History of French animation  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

The first pictured movie was from Frenchman Émile Reynaud, who created praxynoscope, animation system of 12 pictures, and films of about 500~600 pictures, projected on its own théatre optique, system near from modern film projector, at Musée Grévin in Paris, France, the October 28, 1892.

Émile Cohl (1857-1938) created what is most likely the first real animated cartoon to be drawn on paper, Fantasmagorie in 1908.

1967 saw the release of Astérix le Gaulois (Asterix the Gaul), directed by Ray Goossens. This was the first movie based on the long-running Asterix comics; however, it was made without the knowledge of the comics' creators René Goscinny and Albert Uderzo, and is not widely liked by fans. The following year, Goscinny and Uderzo worked with co-director Lee Payant on a sequel, Astérix et Cléopâtre (Asterix and Cleopatra).

Other notable French animations

Une Nuit sur le Mont Chauve (Night on Bald Mountain), 1933, directed by Alexandre Alexeieff and Claire Parker. Animated entirely using the pinscreen apparatus, a device invented by Alexieff and Parker that gives the impression of animated engravings.

Le Roman de Renard (The Tale of the Fox), 1930/1937, directed by Ladislas Starevich. The first French animated feature film. The animation was finished in 1930 but a soundtrack was only added in 1937, and it was a German one. A French-language version was released in 1941.

La Demoiselle et le violoncelliste (The Girl and the Cellist), 1965, directed by Jean-François Laguionie. Laguionie's first film, which won the Annecy Grand Prix in 1965.

La Planète sauvage Grand Prix at the 1973 Cannes Film Festival '

René Laloux's first feature film La Planète sauvage (The Savage Planet, 1973), a cutout animation science fantasy that was animated in Czechoslovakia, which won the Grand Prix at the 1973 Cannes Film Festival. Laloux went on to direct two other features; Les Maîtres du temps (1981, a collaboration with the famed French comics artist Mœbius animated in Hungary) and Gandahar (1987, animated in North Korea).

Bouli 1989 - 1991, directed by Denis Olivieri The moon magically transforms Bouli the snowman and his snowman friends into life and gives them all the power not to melt.

Le Roi et l'oiseau (The King and the Mockingbird), 1980, directed by Paul Grimault. Begun in 1948 as The Sheperdess and the Chimney Sweep; cited by the Japanese director Hayao Miyazaki as an influence.

Les Aventures de Tintin (The Adventures of Tintin), began 1990, directed by Stéphane Bernasconi. TV series based on the famous Belgian comic of the same name.

Kirikou et la sorcière (Kirikou and the Sorceress), 1998, directed by Michel Ocelot. Critically acclaimed movie based on a West African folktale; the Japanese dub was written by Isao Takahata and released by Studio Ghibli.

Les Triplettes de Belleville (The Triplets of Belleville), 2003, directed by Sylvain Chomet. Nominated for an Oscar for Best Animated Feature.

Kaena: La prophétie (Kaena: The Prophecy), 2003, directed by Chris Delaporte and Pascal Pinon. A CGI fantasy movie co-produced with Canada.

Totally Spies, began 2001, created by Vincent Chalvon-Demersay and David Michel. TV series co-produced with the USA; one of French animation's biggest hits Stateside.


Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "History of French animation" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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