A Pathfinder by Jason Sokoloff
Animated films date back to the early 1900s, when filmmakers were experimenting with various forms of what today seem to be very primitive special effects.

While the origins of motion pictures can be traced the Europe as well as the United States, the history of animated films is almost entirely an American accomplishment. Audiences worldwide have marveled at the innovative and appealing images of characters and stories largely created by Hollywood studio animation units.

American animated films now dating forty and fifty years old often still maintain their spark and appeal, while contemporary computer-generated cartoon features and traditionally drawn animated television series are among the most-watched and highest grossing properties in the entertainment industry.


Understanding the social contexts surrounding the creation of animated films and observing the talents of pioneering artists, performers, writers and musicians behind them, will enhance any basic, aesthetic appreciation that already exists for this unique art and entertainment form.

As such, this pathfinder is intended for use by high school students, college students and adults who are interested in learning more about the origins, development and evolution of animation in America.

Most of the named sources are accessible through the UNC-Chapel Hill's Academic Libraries, specifically Davis Library, the Undergraduate Library Media Resources Center and the Music Library at Wilson Library.

As noted, some audio recordings and serials not available through UNC are available at Duke University's Lilly Library and Music Library.

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