We all like to laugh and a smile and there is no quicker way to evoke joy than looking at cartoons and humorous pictures.
For as long as man has been able to paint and draw, funny pictures and cartoons have been depicted on caves walls, canvas, paper, floors, ceilings and even skin!
Many award-winning artists have drawn and painted comical and funny pictures not to mention such legendary historical figures as Raphael and Leonardo De Vinci whose comical works are highly regarded.
In the 15th-century the printing press was popularised by Johann Gutenberg and later this invention gave rise to the ability to replicate satirical images for widespread distribution to the masses. In the 16th-century humorous cartoon strips gave politicians the ability to reach illiterate people to further their cause and win precious votes. They were also a powerful tool of propaganda and party policy.
Contrary to the famous Queen Victoria saying, “We are not amused” the Victorians were actually very easily titillated and throughout the 19th century funny pictures were depicted on Victorian postcards in various formats from slapstick scenes to the more innuendo orientated themes
In the 1890’s the invention of Thomas Edison’s Kinetoscope heralded the age of animation screening rudimentary projection technology. Many people of the time saw the enormous potential this novel invention would provide.
The name Disney is synonymous with animation and in 1928 we saw the birth of Mickey Mouse who is still today one of the most iconic and recognised symbols in the world. In the 1950’s the United States also saw another company emerge, Hanna-Barbera Productions which went on to produce many classic cartoons, Scooby Doo, The Flintstones and The Yogi Bear show to name just a few.
Technology has come a long way and from early cartoons in comics and funny pictures on postcards and newspapers we are now treated to high spec digital animation with films like Toy Story and Finding Nemo.
Probably the reason cartoons and animation will never die is because our imaginations are the only limits for this media with the scope for ideas and possibilities beyond the constraints of real life being truly endless.