The Writers Nexus

The Very First Known ANIMATION – Émile Cohl’s Fantasmagorie (1908) It’s FUNNY!

I love knowing pieces of entertainment industry history and this is a special one. This is the first known animated film by French caricaturist, cartoonist and animator Émile Cohl.

Available in the public domain here: https://publicdomainreview.org/collections/emile-cohls-fantasmagorie-1908/

This film is one of the earliest examples of hand-drawn animation and considered the very first animated cartoon.

Although, it looks like the animation is created on a blackboard, it’s not. It’s written on paper. The blackboard effect was achieved by shooting each of the 700 drawings onto negative film.

The title is a reference to the “fantasmograph”, a mid-19th century variant of the magic lantern that projected ghostly images on to surrounding walls.

I hope you enjoy this bit of entertainment history.


I wish you many imaginative tales. R.M. Robbins

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