This year marks the centenary of Harry Julius signing a contract with Australasian Films to produce the weekly animated series, Cartoons of the Moment – an incident often cited as the birth of Australian animation. However, there were smatterings of work occurring in Australia even before 1915. This article looks at the earliest beginnings of Australian animation, focussing on the events, processes, and people who pioneered this medium from approximately 1900 to 1930. These early achievements range from the first Australian animated lightning sketches to the rise and subsequent demise of a major animation studio.

Over the years there has been some confusion as to when Australian animation began. Conventional wisdom has maintained that Harry Julius (1885–1938) was the first animator in Australia and that he began producing animated films in 1912 – and most published articles over the past few decades have reiterated this claim.1 This date, however, was probably more of an approximation – in fact, it is possible that it initially came from an erroneous reading of archival databases which (in addition to his animated films) also listed the 1912 publication of Julius’ bestselling illustrated book, Theatrical Caricatures. This book featured humorous illustrations of famous stage performers and the title may have been mistakenly interpreted as a reference to cinematic cartoons. Also potentially adding to the confusion, in 1912 Pathé Films began screening a live-action newsreel series in Australia that was entitled Pathé’s Animated Gazettes.

As a result of newly digitised (and therefore much more accessible) historic newspapers, it is now clear that Harry Julius first signed a contract with Australasian Films in early 1915 to produce a weekly series of animated shorts, Cartoons of the Moment. But it is also clear, as we will describe, that Julius began experimenting with animation some time prior to this date and that there were others (including Alec Laing and Virgil Reilly) who had been experimenting with animation for a number of years prior to Julius. Additionally, there were a substantial number of animators who worked alongside Julius in those early decades.

Importantly, Harry Julius and his team built the very successful Sydney-based studio, Cartoon Filmads, which developed into what can only be described as an animation empire with a robust national and international reach. Although Julius is best remembered for his political animated shorts, this empire is perhaps the most remarkable aspect of these early days of animation history, and will be a major focus of this article.

Animated Beginnings

Most of the earliest film animators (both in Australia and elsewhere) came from illustration or cartoonist backgrounds; many had also worked as “lightning sketch artists.” That is, an artist who would create a large drawing, skilfully and very quickly drawn in front of a live audience.

With the development of cinema many lightning sketch artists made the transition from live stage to filmed performances. The films comprised lightning sketches that took advantage of the animation process, turning the artist into a super-fast sketch artist. These early films are rather crude compared to many contemporary forms of animation. In some cases the animation might have simply comprised the act of drawing a character onscreen – the animator would draw a small section of a line, then step away as an exposure was taken on film, extend the line, step away, take an exposure, and so on. The result would be that the image or character would seem to miraculously draw itself, and this was sometimes the extent of the animation. In other cases, as we will describe later, the artist’s hand would remain continuously visible in the frame and the animator would appear to draw a character or image at a super-speed rate, or else a hand simply dotted the pen upon the paper and made a whole section of the character miraculously appear.

Working with this technique in 1910, artist and animator Virgil Reilly (1892–1974) began making animated advertisements in Melbourne. These advertisements, which took the form of filmed graphics and animated lightning sketches in which the animator’s hand was continually visible, were screened in cinemas prior to the main features. George’s Fine Furs of Melbourne was one of several local establishments that were promoted through Reilly’s animations.

In 1916, a reporter from Hobart’s The Mercury newspaper described the technique that Harry Julius used to create his animated lightning sketches, which was the same method used by Virgil Reilly and another key early Australian animator, Alec Laing.

As [Julius] begins the first lines of the drawing, the operator turns the handle of the camera … then he calls ‘Stop’ and the handle-turning ceases. Continuing the second phase of his drawing until a convincing outline has been completed, he orders the operator to turn again, and, after adding a few strokes to show his hand at work, he again calls ‘Stop’, and so on till the cartoon is finished… If the camera accompanied every movement of his pencil … the entire effect of instantaneous production would be lost through slowness of execution, and an interminable length of execution, and an interminable length of film.2

Clearly these early films were created by means of the stop-motion animation process, essentially a frame-by-frame capturing of each minute mark that the animator made. In some cases, it was not a requirement that the drawing then came to life, for in these early films merely seeing an animated creation of an image was enough.3

The first Australian animator: Alec Laing

According to Harry Julius, cartoonist Alec Laing was the first Australian to create animated lightning sketches. He did so while temporarily living in London, when he created topical animated lightning sketches for Pathé Films during the final stages of the Boer war (1899–1902).4

