ANI 206 History of Animation

Spring 2012-2013
Class number: 34919
Section number: 602
MW 1:30PM - 3:00PM
CDM 00218 Loop Campus


ANI 206
History of Animation Spring 2013 |Monday-Wednesday 1:30-3:00 pm|
Instructor: Matt Marsden

Course Description This course is an introduction to the history and development of the field of animation. We will explore this subject from various perspectives: by chronology, from its prehistory before the invention of film to the present day; by form, including method and medium; by culture, comparing the US to Japan, Russia, Europe and others; by subject; and by personality, concentrating on the figures who have shaped the art form and continue to influence it through their example. Students are expected to bring an enthusiastic interest in the medium, and to devote serious effort to reading about, viewing, researching and discussing animation and the artists who have created it.

Course Objectives To instill an appreciation of the technical and artistic contributions of animators throughout history

To build the students? critical vocabulary, and to encourage reflective criticism (both oral and written) of works of animation.

To gain an understanding of the economic, social and technological contexts that have shaped animation?s development around the world

To learn to trace and recognize historical influences on later styles and forms

To discover lesser-known work from under-represented genres and cultures, and the value of their diversity

To explore the varied potential of animation as an entertaining, expressive and meaningful art form

Liberal Studies Arts and Literature Domain
Description ANI 206 is included in the Liberal Studies program as a course with credit in the Arts and Literature Domain. Courses in the Arts and Literature Domain ask students to extend their knowledge and experience of the arts by developing their critical and reflective abilities. In these courses, students interpret and analyze particular creative works, investigate the relations of form and meaning, and through critical and/or creative activity to come to experience art with greater openness, insight, and enjoyment. These courses focus on works of literature, art, theatre, or music as such, though the process of analysis may also include social and cultural issues. Students who take course in this domain choose three courses from such choices as literature, the visual arts, media arts, music, and theater. No more than two courses can be chosen from one department or program.

Attendance Student absences are not expected to exceed more than 10% (2 absences) of the number of classes scheduled for the semester. A third absence will result in the lowering of your final grade one full letter. Any student missing 4 classes will be given a grade of ?F? for the semester.

Tardiness is defined as not in the classroom when attendance is called or departing before the class has been formally dismissed by the instructor. Tardiness that exceeds thirty minutes will be counted as an absence. TWO late arrivals or early departures, or a combination of both, are counted as one absence. If you arrive late for class, it is your responsibility to make sure that you have been marked tardy rather than absent.

Screenings We will be watching many examples of animation, complete when possible, but often just selected parts due to our time constraints. I will try to share with you why they are worth watching, and how to gain a better appreciation of some of the more challenging examples. Remember, this is a university class, and the purpose is education, not just entertainment.

Animation, especially the independent variety, can be purposefully crude and provocative, and some may take offense at what is shown. This is an academic environment, and a mature and respectful attitude must be maintained towards the subject and your classmates.

Class Work This class will require much reading and research .The reading will relate to the following lecture, when we will watch examples of the animations discussed in the text. All students are expected to have completed the scheduled reading, and be prepared to participate in the discussion of the text and its relation to the work viewed.

There will be two one and a half page (approximately 400 words) analysis papers about an animation that we watched in class. For some of these the subject will be your choice, other times I may assign a specific animation or subject.

There will be three quizzes which will each cover the previous two to four weeks? subjects (including the lectures and readings). The final exam will cover broader topics from throughout the semester (including the lectures and readings), as well as the final two weeks of class.

You will research and write a five page research paper, with supporting sources, on any of the general animation topics covered in the syllabus, or an equivalent (?Animation Behind the Iron Curtain,? for example). You must discuss at least two animators who are not listed in bold in the lecture schedule, and whose work relates to your chosen subject. You need to make sure that you have watched at least one example of each animator?s work, and discuss it in the paper. Your paper needs at least three research sources other than the course textbook (Beck), two must be non-Internet.

There are several useful books on animation history on reserve at the DePaul Loop Library (see below under ?Recommended?).

written work submitted in this course may be verified using Turn-It-In technology ensures that the work is the student's own creation and not in violation of the University's Academic Integrity Policy. Submission of work in this course constitutes a pledge that the work is original and consent to have the work submitted to verify that fact.


15% Attendance and participation in class
20% Analysis papers
20% Three quizzes
25% Research paper
20% Final exam

A = 100-93, A- = 92-90, B+ = 89-88, B = 87-83, B- = 82-80, C+ = 79-78, C = 77-73, C- = 72-70, D+ = 69-68, D = 67-63, D- = 62-60, F = 59-0.

Cell Phones
and Laptops Use of cell phones in the class is prohibited. Please turn your phone off before entering class. Mistakes will happen (to me too), but repeated failure to turn your phone off will result in a lowered grade for the class. Laptop computers must be closed during all screenings, and may only be used for note taking.

