Welcome to the Early Animation Wiki! We are a collaborative place to share information on the early days of animation.
Find biographical information on animators, directors, background artists, composers voice actors, and more. Pictured: Tex Avery.
Watch examples of early animation, complete with links to information about the cartoons, their makers, and their studios.
Histories of the studios responsible for producing and distributing early animation.
Find information on early animators, animation studios, artistic movements, influences, and more in books, journal and magazine articles, and links to websites, blogs, and collections.
Born in New York, Grant worked for The Walt Disney Company as a character designer and story artist starting in 1933, leaving in 1949 to start his own ceramics and greeting card company. In 1989 he returned to Disney and contributed to the great Disney Renaissance from 1989-1999, still working at the company at the time of his death in 2005 at his drawing board.
This 1935 Disney Silly Symphony is another one of the company’s uplifting Depression-oriented shorts. A group of discarded toys takes it upon themselves to repair each other, and some of the toys are caricatures of Hollywood stars. One animation depicts Lincoln Perry, aka Stepin Fetchit. While most of the toys make valuable contributions to the repair effort, the Stepin Fetchit doll has a hard time staying awake, his character signalling an exclusion of African Americans from the uplift of the New Deal.
Ben Sharpsteen got his start working for many of the major studios in New York including Hearst, Paramount, and Fleischer before moving onto Disney Studio in 1929. Sharpsteen animated ninety-seven short films, and directed twenty-one shorts, eventually moving on to director and supervisor on many beloved Disney features from the Golden Age and later on the True-Life Adventures series.
This month’s featured link is the Library of Congress’s Origin of American Animation collection, an archive record of famed animators who were pioneers in the industry. The archive house the works of animators such as Thomas Edison, Winsor McCay and John Randolph Bray. These 21 films and 2 fragments span the years 1900-1921, not only charting the early development of animation, but also revealing cultural attitudes of the era.