After the Boer War, Laing returned to Australia and by 1905 was performing with theatrical stage celebrity, La Milo, in Sydney. La Milo (whose real name was Pansy Montague, and who later became Laing’s wife) performed an act of “living statues”, involving the dramatic recreation of well-known European and antiquity works of art. La Milo would pose in the stance of a classical statue and hold herself motionless while being dramatically lit.5 While this was occurring Laing performed live lightning sketches that were projected from a magic lantern. He drew directly onto frosted plates of glass (upside down) while the magic lantern projected them onto the stage. A reviewer from The Melbourne Punch describes the show:

While the caricaturist rapidly sketches familiar faces on a huge sheet (it is a magic-lantern effect with their sketches done on a smoked glass) a series of statues, remarkably well managed, are shown in a garden scene on the stage.6

Though the performances featured a seemingly nude Montague (she actually wore a skin-tight bodysuit), one reviewer carefully downplayed this fact, instead promoting their respectable nature:

There can be no difference of opinion as to the ideal loveliness of the pictures of which La Milo formed the centre figure. As to the suggestion of indecency, that is a fraud, and I fear that those who sell tickets on the strength of it are open to an accusation of obtaining money on false pretences.7

Later, Laing animated some of these sketches, but instead of live sketching the performance, he projected the films onto the stage. These works, later known as La Milo Films, were first screened in London at the Alhambra theatre around 1906,8 and they continued to be shown (along with live-action footage) as their act travelled to Sydney and later New York. A few years later while on tour in America, Laing parted ways with the La Milo stage show (and his wife), and began working in the fledgling animation industry in New York, where he would later meet up with fellow Australian, Harry Julius.

Harry Julius became a close friend of Alec Laing, and drew a portrait of him in 1917 after returning from working in New York. This illustration depicts Laing holding a reel of film labelled “La Milo Films”. Julius worked briefly with Laing in the animation industry in New York, specifically on the very popular Mutt and Jeff animated cartoons at the Raoul Barré Studios (which were screened not only in America but also distributed internationally, including to Australia). As a nod to this Julius populated the background of the portrait with characters that look as if they had come straight out of one of the Mutt and Jeff shorts.

Harry Julius and Australia’s First Animation Empire

australian animation

Harry Julius (1918)

Harry Julius was certainly the most notable and prolific producer of animation in the early decades of animation production in Australia. Like many animators of the time, Julius began as a cartoonist and lightning sketch artist – he performed his first public lightning sketch performance at the age of nine in 1894. He was later trained in fine art in Sydney under the acclaimed Australian painter, Julian Ashton, and became a renowned illustrator, cartoonist, and popular lightning sketch artist. In 1906 he and fellow artist, Sydney Ure-Smith, founded the Smith and Julius advertising firm in Sydney. Most of the work produced by the firm was in print graphics advertising. However, before long Julius began experimenting with animated film advertising. As a number of newspaper articles of the period claim, Julius was a self-taught animator: “There was no one to show him how he should set to work, and success was not attained without close and earnest application.”9 His animated experiments evolved over time and he soon wholeheartedly embraced the medium of film, proclaiming that: “The motion picture is the most advanced form of modern art.”10

Because of his long-standing reputation as a cartoonist, and upon the strength of his earlier animated experiments, in January 1915 Julius was able to secure a contract with Australasian Films to produce a weekly series of animated cartoons – the first animated series to be commercially produced in Australia. This was quite an accomplishment as Australasian Films was by far the preeminent producer of films and newsreels in Australia. The commencement of this ground-breaking series, entitled Cartoons of the Moment, was noted in an Adelaide Mail newspaper article:

Artist Harry Julius has just fixed up with the Australasian Film Company to supply ‘movie’ cartoons for the weekly gazette. This class of picture has been extensively used in the United States and England, but Julius will supply the first Australian series to be shown. The audience sees the artist arrive at his studio and search the morning papers for a topic then it observes him dash the paper down. After that an enormous hand and pencil fill the screen, and the cartoon is drawn on an immense scale line by line and with uncanny rapidity.11

From the start, these shorts became immensely popular. They were shown weekly in all the major cities of Australia and New Zealand. One New Zealand reviewer noted:

Cartoons of the Moment by the Australian cartoonist, Harry Julius, were (screened) in the Australian Gazette and proved very popular. This series is a particularly good one and pleased a large audience last evening.12

Julius’ animated series featured commentary on the current topics and news of the day, such as the First World War, domestic and foreign politics, international trade agreements, and popular fashions.

