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Animation Timeline (1930-1939)
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
1930 - 1939 Animated Shorts Make it to the Movies


 The stock market crash of 1929 lead to the great depression. A 7 year drought of 1931 lead to dust storms in 1932 and farmers were literally being blown away creating what is known as the Dust Bowl. This lead farmers to pack up and leave, moving west.

 Because of the Depression, movies were a big hit and animation shorts at the time was seen and almost demanded before the features.

 Empire State Building was constructed.

 The King of Jazz, John Murray Anderson, Universal, USA, (105 min.)
This live action movie is a revue with musical numbers centered around the orchestra leader, Paul Whiteman, and shows that American Jazz is based on that of European popular music. It also contains a 2 1/2 minute animated sequence by Walter Lantz, which is the first color animation that uses the two-strip (or two-color) Technicolor process.

  • The Big Cartoon Database
  • Technicolor
  •  Sinkin' In the Bathtub, Hugh Harman and Rudolph Ising, Harman-Ising, USA, (7:56 min.)
    This was the first Bosko series (1930-1938) and this was also the first Looney Tunes series (1930-present).

  • Looney Tunes
  •  Dizzie Dishes, Dave Fleischer /Fleischer, USA, (6 min.)
    This cartoon contains the first appearance of Betty Boop, created by Grim Natwick.

  • Betty Boop
  •  The Chain Gang, Walt Disney, Disney, USA, (8 min.)
    This Disney cartoon consists of Mickey and some other characters in prison being guarded by Pegleg Pete. When a jail-break happens, Mickey is on the run and is tracked by some bloodhounds, including in his first appearance, Pluto.


     Famous Dick and Jane Books were first published and went on to teach millions of kids to read.

     Silly Scandals, Dave Fleischer, Fleischer, USA, (6 min.)
    This is the first named Betty Boop series spanning from 1931-1938.

     Wot A Night, John Foster and George Stallings, Van Beuren, USA
    This is the first Tom and Jerry series spanning from 1931-1933. This is not about Hanna Barbera's Tom and Jerry from MGM, but in-fact about two cab drivers who get out of the rain, only to find that they are trapped in a spooky haunted house.

  • YouTube
  • The Big Cartoon Database
  • 1932

     Flowers and Trees, Burt Gillett, Disney, USA, (8 min.)
    This Academy Award winning animation by Disney was the first color film made with Technicolor's three strip process. The story consists of flora dancing all about and a big old tree, which tries to cut in, ends up setting the woods on fire.

  • The Encyclopedia of Disney Animated Shorts
  •  Look at the Root, B. Antonovski., Soviet Union, Russia

  • Brian Lemay's Timeline
  •  Midnight, George Pal, Netherlands
    This is a puppet animation that was part of an advertisement campaign and was the first Puppetoon series

  • The Ographies
  • movie My Merry Oldsmobile, Fleischer Studios, 6:28
    Advertisement for Oldsmobile



     King Kong, Merian C. Cooper, Ernest B. Schoedsack, Willis O'Brien (special effects), R.K.O., USA, (100 min.)
    This live action movie consists of some of the first big screen full length puppet animations.

  • King Kong
  •  Popeye the Sailor, Dave Fleischer, Fleischer, USA, (7 min.)
    Presumably this was actually a Betty Boop cartoon, that featured Popeye. The Popeye the Sailor series continued from Fleischer Studios, then Famous Studios until 1957. Popeye has had more individual episodes than any other American animated character.

  • Internet Movie Database
  • Plenty of Popeye
  •  Une nuit sur le mont chauve ("Night on Bald Mountain"), Alexandre Alexeieff and Claire Parker, France, (8 min.)
    This was a pin screen animation in which Alexeieff created a device to simulate etching. The screen itself held an array of pins that at varying heights, could be seen reflecting different amounts of light. This then would be photographed.

  • Clair Parker: An Appreciation
  • YouTube
  •  Jack and the Beanstalk, Ub Iwerks, Iwerks, USA
    This was the first Comicolor Cartoon which spanned from 1933-1936.


     30 Rockefeller Plaza Built

     The Wise Little Hen, Wilfred Jackson, Disney, USA, (8 min.)
    This was the first appearance of Donald Duck, where he and Peter Pig cop out of planting seeds, harvesting them, and cooking a variety of corn dishes for the hen by faking stomach aches, but then are suddenly cured when it comes time to eat. Instead she gives them castor oil for their stomach aches.

  • The Internet Movie Database
  •  Winsor McCay (Zenis Winsor McCay) (animator, director, producer) dies in Brooklyn, New York.

     Poor Cinderella, Dave Fleischer, Fleischer, USA, 11 min.
    This was the first Color Classics series which spanned from 1934-1940 and it was Betty Boopıs only color cartoon. It contained the first use of the Stereoscopic process invented by John Burks under the direction of Max Fleischer. In essence what it did was allow for the combination of animation with a live miniature set (consisting of drawn objects), which created more realistic background effects.

  • The Internet Movie Database
  •  The Headless Horseman, Ub Iwerks, Iwerks. USA
    This animation contained the first use of a multiplane camera invented by Iwerks at the time. What this camera did was photograph several layers of background cels which were placed only several inches apart, thus giving the final image a 3-D realistic appearance.


