The bottom line is that cartoons have a special place in most of our hearts. Not long after the invention of cinema, cartoons soon followed. For generations, people have loved cartoons. For many of us, this form of entertainment holds a special place in our hearts, minds and memories. It can safely be stated that for most of us cartoons are something special and play a role in the formation of valuable childhood experiences.

The history of cartoons is a fascinating one. That history grows more varied and interesting as time passes. Far from being a thing of the past, cartoons are alive and well and in a constant state of evolution and growth.

The very earliest cartoon were essentially flipbooks that created the illusion of movement in a physical form. Devices, such as the zoetrope and phenakistoscope, date back to the 1830′s. It wasn’t until the Silent Era of motion pictures began that animated cartoons really began to take off and, in the process, capture our imagination. It is difficult for us in the modern world to appreciate just how otherworldly these early animated cartoons would have appeared to the audiences of their day, but one fact is certain: these early cartoons made a massive impact.

The first projection of an animated cartoon took place in France at the Musee Grevin in 1892 in Paris. Charles-Emile Reynaud projected the first public animation entitled, Pauvre Pierrot. A few years later, once again in Paris, it was French director Emile Cohl who presented what most would be considered as an animated cartoon with his film Fantasmagorie. Soon many other works followed including the famous Gertie the Dinosaur by Winsor McCay in 1914.

The Generation of the Disney Cartoon

Jumping forward to the 1920s and beyond major players such as Disney, RKO, Columbia, MGM and others began producing cartoons. Cartoons during this period were often just a few minutes long. 1928 marked a key year in the world of animated cartoons, as it was the year Steamboat Willie, starring Mickey Mouse was introduced.

In the early years of animated cartoons, the name Disney pops up again and again and for good reason. There is no denying that Disney was a true trailblazer in the realm of animated cartoons. Such works as Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in 1937, Fantasia and Pinocchio in 1940 and Dumbo (1941) and Bambi (1942) all helped solidify Disney’s place both in animated cartoon history and our collective consciousness.

Today’s Animation

Today, animated cartoons are everywhere. Television features a wide array of cartoons ranging from the incredibly popular and enduring The Simpsons to Family Guy, South Park and more. Over the years innovation has been constant and steady in the field of animation and there is no end in city. With the introduction of computer-generated imagery and the resurgence of stop motion animation, thanks in large part to Laika. This innovative studio was responsible for creating Coraline, ParaNorman and BoxTrolls. The future of animation looks very bright indeed.

The Ratfink characters are just one part of the history of the cartoon character.