Australian animation

Still frames from Cartoons of the Moment (Julius c1916). These films featured a very sophisticated application of the cut-out animation technique. These frames are taken from the documentary film, Animated (Craig Monahan, 1989).

The following is a description of Julius’ production process as he worked on his animated lightning sketch style films:

After thinking out the subjects for his weekly series of cartoons he draws the pictures for direct reproductions by the camera. In summer he works on a horizontally placed blackboard with the camera a few feet away: but in the winter months, when artificial light has to be employed, he draws on a flat board, the camera being placed on a platform a few feet above the board, and operating downwards.13

As his series developed the films became increasingly proficient, combining both the animated lightning sketch technique as well as the paper cut-out animation technique (a two-dimensional form of stop-motion animation), which he referred to as “continuous action” animation.

He continued to produce this series until 1916, at which point he and his wife travelled to America so that Julius could work in the animation industry in New York. While there he met Alec Laing, who was already working in the industry. The bulk of Julius’ time was spent at Bud Fisher and Raoul Barré’s studios, where he worked on the Mutt and Jeff series. Although his time there was short (less than a year), he had the opportunity to see how an established and successful American studio functioned and to witness the scope of this rapidly growing industry. He learned a lot about the craft of animation and, more importantly, about the effective management of an animation studio.

Julius returned to Sydney in 1917 and began to significantly expand his animation efforts, forming the Cartoon Filmads studio. Requiring much greater space, he and his crew relocated across the street from the traditional print graphics division of Smith and Julius Advertising. He hired a great number of the best Australian artists/animators of the day, including Sydney Miller, Lance Driffield, Geoff Litchfield, Harrison Ford and Arthur Sparrow. These artists became his chief animators and played a large role in the success of the studio.

At this point, Cartoon Filmads was still affiliated with the greater Smith and Julius Company, although the two divisions were by now quite separate entities. Australian artist, Lloyd Rees, who worked in the traditional print graphics wing of the company, noted that the animators at Cartoon Filmads were “dashing moderns of the day, who looked as though they could well have carried six-shooters, and of whom the rest of us were vaguely scared.” 14

In 1918, Cartoon Filmads was formally incorporated as a distinct enterprise and became Cartoon Filmads, Ltd. This newly formed studio went on to produce vast numbers of animated advertisements and “industrial films” for both national and international markets.

Patently Animated

One of the primary methods of animation that Cartoon Filmads used was the paper cut-out animation technique, and in 1918 Julius was able to patent this technique in Australia. His initial patent described the method as follows:

To obviate the necessity for a plurality of drawings in the photographic preparation of the film the parts are cut out of cardboard, or other material, and fitted together to form the figure or subject to be photographed, the parts being rearranged before each subsequent exposure.15

In the field of international animation production, Julius was by no means the first, let alone the only, animator to use the paper cut-out technique. Early pioneer J. Stuart Blackton used it in such films as Humorous Phases of Funny Faces (USA, 1906). It was also the primary production technique used in El Apóstol (The Apostle, Quirino Christiani, Argentina, 1917), which is now regarded as the world’s first feature-length animated film.16 However, since animation productions were rather limited in Australia at that time, Julius seems to have had no trouble in securing a patent for it. To give him his due, Julius did make full use of the technique and seems to have furthered its development. In his animated films, for example, he utilised a number of other materials, such as tufts of cotton as a means of simulating smoke, to supplement his animated effect. These gave a wonderful tactile and dimensional quality to his otherwise 2D animations.

Australian animation

A detail from the Australian patent for the cut-out animation technique by Harry Julius, 1918.

In subsequent years he patented this technique in a number of other Commonwealth countries, including the UK and Canada. As cut-out animation was quite commonly used in these other places he was forced to amend the initial claims of the “invention” to show how it differed from other forms of cut-out animation. So, for example, the version that he prepared for the UK in 1921 reads:

It has also been suggested previously in the production of animated films to use jointed figures, the joints being suitably stiffened so that, the various parts will remain in the different positions into which they have been moved. According to the present invention however, the separate elements or sections are not jointed together but are simply placed into their different positions.17

Simply keeping the parts detached from each other was, in fact, a quite minor alteration, and it was likely to have been used by other animators – but it was enough of a variance to warrant the issuing of the patent in the UK and Canada. In actuality, this modified approach does have its benefits as it allows freer movement of the character. It also minimises unwanted ancillary movement that can occur to other sections of a character, such as a shift in the head’s position when moving the attached arm. But it can also be much more difficult if the goal is, for example, to animate the entire character in a convincing walking action. In such cases, the animator will find it quite challenging to keep all of the parts together and cohesive in their movements.

