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Introduction

The bouncing ball animation (below) consists of these six frames.

Animation is a method in which pictures are manipulated to appear as moving images. In traditional animation, images are drawn or painted by hand on transparent celluloid sheets to be photographed and exhibited on film. Today, most animations are made with computer-generated imagery (CGI). Computer animation can be very detailed 3D animation, while 2D computer animation can be used for stylistic reasons, low bandwidth or faster real-time renderings. Other common animation methods apply a stop motion technique to two and three-dimensional objects like paper cutouts, puppets or clay figures.

Commonly the effect of animation is achieved by a rapid succession of sequential images that minimally differ from each other. The illusion—as in motion pictures in general—is thought to rely on the phi phenomenon and beta movement, but the exact causes are still uncertain. Analog mechanical animation media that rely on the rapid display of sequential images include the phénakisticope, zoetrope, flip book, praxinoscope and film. Television and video are popular electronic animation media that originally were analog and now operate digitally. For display on the computer, techniques like animated GIF and Flash animation were developed.

Animation is more pervasive than many people realise. Apart from short films, feature films, animated gifs and other media dedicated to the display of moving images, animation is also heavily used for video games, motion graphics and special effects. Animation is also prevalent in information technology interfaces.

Selected article

William H. Macy

"Homer's Enemy" is the 23rd episode of the eighth season of American animated television series The Simpsons. It first aired on the Fox network in the United States on May 4, 1997. The plot of the episode centers on the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant's hiring of a new employee named Frank Grimes. Homer attempts to befriend Grimes; however, Grimes takes an instant dislike to Homer, angered by his laziness and incompetence, and eventually declares himself Homer's enemy. The episode was directed by Jim Reardon and the script was written by John Swartzwelder, based on an idea pitched by executive producer Bill Oakley. The episode explores the comic possibilities of a realistic character with a strong work ethic placed alongside Homer in a work environment. The show's staff worked hard to perfect the character of Frank Grimes. He was partially modeled after Michael Douglas as he appeared in the film Falling Down. Hank Azaria provided the voice of Frank Grimes, and based some of the character's mannerisms on actor William H. Macy (pictured). "Homer's Enemy" is considered to be one of the darkest episodes of The Simpsons and is a favorite of several members of the production staff. Although Grimes makes his only appearance in this episode, he was later named one of the "Top 25 Simpsons Peripheral characters" by IGN.

Selected image

Zoetrope
Credit: Andrew Dunn

A modern replica of a Victorian zoetrope. A zoetrope is a device that produces an illusion of action from a rapid succession of static pictures.

Selected biography

Trey Parker in 2007

Trey Parker (born Randolph Severn Parker III; October 19, 1969) is an American animator, screenwriter, director, producer, voice artist, musician and actor, best known for being the co-creator of the television series South Park along with his creative partner and best friend Matt Stone. Parker started his film career in 1992, making a holiday short titled Jesus vs. Frosty. His first success came from Cannibal! The Musical. From there he made another short titled Jesus vs. Santa, which led him and his college friend, Matt Stone, to create the animated television series South Park, which began airing on television in 1997. He has won 4 Emmy Awards for his role in South Park, winning for both "Outstanding Programming More Than One Hour" and "Outstanding Programming Less Than One Hour". He has co-written and co-directed the 2011 multi-Tony Award winning musical The Book of Mormon.

Selected list

Pendleton Ward

The episodes of Adventure Time, an American animated television series created by Pendleton Ward (pictured) for Cartoon Network. The series follows the adventures of Finn (voiced by Jeremy Shada), a human boy, and his best friend and adoptive brother Jake (voiced by John DiMaggio), a dog with magical powers to change shape and grow and shrink at will. Finn and Jake live in the post-apocalyptic Land of Ooo. Along the way, they interact with the show's other main characters: Princess Bubblegum (voiced by Hynden Walch), the Ice King (voiced by Tom Kenny), and Marceline the Vampire Queen (voiced by Olivia Olson). The show originally began in 2008 with a pilot for Random! Cartoons on Nicktoons Network. The pilot quickly became a cult hit on YouTube. After Nickelodeon declined to turn the short into a full-fledged show, Cartoon Network purchased the rights, and Adventure Time launched as a series on April 5, 2010. Adventure Time is produced by Cartoon Network Studios and Frederator Studios. The series is rated TV-PG. Several compilation DVDs have been released. Ever since its debut, Adventure Time has been a ratings success for Cartoon Network. As of March 2012, the show is viewed by approximately 2 to 3 million viewers per week. The show has received positive reviews from critics and has developed a strong following among teenagers and adults, many of whom are attracted due to the series' animation, stories, and characters.

Did you know...

Examples of early Soviet animation

Anniversaries for June 16

Films released

Selected quote

A good film is one that requires the viewer to create, through an orchestration of impressions, the meaning of its events. It is, in the end, our ability to create meaning out of the raw experience of life that makes us human. It is the exercise of our faculty to discover meaning which is the purpose of art. The didactic imparting of moral or political messages is emphatically not the purpose of art -- that is what we call propaganda.
Peter Chung, Korean animator, series creator of Æon Flux

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