1833 "McLean's Optical Illusions; or, Magic Panorama" (early animations)




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Published on Oct 21, 2011

It's amazing to see how quickly animators managed to develop their skills. This series of 12 phenakistiscope discs was published in the same year this first real animation device was presented to the world by Belgian inventor Joseph Plateau. The artist(s) only had 8 to 12 frames to work with and these had to form a loop. The results are quite compelling and surprisingly fluent, although many movements are incorrect. This was made more than 40 years before Muybridge started his photographic motion studies...
There was also an obvious lack of knowledge in other fields: a zebra coloured like a tiger and a monkey jumping from leaf to leaf were imagined to represent "The Desert".

Of the 12 discs shown here only 5 came with a title:
-Afraid of Nobody
-The Bogle
-The Desert
-Law and Equity
At least 2 other discs exist of which Magical Motion Museum has not yet found a decent copy:
-The Waltz
-girl on a swing

If anyone can provide pictures (preferably hi-res scans) for the missing discs for future inclusion in an animated video, it would be greatly appreciated.


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