Innovator David Barker

One of the most innovative figures to work for Julius at Cartoon Filmads was David C. Barker (1888–1946), who was hired by Julius after developing a new animation technique. Barker served as an official war artist during the First World War, and on his return to Australia continued a productive art practice. He began experimenting with animation and in 1921 patented his own animation technique. This essentially involved the rotoscoping of live action footage (although he never actually used this term): “The object of this invention is the production of animated cartoons which when exhibited will be practically free from jerkiness and consequently more lifelike in movement.”18 The rotoscoping method involves the frame-by-frame tracing of live action footage, ensuring that the drawings have the same fluid motion. In a sense, it allows for the motion capture of movement from live-action footage and the application of that movement to graphical forms.19 As with Harry Julius’s cut-out technique, rotoscoping had already been used elsewhere and been patented in America in 1916 by the Fleischer Brothers. However, Barker’s technique sometimes involved the re-positioning of the animation back onto the same live-action photographic backgrounds rather than drawn or painted ones.

Australian animation

David Barker, animator and producer at Cartoon Filmads.

Keen to build his studio further, Harry Julius struck a deal with Barker, and in 1921 made him a producer in the company. In return, he was able to bring the Barker animation patent under the control of Cartoon Filmads. The studio now held patents on two of the most cost-effective animation techniques, and had essentially cornered the market on all animation production in Australia. The Australian versions of these patents were valid for 14 years; the Julius patent expired in 1932, Barker’s in 1935. Collectively, with these patents the studio managed to produce most of the animation in Australia, as well as much of advertising animation that was being created for the Asian and Middle Eastern markets, throughout the 1920s.

The Cartoon Filmads Empire

Australian animation

A promotional image for Cartoon Filmads.

The Cartoon Filmads studios expanded quickly and soon became a major enterprise offering a wide range of animated advertisement productions. As the studio’s promotional materials asserted:

Cartoon Filmads are animated motion pictures fitted to industrial needs. They represent all the power of the screen, coupled with years of experience in its application to business problems. As their name implies, they often, though not necessarily, take the form of a cartoon. Such treatment has an interest-value all its own, and is particularly well adapted to the presentation of sales arguments. However the technique that would sell confections would scarcely help a charity in its appeal for funds; and the attractive presentation of fine furniture would differ essentially from either. A feature of Cartoon Filmads is the adaptability that ensures the most appropriate treatment for the article they advertise.20

They produced advertisements for a wide range of clients showcasing products from soap to automobiles, from furniture to charitable campaigns. The bulk of their productions were animated advertisements that would screen prior to the main features in cinemas. They also produced a range of industrial films that were not screened in cinemas, but used by salesmen to promote a particular company featuring its production methods and products. These could then be shown virtually anywhere that a film projector was accessible. However, since such facilities were rather scarce at the time, the Cartoon Filmad’s in-house screening room could also be hired to show these works. Promotional materials for the studio declared:

The projection room is a recent addition that is much appreciated by clients. There, they can sit in the comfort of deep chairs and pleasant surroundings and view the finished films which are thrown upon a golden screen.21

Julius had always been a great enthusiast of colour in his work, and as part of their services the studio also produced colour-animated films. Smith and Julius had continually boasted the use of colour in its print advertisements, and later Julius would be one of the first in Australia to create and illustrate locally produced colour comic strips for the Sunday newspapers. So it is no surprise that the studio actively pushed the use of colour in their animations. “In short,” claimed a promotional text, “the Coloured Cartoon Filmad gives to advertisers all the attractiveness, and advertising value of colour, plus the force and selling power of the animated film.”22 However, since colour film was not generally available yet, they, like other studios, produced the animated film in black and white, and laboriously hand coloured each frame of each print of the film.

Australian animation

One of the production studios of the Cartoon Filmads animation empire.

Cartoon Filmads was very much a client-driven studio and thus good communication with customers was a top priority. It was essential that the client should understand exactly what the final product would look like – and be happy with it – so good pre-production work, including a clear visual storyboard, was very important.

A number of past historians23 suggested that the Disney studio more or less invented the storyboard and began using it around 1931 – though it is now accepted that both Disney and other American studios (such as the Fleischer Brothers) were using this technique for several years prior to this date. Remarkably, Cartoon Filmads were advertising the use of storyboards (or scenarios as they termed them) as part of their pre-production process by 1920, and probably as early as 1918.

