ANI 206 History of Animation

Winter 2014-2015
Class number: 20439
Section number: 503
TuTh 10:10AM - 11:40AM
14EAS 00802 Loop Campus


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.

During our examination of the artwork, we will pay special attention to the attitudes and influences of race, gender, technology, culture, and the conflict between art and industry.

There are several writing assignments, reading questions, and quizzes throughout the quarter, in addition to a final exam.


The World History of Animation by Stephen Cavalier, University of California Press; 1 edition (September 9, 2011), ISBN: 9780520261129

*Experimental Animation: Origins of a New Art by Robert Russett and Cecile Starr. Da Capo Press, 1976.
*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.
A Reader in Animation Studies by Jane Pilling. Indiana University Press, 1999.

A Short Guide to Writing About Film by Timothy Corrigan, Longman,2003.



4 quizzes -5 points each

4 reaction papers -5 points each

4 reading assignments-5 points each

1 research paper-20 points

1 final written exam-20 points

Total 100 = A

10 bonus points for participation, based on attendance, puntuality and active class participation.

A = 100-93 A- = 92-90 B+ = 89-87 B = 86-83 B- = 82-80 C+ = 79-77 C = 76-73 C- = 72-70 D+ = 69-67 D = 66-63 D- = 62-60 F = 59-0 **Your grades are based upon completion of assignments when due, quality of work, active class participation and attendance.**

**Your grades are based upon completion of assignments when due, quality of work, active class participation and attendance.**



Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Students will be able to identify the technical and artistic contributions of animators throughout history.

Students will be able to apply critical vocabulary through reflection, comparisons and analysis.

Students will gain an understanding of the economic, social and technological contexts that have shaped the development of animation around the world

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

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

Learning outcomes will be achieved upon successful completion of coursework.


Course work includes:


We will be watching many examples of animation, complete when possible, but often just selected parts due to our time constraints.

There is a good chance that some of the films that we screen in class will not be able for you to find on your own, and everything shown in class is liable to be material for a quiz question, so it would be a wise idea to take notes as we view and discuss work.


This class will require 40+ pages of reading per week. There are four graded reading assignments that you must submit online All reading assignments will be listed on and have reading questions assigned with them.
These reading questions are required and can be used as study guides. We will use the reading questions and answers for our discussions each class. Come prepared to answer.
Each week?s assigned reading will relate to the upcoming lecture, and will give you background or critical discussion on the work we will watch. All students are expected to have read the scheduled texts, and to be prepared to participate in our class discussions of the readings and the work screened. If a reading is particularly important or particularly challenging, I may give you reading comprehension questions which need to be handed in to me at the beginning of the following class. Class discussions and reading comprehension questions are considered to be part of your participation grade.

Reaction papers
These paper should be approximately 400 words, five cohesive paragraphs and should discuss an animated film that we have screened in class. Each reaction paper assignment will have specific films that you may choose from.

Research paper
The course also requires a 4 page research paper on any animation topic not covered in depth in class. I will give you some guidelines and tips for how to go about this. Your paper needs at least three research sources other than the class text and at least two should be non-internet. PAPERS THAT HAVE WIKIPEDIA LISTED AS A SOURCE WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED. There are several useful books on animation history on reserve for this course at the DePaul Loop Library.

There are four quizzes scheduled for the quarter that will cover information from the lectures, readings and screenings of the previous two weeks.
Each week I will post a related PowerPoint presentation along with relevant links to films. Please refer to these, as well as the lecture and films screened in class when studying for the quizzes.

Final Exam
The final exam will cover broader topics from the course.
Always check D2L

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