This page uses content from Wikipedia and is licensed under CC BY-SA.


Animation portal logo.svg
MainCategories and topicsTasks and projects


The bouncing ball animation (below) consists of these six frames.

Animation is a method in which pictures are manipulated to appear as moving images. In traditional animation, images are drawn or painted by hand on transparent celluloid sheets to be photographed and exhibited on film. Today, most animations are made with computer-generated imagery (CGI). Computer animation can be very detailed 3D animation, while 2D computer animation can be used for stylistic reasons, low bandwidth or faster real-time renderings. Other common animation methods apply a stop motion technique to two and three-dimensional objects like paper cutouts, puppets or clay figures.

Commonly the effect of animation is achieved by a rapid succession of sequential images that minimally differ from each other. The illusion—as in motion pictures in general—is thought to rely on the phi phenomenon and beta movement, but the exact causes are still uncertain. Analog mechanical animation media that rely on the rapid display of sequential images include the phénakisticope, zoetrope, flip book, praxinoscope and film. Television and video are popular electronic animation media that originally were analog and now operate digitally. For display on the computer, techniques like animated GIF and Flash animation were developed.

Animation is more pervasive than many people realise. Apart from short films, feature films, animated gifs and other media dedicated to the display of moving images, animation is also heavily used for video games, motion graphics and special effects. Animation is also prevalent in information technology interfaces.

Selected article

The Simpsons star.jpg

The Simpson family is a family of fictional characters featured in the animated television series The Simpsons. The Simpsons are a nuclear family consisting of the married couple Homer and Marge and their three children Bart, Lisa and Maggie. They live at 742 Evergreen Terrace in the fictional town of Springfield, USA. They were created by cartoonist Matt Groening who conceived the idea while waiting in the lobby of James L. Brooks's office. He named the characters after his own family members, substituting "Bart" for his own name. The family debuted April 19, 1987 in the The Tracey Ullman Show show short "Good Night" and were later spun off into their own series which debuted on December 17, 1989. Alongside the five main family members, there are a number of other major and minor characters in their family. The most commonly recurring characters are Homer's father Abraham Simpson; Marge's sisters Patty and Selma Bouvier; and the family's two pets, Santa's Little Helper and Snowball II. Other family members include Homer's mother Mona Simpson, Homer's "Vegas wife" Amber, Marge's mother Jacqueline Bouvier, and a whole range of minor relatives.

Selected image

A representation of a space suit from Tintin's Explorers on the Moon with a basic cel-shader (also known as a toon shader) and border detection.
Credit: Kkkdc

Cel-shaded animation is a type of non-photorealistic rendering designed to make computer graphics appear to be hand-drawn. Cel-shading is often used to mimic the style of a comic book or cartoon. It is a somewhat recent addition to computer graphics, most commonly turning up in video games.

Selected biography

Al Jean by Gage Skidmore 2.jpg

Al Jean (born January 9, 1961) is an award-winning American screenwriter and producer, best known for his work on The Simpsons. He was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan and graduated from Harvard University in 1981. Jean began his writing career in the 1980s with fellow Harvard alum Mike Reiss. It was first broadcast on ABC in January 1994 and was well-received by critics, but did not catch on with viewers and only lasted for two seasons. In 1994, Jean and Reiss signed a three-year deal with The Walt Disney Company to produce other television shows for ABC and the duo created and executive produced Teen Angel, which was canceled in its first season. Jean returned full-time to The Simpsons during the tenth season (1998). He became show runner once again with the start of the thirteenth season in 2001, this time without Reiss, and has held that position since then. Jean was also one of the writers and producers that worked on The Simpsons Movie, a feature-length film based on the series that was released in 2007.

Selected list

Brad Bird holding the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature

The accolades received by Ratatouille, a computer-animated film produced by Pixar and distributed by Walt Disney Pictures. The film was released on June 29, 2007 in the United States as the eighth film produced by Pixar. It was directed by Brad Bird, who took over from Jan Pinkava in 2005. The plot follows Remy, a rat who dreams of becoming a cook chef and tries to achieve his goal by forming an alliance with a Parisian restaurant's garbage boy. Ratatouille was released to both critical acclaim and box office success, opening in 3,940 theaters domestically and debuting at #1 with $47 million, grossing $206,445,654 in North America and a total of $624,445,654 worldwide. The film is on the 2007 top ten lists of multiple critics, including Michael Sragow of The Baltimore Sun as number one, A.O. Scott of The New York Times, Carina Chocano of the Los Angeles Times and Joe Morgenstern of The Wall Street Journal as number two. It was nominated for five Academy Awards, including Original Score, Achievement in Sound Editing, Achievement in Sound Mixing, Original Screenplay and Animated Feature Film, winning the latter one. Ratatouille was nominated for 13 Annie Awards, twice for the Best Animated Effects, where it lost to Surf's Up, and three times in the Best Voice Acting in an Animated Feature Production for Janeane Garofalo, Ian Holm and Patton Oswalt, where Ian Holm won the nomination. It won the Best Animated Feature Award from multiple associations including the Chicago Film Critics, the National Board of Review, the Annie Awards, the Broadcast Film Critics, the British Academy of Film and Television (BAFTA) and the Golden Globes.

Did you know...

Anniversaries for November 21

Films released
Television series and specials

Selected quote

And the weight I’m putting on the animation team is to go beyond the cliché, and I’m going to cite one just because it annoys me: when you see a character who’s embarrassed rubbing his neck or rubbing his arm. You don’t want to go there; you want to go for that thing that the other guy won’t be thinking about, expressing that same idea of impatience or nervousness or agitation. You want to aim for that little human physical reaction that you’ve not seen before, but that you’ve unconsciously done that tells you that this character that you’re looking at is actually living with real emotions.


Related portals

The following Wikimedia Foundation sister projects provide more on this subject:






Learning resources