Animation has a long history and has seen a huge transformation throughout its evolution, an evolution that is still in progress. Animation for kids is big as kids do love animated films and shows, but kids aren’t the only ones who connect with animation; it really is for everyone though kids are a primary audience.
A Brief History of Animation
Depending on how you define animation, it’s beginnings will differ. Some may argue that cave drawings were the first animated pieces. Others stick to the early 20th century short films. Let’s go with that beginning as it’s easier to keep it in film and video perspective. Broadcast2world.com tell us that
In the traditional animation history, hand-drawn animation was created using Cel Animation. Cel was a transparent sheet consisting of cellulose nitrate and camphor, used to create hand-drawn objects. Characters were drawn on Cels and superimposed on common background images to reduce the number of frames and production times. Colonel Heeza Liar (1914) was the first animated cartoon series created using this animation technique.
Then, of course, we see Steamboat Willie released in 1928. None other than Walt Disney created this piece, It was the first animated piece to have sound. Some people consider this the real beginning of animation. Then, in 1937, there was Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. We still love this film today. This was just the beginning of animation. And what a beginning it was.
The later 1900s
In the 1960s, graphic artists began to work with computer-generated animated films. Some of the more notable ones with animation for kids are Disney’s Mary Poppins and The Sword in the Stone. The next era in animation is the age of CGI beginning in the 1980s. CGI is, according to this article,
Computer-Generated Imagery (CGI) is the creation of still or animated visual content with computer software. CGI most commonly refers to the 3D computer graphics used to create characters, scenes and special effects in films, television and games.
The animated films we know and love in this day are mostly CGI. And even this technology has grown by leaps and bounds over the past couple of decades.
But back to our main point, why do kids love animation so much?
Why Animation is for Kids
Most kids watch animated movies and tv shows. There is something about animation that draws kids in. So what is it? Stonesoup.com shares a nice explanation of the appeal of animation. Animation is important because it makes us be able to tell stories and communicate emotions and ideas in a unique, easy-to-perceive way. Animals can talk. Settings are beautiful and magical. We see mermaids and trolls and singing reindeer. Animation is beautiful and magical and that is a big reason why kids love it.
Animation is also full of eye-catching colors and bold shapes. This is important for the developing mind of a young child. Even if they don’t fully grasp the entire story or the deep meaning, kids can enjoy the beauty of the film.
Animated films also cover many genres. We tend to think Disney Princesses, like Cinderella and The Little Mermaid, but that’s not the only thing we get in animation. From Pixar films like Toy Story and Monsters, Inc, to the great works from Japanese animator Hayao Miyazaki, there is a plethora of high quality, entertaining, aesthetic animation for kids.
The very lovely thing, though, is you never have to grow out of animated films.
Why Animation is Not Just for Kids
There is nothing that says only kids get to love animation. The beauty and artistry of animation make it a great genre for any age. Like kids, adults love all kinds of animated films. Great producers and creators of animated film will also put little treats in for the adults. Think Shrek and its adult humor. It’s always fun for the adults to get a little extra laugh when watching a movie with their kids. And then, when the kids are older and watch the films again, they’ll finally understand. It’s like a light bulb going off!
Anime is a popular type of animation, which covers many different genres, sub-genres, and amalgamations including: action, adventure, comedy, drama, fantasy, historical, horror, martial arts, school life, sci-fi, romance, supernatural. For more information on anime, check out this article in our own Bunny Studio Library.
Animation as a learning tool
Not only can adults love animated films, but they can also use animation as a learning tool. Many companies turn to animation for learning and training videos in the corporate world. Animated video is a great way to share information as the more simplistic graphics can teach without distraction. Even intricate graphics can be more effective in an animated version. We all know corporate video and eLearning may not always be the most captivating material. So if it can be a little more interesting with animation, then go for it.
The Instructional Benefits of Animation for Both Kids and Adults
Just like we often use animation in the corporate world for instruction and enrichment, educators often use it in the classroom, too.
As this article tells us
This entails limitless possibilities when it comes to animation’s educational potential. It can be used to efficiently introduce challenging topics; teachers can rely on animation to make their classes more attractive and to explain various problems in a visually compelling way.
It’s a strong format for teaching anything, from protocol within a company to politics to a second grade class. Kids are drawn to animation. It also can be a conversation starter as it’s a shared experience. Watching an animated video offers more than just a discussion. Viewers can see characters interact, settings shift, clear outcomes arise from actions, and things come together. Animation can share anything from teaching manners to explaining racial injustice to technological instruction. It’s a great format for instruction at any age.
What About Creating Your Own Animation
So now we know we all love animation, but what about creating it? How about getting kids involved in not only watching animation but making it? With animation makers for kids, they can do this. And it’s not so hard. But what are animation makers?
Animation makers help you make animated videos. Maybe you want to make an animated piece for an explainer video for work. Or maybe your kids are getting interested in creating animation. Many of these animation makers have free trial periods. They also are very affordable to purchase. They are also user friendly, even for the beginner, so anyone can learn how to make great animated pieces. Let’s take a look at how kids can use animation makers to their benefit.
VideoScribe – This is a great animation maker for kids that is perfect for explainer videos and educational support. Kids can add music and make shareable videos. Kids can personalize this tool to make learning easier and more individual. Think a nice clean graphic rather than piles of notes.
Animiz – This is another video maker that is great for kids to get started with. It has a simple interface and lots of templates, so it’s easy to create attractive short videos and projects for sharing, learning, and just for fun.
There are plenty of other tools and software out there to get started with your own animation. Whether it’s for you or your child, don’t’ be afraid of getting into animation on your own. The ideas and uses are endless. You can enhance what you already do or take it to a whole new level with animation makers. Think social media posts, explainer videos, school projects, and announcements. You will have so many options with animation makers.
For Fun – Some of the Best Animated Films and Videos
While we are here, we should cover a few of the highly acclaimed animated videos and films. These are some of the best-loved ones for kids and adults alike, and this may be a reminder of why you love them so much. If you haven’t seen them, give them a try, and if some of your favorites are on this list, you may want to give them a rewatch.
The Toy Story Series – Not only are these Disney Pixar films beautifully crafted, but they have great messages about life, friendship, growing up, and even raising a family. The appeal is directed at both children and adults, and with the span of the movies, kids that watched the first Toy Story movie could now be having children of their own to share it with.
Frozen – This Guardian writer shares why Frozen is so fabulous. The writing for one, which has nuanced characterization, multi-generational comedy, delicately shifting tone, and perfect plot arc. It also has non-traditional characters including an understated same-sex couple. And we can’t forget the great songs.
Spirited Away – Hiyao Miyazaki’s animated film has all the desirable elements. These include imagination, complexity, and rich detail. Full of underlying emotions and moments of quiet, it’s a nice change of pace from the louder films we also love.
Here are just a few other great ones:
- Beauty and the Beast
- The Polar Express
- Barbie’s Mermaidia
Of course, the Disney and Pixar films are great. So are the DreamWorks features. There are also plenty of great independent or smaller production animated films to check out.
The Big Takeaway on Animation for Kids
Animation for kids has tons of value, but animation for adults is also a valuable genre. We mostly think of animation as entertainment. However, it also has a place in education and corporate learning. And animation isn’t just for watching, it’s for creating, too. With so many easy to use and affordable animation makers on the market, you can get involved with your animation creation. So whether you’re creating animation or watching it, you know it’s great stuff.