Academic Integrity Work done for this course must adhere to the DePaul University Academic Integrity Policy, which you can review in the Student Handbook or by visiting

Bibliography Required Text: the World History of Animation by Stephen Cavalier, Rotovision, 2011


? Animation Art: From Pencil to Pixel, the World of Cartoon, Anime, and CGI by Jerry Beck. Collins Design, 2004.
? Cartoons: 100 Years of Cinema Animation by Giannalberto Bendazzi. Indiana University Press, 1996.
? Of Mice and Magic by Leonard Maltin. Plume Books, 1987
? Disney Animation: the Illusion of Life by Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston. Hyperion, 1995.
? Art in Motion: Animation Aesthetics by Maureen Furniss. Indiana University Press, 1998
? Understanding Animation by Paul Wells. Routledge, 1998.
? Before Mickey by Donald Crafton. University of Chicago Press, 1993.
? Masters of Animation by John Grant. Watson-Guptill, 2001.
? Animation and America by Paul Wells. Rutgers University Press, 2002.
? Serious Business: The Art and Commerce of Animation in America by Stefan Kanfer. DeCapo Press, 2000.
? Experimental Animation: Origins of a New Art by Robert Russett and Cecile Starr. Da Capo Press, 1976.


Week 1 This schedule is subject to change throughout the semester.

Introduction to the course. Pre-Cinema animation and early cinema devices: Reynaud, Plateau
Readings: pages 35-53.
The evolution of animation in France and US: Blackton, Cohl, & McCay
Readings: 49-53, 62-64, 73.

Week 2

European experimentation: Starewicz, Reiniger, & Fischinger

Readings: pages 58-59, 80, 84, 88-92, 102-104, 109-110, 112, 116-117.
The US studio system: Otto Messmer and Max Fleischer

Readings: pages 60-61, 65-69, 74-75, 81, 100-101, 106-107, 115, 126-136.
Week 3

Walt Disney and the quest for realism

Quiz 1

Readings: 75-79, 96-99, 105, 11, 118-120, 138-139.

Tex Avery, Chuck Jones, Bob Clampett & Warner Bros.

Readings:121-123, 141-142 .
Week 4
Banned cartoons: Racism and WW II Propaganda

First Analysis Paper due

Readings: 143-144.

Animation behind the Iron Curtain: Jiri Trnka and Yuri Norstein

Readings: 114,150-151, 174-175,185, 188, 201-202, 240, 272
Week 5 .
Norman McLaren and the National Film Board of Canada

Research paper subject due: send as email, with R Paper in the subject.

Readings: 55, 158-159, 228, 260.

John Hubley and the stylistic legacy of the UPA

Readings: 124-125, 144-145,152, 156-157, 178-179, 186-187.

Week 6 Hanna-Barbera, Jay Ward, Art Clokey and the birth of TV animation

Quiz 2

Readings: 127,155,170.

Films for adults I: Animal Farm, Allegro Non Troppo and Yellow Submarine

Readings:146-147, 162-163, 204-205, 230-231.

Week 7

Films for adults II: Fantastic Planet and Fritz the Cat

Readings:218-219, 222-223

International stop-motion: Peter Lord and Nick Park. Eastern European modern stop motion masters Svankmajer and Barta.

Second Analysis Paper due
Readings: 252-253, 268-269, 301-303, 346-347,354-355.

Week 8
The return of the feature: Richard Williams and Don Bluth

Readings: 221, 245-247, 261, 274-275, 282-283, 290-291, 293, 294-295.

Research paper due

The Japanese Disneys: Tezuka and Miyazaki

Readings: 71, 176, 190, 197, 212, 224,
240-241, 257, 273, 278-281,305-306, 311, 317, 332.

Week 9
TV grows up: Groening, Kricfalusi, Judge, Stone and Parker

Quiz 3

Readings: 284-285, 288, 296-297, 307, 309, 319.
Stop motion and special effects animation: O?Brien, Harryhausen and Tippett

Readings: 86-87, 108, 160, 172-173.

Week 10 Visual Effects CGI: ILM, George Lucas, James Cameron , Peter Jackson and WETA

Readings: 56-57, 255, 292, 388.

Character CGI : Tron, Pixar and the birth of character CGI

Readings: 166, 225, 238, 248-249, 263-265, 298-299, 314-315, 328-329, 342-343, 348-351, 369.

Final Exam

School policies:

Changes to Syllabus

This syllabus is subject to change as necessary during the quarter. If a change occurs, it will be thoroughly addressed during class, posted under Announcements in D2L and sent via email.

Online Course Evaluations

Evaluations are a way for students to provide valuable feedback regarding their instructor and the course. Detailed feedback will enable the instructor to continuously tailor teaching methods and course content to meet the learning goals of the course and the academic needs of the students. They are a requirement of the course and are key to continue to provide you with the highest quality of teaching. The evaluations are anonymous; the instructor and administration do not track who entered what responses. A program is used to check if the student completed the evaluations, but the evaluation is completely separate from the student’s identity. Since 100% participation is our goal, students are sent periodic reminders over three weeks. Students do not receive reminders once they complete the evaluation. Students complete the evaluation online in CampusConnect.

Academic Integrity and Plagiarism

This course will be subject to the university's academic integrity policy. More information can be found at If you have any questions be sure to consult with your professor.

Academic Policies

All students are required to manage their class schedules each term in accordance with the deadlines for enrolling and withdrawing as indicated in the University Academic Calendar. Information on enrollment, withdrawal, grading and incompletes can be found at

Students with Disabilities

Students who feel they may need an accommodation based on the impact of a disability should contact the instructor privately to discuss their specific needs. All discussions will remain confidential.
To ensure that you receive the most appropriate accommodation based on your needs, contact the instructor as early as possible in the quarter (preferably within the first week of class), and make sure that you have contacted the Center for Students with Disabilities (CSD) at:
Lewis Center 1420, 25 East Jackson Blvd.
Phone number: (312)362-8002
Fax: (312)362-6544
TTY: (773)325.7296