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Short story

Animation films

Annie Besant Jon

Animation filmsYou may remember watching wide-eyed as cowboy Woody and space-ranger Buzz Lightyear fell into the hands of toy-hating Sid Phillips in Toy Story. Or maybe many of you were super-excited when Marlin reunited with his son in Finding Nemo. Animation movies have a long history going back to the 1890s!

The first animations to enter the film world were very simple and consisted of a series of pictures that showed actions from beginning to end.

These pictures were then run in a ‘loop’ so they seemed to be moving. They were also mostly in black and white, and featured cartoon characters like Koko the Clown and Felix the Cat.

Walt Disney Studios was perhaps the first company to introduce colour animation characters in Flowers and Trees (1932). Then, in 1937, it produced the very first animation movie, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. It was almost the length of a feature film and a huge success. After Disney, Hanna-Barbera Enterprises, Inc, another American animation studio, completely changed animation movies by introducing highly creative characters like the Flintstones, Tom and Jerry and serials like Yogi Bear Show, The Jetsons, Scooby-Doo, and The Smurfs.

But in the 1980s, traditional animation began to lose popularity with the invention of computerised animation. Soon several companies started to create moving images with computers. The process came to be known as CGI — computer-generated imagery or computer-generated imaging.

Now, almost all animated movies show animal characters, cartoon-like humans and even machines with very human characteristics.

Indeed, these movies are being taken so seriously that huge amounts of money are being spent on producing winners of international awards that were once only given to non-animated films.

Here is a must-see list of popular animated movies:

1. Finding Nemo
2. Ice Age
3. Over the Hedge
4. Shrek
5. Monsters Inc.
6. Cars
7. Robots
8. WALL-E
9. The Incredibles
10. Meet the Robinsons

Watch animation films closely. You may soon want to learn animation yourself!

Teacher’s corner

Organize a movie trip once a year from school. Or hire a movie to watch in school. Age-old favourites like Gandhi can accompany your history textbook very well. The Nativity Story will make a perfect ending for the Christmas term.

Back in school, get each child to write a movie review or essay highlighting what they liked and did not like about the movie. You could offer a prize of two movie tickets for the best essay!

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