"Animation can explain whatever the mind of man can conceive. This facility makes it the most versatile and explicit means of communication yet devised for quick mass appreciation." —Walt Disney

While basic animation devices (such as flip books) date to as early as A.D. 180, what is commonly understood as animation—film in which drawn subjects seem to move on their own—arose at the beginning of the 20th century in the U.S. and Europe. James Stuart Blackton's Humorous Phases of Funny Faces is arguably considered the first animation; Emil Cohl's Fantasmagorie is considered the first animated film. From its rough beginnings in the 20th century, animation has become one of the most popular forms of world entertainment. Aside from the imagery dispersed worldwide by Disney, a multitude of highly influential other genres have arisen in the last 50 years, whose methods and characters have had a significant effect on artists, such as Japanese anime or the recent rise of animated GIFs.

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