Tossed-off “best-of” animation listicles are a dime a dozen. Lists that provide thorough, learned surveys of animation history are not. Hats off, then, to culture website Vulture’s beautifully produced new feature, “The 100 Sequences That Shaped Animation.”
The name says it: the list, which can be explored here, tells a history of animation through its most important sequences, which range from a few seconds to a few minutes. “We chose the deliberately flexible element of a ‘sequence,’” write the editors, “because it felt the most focused: It is often in one inspired moment, more so than a single frame or entire work, that we are able to see the form progress.”
The writers do a good job of placing each work in its historical context. They were assisted in their choices by a cadre of experts, including Maureen Furniss, the doyenne of animation history and filmmaker Koji Yamamura. Each entry is accompanied by an embed of the sequence itself, which gives the article an edge over even the finest history books on the medium: here, the animation itself can be seen.