CMST 119 History of Animation • 5 Cr.


Provides an overview and study of the history of animation, from the early magic lantern shows of the late nineteenth century to current and emerging digital animation technologies. The history of early film animation is compared and contrasted with the history of animation for the web, showing how the two types of animation often parallel each other in style and development. Course includes a series of lectures, discussions, and a variety of film and video clips of both classic and digital animation.

Description starting Summer 2021

This course provides an overview of the history of animation by chronology, storytelling form, as well as the technological and cultural impact of animated content. Course discussion also highlights influences of race, gender, and the correlation with genres such as comic strips, virtual reality, and games. Students will gain an understanding of terminologies significant during each stage of animation development, as well as how animation remains a relevant and meaningful media form in our current and future societies.


After completing this class, students should be able to:

  • Compare and contrast the development of animation for film and television with the development of animation for the web.
  • Discuss how various developments in the art of the moving picture and digital technology led to the development of digital, web-based animation.
  • Define a variety of historical animation terms, including "persistence of vision", "cel", "vector", "pixel", and "digital".
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the historical background and evolution of animation.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of future trends in digital animation technologies and styles.
  • Perform analysis of specific animation pieces, and present a summary of observations and analysis.