The history of animation is too vast and multifarious to capture in half an hour, but The Cinema Cartography has given it a good try nonetheless. The Youtube channel’s video The Animation That Changed Cinema serves up a taster menu of 40 diverse animated classics, ranging widely across geography and digging deep into the past.
This is a video about animated features and shorts, not series. It takes a broadly auteurist approach, focusing on filmmakers known for a particular style or thematic concerns: Don Hertzfeldt, Hayao Miyazaki, Lotte Reiniger, Yuri Norstein, etc. It also finds space for lesser-known works, such as Kunio Kato’s dreamlike The Diary of Tortov Roddle. Watch it below:
Its title notwithstanding, the video doesn’t dwell on how these films changed the history of cinema. Instead, it looks at how their formal aspects — textures, colors, compositions, camerawork — serve their stories. It ends up arguing for animation’s qualities as a medium for a particular kind of narrative approach: