used over painted still backgrounds to save time.
 
But the Golden Age of cartoons weren’t until the 1930’s to three decades after. It was then that Warner Bros and MGM Studios started using a combination of first-rate animation, crazy direction and over-the-top voice acting. Bugs Bunny, Porky Pig, Tweety, Sylvester, Yosemite Sam and more current favorite characters were created at that time.
 
In the 1960s, the demand for cartoons in TV networks and movie theaters grew. Networks began to order their own TV series and so all new shows were created in much shorter time. Hannah-Barbera was then the most successful studio, creating some of the most well-known characters in the world like The Flinstones, Scooby-Doo, Top Cat and The Jetsons.
 
Today, the improvements in technology have benefited the art of cartooning. While characters may still be drawn by hand, often they are now directly drawn onto a computer screen where the animator can basically do whatever he wants with them. Software called Flash is currently the easiest way for a starting animator to produce his very own cartoon.
 
The most exciting technology on cartooning today is 3D-CGI, which stands for Computer Graphics Interface – adding amazing depth, shadow and detail that is almost as good as real life. 
 

 

Sponsor

Related Articles

Back to top button