By Maureen Furniss
464 pages, softcover, $81.25
Published by Thames & Hudson
Putting together a resource like A New History of Animation is no small feat. The history of moving images is a complex one, with humble beginnings rooted in the first magic lantern, developed in 1659, and in English photographer Eadweard Muybridge’s study of a running horse. The many innovations and techniques perfected along the way gave rise to the various forms of animation that we see today, from video games to Japanese animation. The field of animation is as wide reaching as its history is long, deep and rich.
With twenty years of experience teaching animation history, Maureen Furniss clearly shows her love of the subject as she brings readers through a timeline of key developments and breakthroughs within the field. The book is filled with an extensive database of historical notes, organized beautifully into chapters that help readers understand the “big picture” that has influenced the development of animation throughout the years.
This resource-heavy book is perfect for not only readers who are diving headfirst into animation, but also history buffs who are interested in dipping a toe in the subject. It starts off by laying out the basics—what is animation and its various permutations—and quickly sends you off into the realm of technology. You learn about industrial post-productions and arts-based practices related to drawn and painted animation, stop-motion, and computer-generated imagery. You are introduced to major studios within the United States and Japan. And you see how animations have come to be produced around the world. —Amy Ng