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The lightning cartoon: animation from music hall to cinema

The lightning cartoon: animation from music hall to cinema
The lightning cartoon: animation from music hall to cinema
This article examines the history of the lightning cartoon/sketch act, which rose to prominence in British music halls in the 1880s, continued in popularity into the early twentieth century, and played a key role in the development of animation, the act having been performed by a number of important figures in its early history, including J. Stuart Blackton and Winsor McCay in the US, George Méliès in France, and Walter Booth in the UK. This paper considers the ways in which this act anticipated animation, featuring qualities such as transformation, the movement of line drawings, and the desire to bring drawings to life. It also examines the perceptual play that was central to the act’s aesthetic and which continued into early films of lightning cartoonists performing, as stage performers such as Tom Merry and Walter Booth transferred and played an important role in early British filmmaking.
music hall, lightning cartoon, animation, perception
1746-0654
237-254
Cook, Malcolm
e2e0ebaa-c791-48dc-8c67-86e6cbb40b75
Cook, Malcolm
e2e0ebaa-c791-48dc-8c67-86e6cbb40b75

Cook, Malcolm (2013) The lightning cartoon: animation from music hall to cinema. [in special issue: Music Halls to Movies] Early Popular Visual Culture, 11 (3), 237-254. (doi:10.1080/17460654.2013.817146).

Record type: Article

Abstract

This article examines the history of the lightning cartoon/sketch act, which rose to prominence in British music halls in the 1880s, continued in popularity into the early twentieth century, and played a key role in the development of animation, the act having been performed by a number of important figures in its early history, including J. Stuart Blackton and Winsor McCay in the US, George Méliès in France, and Walter Booth in the UK. This paper considers the ways in which this act anticipated animation, featuring qualities such as transformation, the movement of line drawings, and the desire to bring drawings to life. It also examines the perceptual play that was central to the act’s aesthetic and which continued into early films of lightning cartoonists performing, as stage performers such as Tom Merry and Walter Booth transferred and played an important role in early British filmmaking.

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More information

Published date: 1 September 2013
Keywords: music hall, lightning cartoon, animation, perception
Organisations: Film

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 385599
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/385599
ISSN: 1746-0654
PURE UUID: a84a18ec-309c-463a-b209-d3ecfd185d66

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 20 Jan 2016 16:36
Last modified: 15 Jul 2019 20:52

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