Charles Shopsin has been semi-regularly posting old articles on early cartoon production, from 1920s-1930s science and mechanics magazines, on his Modern Mechanics blog. Some of these we’ve plugged before, but they are worth compiling here again for easy reference:
Drawing Animated Cartoons for the Movies (1924), a basic article explaining how animation works, illustrated by Felix the Cat and a youthful Walter Lantz!
How the First Color Cartoons were Made (Jan, 1932), a look behind the scenes at the forgotten Ted Eshbaugh studio.
Machine Shows Cartoons Without Screen (1932), demonstrates a wacky new invention by Max Fleischer.
Real Scenery for Popeye (1936), about the 3-D sets in Fleischer cartoons.
Movie Cartoons Gain Third Dimension (1936), another article about Fleischer’s 3-D sets.
New Cartoon Camera Combines Drawings And Photographs (1940), which explains how Terrytoons combined live action and animation in the 1938 short, The Last Indian.