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Animation Timeline (1940-1949)
Includes Animation Experiments, Studio and Independent Work, and Cultural Events
Select a time period: 

1600 - 1699 1900 - 1909 1930 - 1939 1960 - 1969 1990 - 1999
1700 - 1799 1910 - 1919 1940 - 1949 1970 - 1979 2000 - 2009
1800 - 1899 1920 - 1929 1950 - 1959 1980 - 1989
1940 - 1949 A Decade of Conflict


 World War II
Countries all over the world are at war with each other. Total deaths as a result of the war total over 50 million. The consequences of this conflict are still being dealt with today. (1939-1945)

 Fantasia, Disney, USA, 1940, (81 min)
Fantasia was a Disney film that brought visual life to several classical musical compositions. The movie was originally panned by critics but over the years received much praise. Many think that the animation audience wasn't ready to take an animation seriously. It was a great departure from what Disney had produced before.

  • Disney Online
  •  A Wild Hare, Fred 'Tex' Avery, USA, July 27th
    Animated by Tex Avery. This is considered to be the first cartoon of the well-known version of Bugs Bunny.

  • The Genius of Tex Avery
  •  Run Adolph Run, Joe Noble, 1940, United Kingdom


     Bambi, Disney, USA, 1942
    Disney moved from stylized animals to a more realistic approach for "Bambi." The animators spent countless hours studying live animals for reference. Even with animation achievements, "Bambi" did not do well in the box office due to the War taking away the European audience. "Bambi" also received controversy about being disrespectful to hunters. Again, over time it became a large success and has been re-released 7 times.

  • Disney Online Bambi
  • 1944

     Mark 1 digital computer
    Created by a Howard H. Aiken, a Harvard Graduate, it is thought to be the beginning of modern computers. The machine computed math problems and weighed approximately 5 tons.

  • Howard Aiken's the Harvard Mark 1
  •  C'est l'aviron, Norman McLaren, France, (3min 18sec)

     Alouette, Norman McLaren and Rene Jodoin, Canada Film Board, (2min 23sec)


     Detonation of Atomic Bomb
    World War 2 ends and the Nuclear Age begins. Warfare and politics are forever changed. Total global destruction is capable. The Manhatten Project (code name for the top secret US nuclear weapons research program) was from 1942-1946. The first successful detonation of a nuclear bomb was on July 16th, 1945. The first use of the nuclear bombs was a few weeks later. The bombing of Hiroshima was on August 6, 1945. 3 days later, August 8, 1945. Nagasaki was bombed as well.


     Of Thee I Sting, Friz Freleng, 1946 ,USA, (7min.)


     The Little Orphan, MGM, William Hanna, Joseph Barbera, USA, 4-30-1949, (7min 50sec)
    This film featured Tom and Jerry in a short cartoon and won an Oscar. An animation called "Life With Tom" used some of the animation from "The Little Orphan."

  • The Oscar Site
  •  Back Alley Uproar, Friz Freleng, 1948, USA, 7min


     Begone Dull Care, Norman McLaren and Evelyn Lambart, England, (7 min 48sec.)
    This is an abstract animation that interprets selected jazz numbers. The animators painted straight on to the film.

  • English Collection Catalogues
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    Research conducted by Alan Debelek, Bowling Green State Univeristy