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Feature Film

History of Animated Features Chart

Designers Bill Younker and Larry Gormley have created a series of “information art prints” which they sell on their site, History Shots. Their latest info-graphic (by Gormley, below) chronicles the entire history of feature films from the 1910s until the present day (“2000 films, 20 genres, 100 years“). At the very top is a layer of animated films, for which the criteria for inclusion was that the feature has either “won important awards such as the best picture Academy Award; achieved critical acclaim according to recognized film critics; are considered to be key genre films by experts; and/or attained box office success”.

So where’s Fritz The Cat? An American Tail? Hey There It’s Yogi Bear? Let the debate begin! Click the chart below to see at full size; for more information on purchase visit History Shots.

  • bird brained

    “the point is, animation is not a genre. It is a method of storytelling. People are constantly analyzing it and misanalysing it as if it is a genre. It isn’t a genre. It can do horror films, it can do adult comedies if it wanted to, it could do fairy tales, it could do science fiction, it could do musicals, it could mystery, it can do anything.” -Brad Bird, 1997

  • Chris Sobieniak

    Sad if there are a few M.I.A.’s on this list.

  • Lauren

    Up is listed twice, and I see no Fantasia, Bambi or Snow White. Therefore, I think it’s safe to disregard this as bloody bollocks.

    • Tom Pope

      If you pan left across the top you’ll see them. (I thought the same thing at first.)

  • I don’t get why so many of Don Bluth’s are missing… although I must admit I’m glad they only lncuded “Secret of NIMH” Which is what Don Bluth could’ve reaaaally been. Puss in Boots in there is just plain ridiculous. and where’s ego trip??? booooooo

  • They have Over the Hedge, but nothing by Ralph Bakshi at all…that pretty much says it all. I would have even accepted his version of Lord of the Rings to nothing at all.

  • I agree with bird. I also find it interesting that Fantasy and Animation are creating a big bubble right now. Hope it doesn’t go like the ‘housing’ and other bubbles have gone.

  • Mike

    So they’re making visually unappealing glorified timelines and selling the to shmucks for almost $40 a pop. Why didn’t I think of that?

  • The map implies that animation is a genre. Otherwise it’s a useful, fun overview I’d say.

  • Seth

    They put ¨The Triplet of Belleville¨. It’s actually ¨TripletS¨. One tiny mistake, but ah well…

  • That quote from Bird is extremely true and appropriate here.

    It’s also interesting that Tokyo Godfathers is the only Satoshi Kon film on the list. I would have personally put Millennium Actress, and I would have expected most critics to cite Paprika (though I don’t think it’s as good as his other films). Obviously there’s a lot of subjective curation going on in the graphic in terms of what films are “important.”

  • Kristjan B.

    Not sure how this cart is going to work.

  • Hooray Secret of Kells is on there. :-)

  • No love for “The Adventures of Prince Achmed?”

  • James

    The most inaccurate part of that list is the extremely anemic early portion of the “sports films” segment, which suggests there were no sports-themed films made prior to “The Pride of the Yankees” and after the silent era. Stock car racing (“The Crowd Roars”), boxing (“The Prize Fighter and the Lady”, “Golden Boy”), college football (“Horsefeathers”, “Pigskin Parade”), golf (“Love on the Rough”), baseball (“Alibi Ike”, “Whistling in Brooklyn”), horseracing (“The Sporting Blood,” “Saratoga”) etc.

    I suppose they are meant to only signify well-known classics, but even on those terms is pretty inaccurate as there was a pretty consistent amount made at that time, though admittedly marginally less common than later decades.

  • axolotl

    I also see also that CHUNGKING EXPRESS is classed as ‘suspense.’ Oh well, lists are silly.

  • Tory

    42nd Street is in Musical and Comedy, I need to check for more doubles. Tons are missing, especially for animation, so sparse a field it seems. I was upset about Adventures of Prince Achmed not being on it.

  • potemkin

    This chart is a disgrace, when it comes to basic, but very important points in animation history. Except Achmed, what happened to the Paramount/Fleischer feature – Hoppity Goes to Town… Almost EVERYTHING from 1937 to 1968 are Disneys films. They disrespect the buyer, by not giving more thought on the list. Like they want to make us think that Mr. D was the only bad-ass in animation history. The chart form that they chose to follow film history is interesting, but not good enough. Jerks…

  • Bruce

    One big blob of innaccurate info that I can find on any website– done by someone with too much free time on his hands. I’m guessing that this colorful map is supposed to be framed and hung on my wall? Why was this done again?