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Animation is the visual capture of two-dimensional or three-dimensional drawings or models for playback in a rapid, sequential format so as to give the illusion of movement or life. The word is derived from the Latin root animatio, which means to give life.

Furry animation[edit]

The usage of anthropomorphic characters in animated compositions has extended to some of the earliest animated works ever created. Furthermore, they have, in many instances, become easily-recognizable mascots for commercially-successful animation enterprises (i.e., Mickey Mouse for The Walt Disney Company). The heyday of the usage of anthropomorphic characters, or funny animals, in animated compositions, often involving the placing of such characters in lead roles (mostly for short films and, sometimes, the occasional feature-length film), was the Golden Age of American animation. However, most of the anthropomorphic characters from the cinematically-oriented golden age couldn't be successfully imported to the television when the latter became more prominent as a popular media relay. Even the largest companies which had made use of anthropomorphic characters on the big screen to immense revenue returns had to create newer characters and franchises that were more adjusted and fresh to the demands of the television audience; by the 80's, 90's and 2000s, most anthropomorphic characters of television animation from the United States had become the exclusive focus of the youngest demographic (or "Saturday morning cartoon blocks"), ranging up to the early 20's in age at best. In the resurgent mature-oriented animation industry that is featured on such late-night blocks as Adult Swim, anthropomorphic characters are rarely featured in even secondary roles on television series.


Anthropomorphic characters in anime (known in Japan as kemono), while often featured in secondary or even primary roles in both childrens', teens' and mature animation, have never experienced the sort of high saturation that permeated the American animation market during the US' Golden Age; this may be due to how the Japanese animation industry had spurred to life after World War II, which welcomed the entrance of television with less of a cataclysmic conflict between economic models without completely abandoning the cinema. Furthermore, while full-blown kemono has never reached such visibility in anime as how anthropomorphic characters once achieved in the 30's, 40's and 50s, animal-like character features have been placed in countless Japanese animated works, i.e., nekochan and kitsune. As a result, anthropomorphic characters or characterizations in Japanese animation have never been entirely relegated to "kiddie" media.


Traditional animation[edit]

Traditional animation (also called cel animation or hand-drawn animation) was the process used for most animated films of the 20th century. The individual frames of a traditionally animated film are photographs of drawings, which are first drawn on paper. To create the illusion of movement, each drawing differs slightly from the one before it. The animators' drawings are traced or photocopied onto transparent acetate sheets called cels, which are filled in with paints in assigned colors or tones on the side opposite the line drawings. The completed character cels are photographed one-by-one onto motion picture film against a painted background by a rostrum camera.

The traditional cel animation process became obsolete by the beginning of the 21st century. Today, animators' drawings and the backgrounds are either scanned into or drawn directly into a computer system. Various software programs are used to color the drawings and simulate camera movement and effects. The final animated piece is output to one of several delivery media, including traditional 35 mm film and newer media such as digital video. The "look" of traditional cel animation is still preserved, and the Character animator's work has remained essentially the same over the past 70 years. Some animation producers have used the term "tradigital" to describe cel animation which makes extensive use of computer technology.

See also[edit]

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