It is unclear exactly how Harry Julius came to employ storyboards as part of his pre-production process. Possibly he could have encountered rudimentary examples while working in New York. However, they would not have been anywhere near the level of sophistication as those he would later use in his Australian studio. In fact, veteran Disney animator Dick Huemer, who began working as an animator on the Mutt and Jeff series at the Raoul Barré Studio in 1916 (the same year that Harry Julius began working there), noted that the studio never used storyboards. The animators would be given only “a very rough scenario… a single sheet of paper, without any models, sketches or anything; you made it up as you went along.”24

Whether or not this makes Julius’ Cartoon Filmads the first studio to fully use the storyboard technique, it certainly demonstrates that they adopted it very early and significantly advanced the technique. Their regular use of detailed storyboards made sense because, unlike a longer animated film, an animated advertisement needed to communicate its message very clearly and succinctly. Additionally, since an external client commissioned each animation, it was essential that they could approve the film before the animation began, to ensure that client and studio shared the same vision.

Australian animation

Storyboards produced by Cartoon Filmads in preparation for a Lux Soap animated cinema advertisement (c1920).

Much of Cartoon Filmads’ production was for domestic screening, but they also produced a number of advertisements exclusively for foreign markets through their overseas studio offices. The head office was in Sydney, but they opened office-studios throughout Australia, in Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth, as well as in England, India, Burma, Egypt, Java, Singapore, the Philippines, China and Holland. For many years the studio was quite successful and they produced a great quantity of animated advertisements. It is claimed, for example, that in Indonesia alone (and within the first four weeks of their offices being open there) they secured over AU£7,000 in contracts to produce locally targeted animated advertisements. In 1919 this would certainly have been considered a healthy sum. Commissions included targeted local advertisements for Nestlé’s Anglo-Swill Milk Co., British-American Tobacco Co., Dunlop Rubber Co. (Far East) Ltd., and many others.25

Cartoon Filmads did not only produce animation; they continued working in print advertising and publishing, maintaining their alliance with the Smith and Julius firm. Interestingly, they would often run both a print and animated version of an advertising campaign. For example, the figure below shows a print version of an advertisement for Indasia Soap, which ran simultaneously with an animated version in the cinemas around 1919.

Australian animation

Print ad by Cartoon Filmads that was intended to accompany animated film advertisements.

The Empire Ends

By 1924 the studio had changed its name from Cartoon Filmads, Ltd. to the abbreviated Filmads, Ltd. As indicated by the name change, they began to increase their production of live-action advertisements. Though the studio continued to produce a large number of animated advertisements, by the early 1930s the studio had slowly begun to wind up many of its productions and systematically close down its various offices. Today it is not known exactly what led to Filmads’ ultimate demise, but clearly, the studio’s earlier financial fortunes had begun to wane.

In approximately 1934 Julius set up his own, much smaller advertising agency, Harry Julius Advertising Service. Though he focused on print advertising, he continued to make occasional animated films for the cinema. However, during this time he spent most of his energy embarking on other pursuits, including hosting a radio show, developing numerous newspaper comic strips, book and magazine illustrations, and fine-art watercolour painting. Julius died just a few years later in 1938 at the age of 52. Many of his colleagues continued in the advertising industry, however, and a few continued to produce animation with subsequent Australian studios.

Conclusion

Animation in Australia, although limited in scope compared to America and Europe, had a relatively early beginning, and this article represents only a very brief summation of some of the aspects and events of these earliest days of Australian animation history. Though a number of Harry Julius’ Cartoons of the Moment series have survived, unfortunately only a handful of his animated ads (which made up the bulk of his animation output) are still extant. Just one advertisement from Virgil Reilly is known to have survived (for George’s Fine Furs, 1910) and none of Alec Laing’s work is known to exist at this time.

Since those pioneering days, the Australian animation industry has gone through many robust periods; also much leaner times. Unlike countries such as the United States and United Kingdom, that have had a number of very long-lasting animation studios, Australia’s have tended to be somewhat few and far between. There was always just enough of a time-gap between the demise of one studio (or animator’s practice) and the start of another for each new endeavour erroneously to be thought the first, and each new animator or studio was compelled to, in a sense, reinvent the wheel. So while in the US studios such as Disney have been in a position to archive and preserve their own history, many Australian studios have been unable to do this.26

One of the reasons why many Australian animation studios have been relatively short-lived is that most have found it difficult to gain a large enough domestic audience to make their animation productions profitable. However, at least for a number of years, Cartoon Filmads achieved success within both domestic and foreign markets, simultaneously producing animation for Australian domestic consumption, other films specifically for foreign markets, as well as animations of wide appeal that were well received across all global markets.

