cave-animation cave-animation

Meet the First (Stone Age) Animators

The human desire to animate drawings may stretch further back (much further back) than a couple hundred years. French filmmaker/researcher Marc Azéma has published new research suggesting that the Paleolithic artists who created drawings in the Lascaux caves of France were also attempting to animate their drawings. There’s a subscription-only article about his theory on A shorter blog post and accompanying video below are available for viewing by all.

  • Justin Delbert

    And I thought it was just a joke on The Bugs Bunny Road Runner Movie.

  • wever

    Back then, were their motivations to get believable movement, or to copy real life as accurately as possible?

    • Chris Sobieniak

      I always wonder if it’s simply a matter of trying to remember how these animals looked like or how they’re typically seen when you’re trying to train your eyes on them in motion. I’m sure there’s that to be considered.

  • Mac

    Wow, these guys could freaking *observe* as well as anyone who has ever lived. I can’t imagine making images outside of my context in an image and screen culture, and we tend to learn real observation later in our little lives. I wonder if they were on mushrooms.

  • It’s always appeared as if some cave drawings were trying to convey motion. It’s interesting to see the drawings put together like that.

  • Mister Twister

    I never know what to expect from you. This time you amazed me.

  • To echo Justin Delbert, looks like there’s far more to cave people than what was “parodied” in The BB/RR Movie…fascinating.

  • Phaeton99

    Some of the examples might be interpreted otherwise, but then there are the ones that produce very convincing animation loops. Darn paywall! Now I want to read that full article!

  • Sardonic Tuba

    Cave kids watched these on Saturday mornings with a big bowl of Cocoa Pebbles.

  • It’s certainly a humbling experience, when we keep finding evidence on just how sophisticated our ‘primitive’ ancestors really were.

    Maybe the only difference between us & them is that we enjoy the fruits of the experience of many more generations behind.