Who invented cartoons?


In 1906, a man named James Stuart Blackton created a "stop-action" animation with drawings on a chalkboard called "Humorous Phases of a Funny Face." This is considered America's first true cartoon, according to Random History. However, cartoons were not firmly established as a genre until after 1908.

Between 1908 and World War I, animation started to gain popularity. Before this time, it was considered a special effects technique, and little was expected in terms of narrative structure and iconography. However, the growing popularity of cinema encouraged the production of cartoons based on well-known daily comic strips like Krazy Kat and Little Nemo in Slumberland. The revolutionary technique of using transparent celluloid over a background was invented by two American men named Earl Hurd and John Randolph Bray. The cel process revolutionized animation and was used by all of the big studios including Disney, Hanna-Barbara, Warner Brothers and MGM. The animation industry underwent a shift after 1918 as budgets grew and audiences began to lose interest in repetitive comic strip gags. Character-driven stories grew in popularity, and studios began producing animations centered around stylized representations of humans and animals. The first animated animal to achieve "superstar status" was Felix the Cat in 1919.

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