 

This article has been peer reviewed.

 

Acknowledgments

The authors would like to thank the National Film and Sound Archive for their generous support in providing access to materials which proved helpful in conducting portions of this research.

Endnotes

  1. For example: “Since 1912, when the first Australian animation was done by Harry Julius…”, in Paul Harris, Chris Brophy and Geoffrey Gardner, “Animated: An Interview with Craig Monahan,” Cinema Papers 75 (1989): p. 17. Similarly: “The first notable animation in Australia was created in the year 1912 by newspaper cartoonist Harry Julius,” in John Eyley, “Developing Animation (Australia): The Nature of Industry and Its Relationship to Training,” in Animation: The Teachers’ Perspective (Urbino: Italy, 1992). Additionally: The NFSA, Australia Screen website states: “In 1912 Harry Julius produced the first notable Australian animated film…” See: https://web.archive.org/web/20090915140721/http://australianscreen.com.au/titles/commonwealth-bank-willie/clip1/
    Craig Monahan’s documentary film, Animated (1989), suggests that Julius’ cinema animations began screening sometime around 1914.
  2. The Mercury, Tuesday 12 December 1916, p. 2.
  3. For more on animated lightning sketches, see: Dan Torre, “Boiling Lines and Lightning Sketches: Process and the Animated Drawing”, Animation: An Interdisciplinary Journal 10:2 (2015): pp. 141–53.
  4. Harry Julius claimed on more than one occasion that Alec Laing was the first Australian to do animation. The Sydney Mail, 12 November 1930, p. 18.
  5. For more on the performances of La Milo, see: Anita Callaway, Visual Ephemera: Theatrical Art in Nineteenth-Century Australia (Sydney: UNSW Press, 2000).
  6. Melbourne Punch, 27 July 1905, p. 135.
  7. The Advertiser, Tuesday 16 October 1906, p. 7.
  8. The Bulletin, 20 December 1917, p. 40.
  9. The Mercury, Hobart Tasmania, Tuesday 12 December 1916, p. 2.
  10. The Picture Show, 10 May 1919, p. 31.
  11. The Mail, Adelaide South Australia, Saturday 20 February 1915, p. 8.
  12. Poverty Bay Herald, 29 April 1915, p. 5.
  13. The Mercury, Hobart Tasmania, Tuesday 12 December 1916, p. 2.
  14. Lloyd Rees, The Small Treasures of a Lifetime: Some Early Memories of Australian Art and Artists (Australia: Collins Publishers, 1988), p. 68.
  15. Harry Julius, “Improvements in the Production of Animated Cartoon Films for Cinematograph Display” (Patent title, Australia, 1918).
  16. Stephen Cavalier, The World History of Animation (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2011). No copies of El Apóstol exist to prove its length, but it appears that it was well over 60 minutes.
  17. Harry Julius, “Improvements in the Production of Animated Cartoon Films for Cinematograph Display” (Patent title, Great Britain, 1921).
  18. David Barker, “Improved Method of and Apparatus for Producing Animated Cartoon Films” (Patent title, Australia, 1921).
  19. For more on the rotoscoping technique and the capturing of motion, see: Dan Torre, “Cognitive Animation Theory: A Process-Based Reading of Animation and Human Cognition,” Animation: An Interdisciplinary Journal 9.1 (2014): pp. 47–64.
  20. Cartoon Filmads promotional flyer, 1921.
  21. Ibid.
  22. Ibid.
  23. For example see: Christopher Finch, The Art of Walt Disney (New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1983), p. 82; and Leonard Maltin, Of Mice and Magic (New York: Penguin, 1980), p. 38.
  24. Quoted in: Charles Solomon, The Disney That Never Was: The Stories and Art from Five Decades of Unproduced Animation (New York: Hyperion, 1995), p. 8.
  25. Cartoon Filmads promotional flyer, 1921.
  26. Fortunately, Australia does have institutions such as the National Film and Sound Archive that are able to collect and champion important artefacts of the nation’s film and animation history.

About The Author

Dan Torre is a lecturer in the School of Media and Communication at RMIT
University in Melbourne, Australia. Lienors Torre is a Lecturer in the School of Communication and Creative Arts at Deakin University.