A Very Brief and Not So Thorough History of Animation in the Silent Era (1906 - 1930)


  • J. Stuart Blackton's Humorous Phases of Funny Faces


  • Emil Cohl's Fantasmagoric



  • McCay's second film, The Story of a Mosquito, released


  • First (limited) animation comic strips appear as supplement in newsreels: The Newlyweds, Mutt and Jeff, Colonel Heeza Liar
  • J.R. Bray's earliest films released


  • McCay introduces Gertie the Dinosaur to vaudeville audiences.
  • J.R. Bray and Earl Hurd apply for patents to simplify cartoon production techniques by using cels.


  • Krazy Kat series begins in Hearst Vitagraph News Pictorial
  • J.R. Bray produces Paul Terry's Farmer Al Falfa cartoons
  • The Katzenjammer Kids series begins


  • First Max Fleischer rotoscope experiments released
  • Winsor McCay's Sinking of the Lusitania released


  • First Max Fleischer Out of the Inkwell cartoons, with KoKo the Clown, released
  • First appearance of Felix the Cat in Feline Follies


  • Van Beuren's Aesop's Film Fables begin, with Paul Terry and John Foster as directors


  • Walt Disney's Alice comedies begin


  • Max Fleischer releases experimental sound Song Cartoons and begins series of Bouncing Ball cartoons for Bray


  • Adventures of Prince Achmed is first animated feature, by Lotte Reiniger, produced in Germany


  • Disney's Oswald the Lucky Rabbit series debuts


  • Disney and Ub Iwerks create first three Mickey Mouse cartoons: Plane Crazy, The Gallopin' Gaucho, and Steamboat Willie


  • First Silly Symphonies cartoon, The Skeleton Dance, released


  • Leon Schlesinger produces first Looney Tune, Hugh Harman and Rudolph Ising's Sinkin' in the Bathtub, starring Bosko
  • Fleischer's Betty boop appears in Dizzy Dishes and Barnacle Bill
  • First Technicolor cartoon sequence by Walter Lantz in King of Jazz

More pages of facts…

Silent Era Trivia
A list of the most popular movies in 1922-27
A very brief and not so thorough history of animation in the silent era
More facts from the 1924 Film Daily Yearbook
What silent stars have their prints in Grauman's (Mann's) "Forecourt of the Stars?"
Want to talk like a Shiek or a Sheba? Learn the lingo of the teenagers of the Twenties
A list of directors' salaries in 1926
The typical cost of a big-budget production in 1920

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