     The Mickey Mouse film The Band Concert is released to theaters. This is the first Mickey Mouse film processed in Technicolor. February 23.
    The Band Club
  • IMDB
  • Online Video

  •  Summertime is a Comi-Color cartoon, produced and directed by Ub Iwerks, that features Old Man Winter.
  • IMDB
  • Online Video

  •  Sinbad the Sailor is an animated short where Sinbad battles a band of pirates at sea and on a tropical isle. A giant bird rescues him, and he ends up back on his ship with the pirates' treasure.
    Sinbad the Sailor
  • IMDB
  • Online Video
  •  Board Games were a rage and Monopoly was introduced by Parker Brothers and went on to sell 20 thousand sets in one week.

     A Colour Box, Len Lye, Shell-Mex Films, Great Britain, (6 min.)
    This was an animated advertisement where animated shapes dance to Cuban music and one of the first animations to be painted directly on film.

     The Birth of the Robot, Len Lye, General Post Office. Great Britain, (3 min.)
    This was a puppet advertisement animation.

  • Screenonline
  •  I Haven't Got A Hat, Friz Freleng, Schlesinger, USA, (7 min.)
    This was the first appearance of Porky Pig where he recites the Midnight Ride of Paul Revere, for the school recital.

     Pustynnik i medved, V. Smirnov /Mosfilm, Soviet Union, Russia
    This was a puppet animation.

    movie Down The Gasoline Trail, Jam Handy Org., 7:57
    Shows the journey of a drop of gas in an engine to educate audiences about how an engine works.


     Toby Tortoise Returns is an animated short by Disney where Toby Tortoise returns (from the original Tortoise and the Hare) to compete once more with Max Hare, this time in the boxing ring. What's needed now is some fancy footwork, but all Toby has to offer is 'slow and steady'
    Toby Tortoise Returns
  • IMDB
  • Online Video
  •  Felix the Cat and the Goose That Laid the Golden Eggs, Burt Gillett, Van Beuren, USA, (7 min.)
    This is the first Felix the Cat series and a short where he actually talks. On a side note, the production company, Van Beuren, tried to get Otto Messmer to direct this series.

  • Felix the Cat
  • Watch it!: LikeTelevision
  •  Mafish faida ("Nothing to Do"), Hershel Frenkel, Salomon Frenkel, and David Frenkel, Egypt
    This was the first Mish-Mish series spanning from 1936-1947.

    movie A Coach for Cinderella, Jam Handy Org., (9:22)
    Remake of the story of Cinderella


     Picador Porky, Tex Avery /Schlesinger, USA, (6 min.)
    This was the first appearance of Mel Blanc as a voice artist at Schlesinger.

  • Tex Avery Tribute
  •  Porky's Duck Hunt,, Tex Avery, Schlesinger, USA, (9 min.)
    This was the first appearance of Daffy Duck, in which Porky Pig goes hunting with his new hunting gear and finds Daffy and some other ducks who constantly make fun of him.

     Egghead Rides Again,, Tex Avery, Schlesinger, USA, (7 min.)
    This was the first appearance of Egghead, the character was later turned into Elmer Fudd.

     Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, David Hand, Disney, USA, (83 min.)
    First full length feature animation by Walt Disney.

    movie A Ride for CInderella, Jam Handy Org., (10:50)
    Continuation of the Cinderella Story


     The Moth and the Flame is a Walt Disney Silly Symphony cartoon short where a curvaceous young insect attracts the attentions of a boy moth and the flame of a candle, both of whom want to possess her for different reasons.
    The Moth and the Flame
  • IMDB
  • Online Video

  •  El Mono Relojero (The Monkey Watchmaker) is an animated short by Quirino Cristiani
    El Mono Relojero
  • IMDB
  •  Barbe-Bleue ("Bluebeard"),, Jean Painleve and Rene Bertrand, France, (13 min.)
    This was a beautifully done clay animation that would rival Disney.

  • Science is Fiction: The Films of John Painleve
  •  Music Man, John Halas and Joy Batchelor, British Animated, Great Britain

  • British Animation
  • Halas & Batchelor Collection
  •  Kot v sapogakh ("Cat in Boots", "Puss 'n Boots"), Valentina and Zinaida Brumberg, oyuzmultfilm, Soviet Union, Russia

     Porky's Hare Hunt, Ben Hardaway, Schlesinger, USA, (8 min.)
    This was the first appearance of Bugs Bunny (although he was unnamed in this appearance, he was later used and developed into the Bugs we know today.

    movie Peg Leg Pedro, Jam Handy Org., (9:18)
    A pirate adventure sponsored by Chevrolet

    movie Extra Esso, Jam Handy Org., (1:00)
    Early commercial using animation with live action.


     Gulliver's Travels is an animated film by Max Fleischer based on the classic novel by Jonathan Swift.
    Gulliver's Travels
  • IMDB
  • Online Video

  •  The Ugly Duckling is another Silly Symphonies Disney short, but the only one to be a remake of a film (The Ugly Duckling (1931).
    The Ugly Duckling
  • IMDB
  • Online Video
  •  The New York's World Fair themed as "The World of Tomorrow" gave millions of guests the ability to see a glimpse of the future, like TV sets and 7 lane highway systems.

     Goofy and Wilbur, Dick Huemer, Disney, USA, (8 min.)
    This was the first Goofy series spanning from 1939-1965.

  • IMDB
  •  Paper People Land, Cyril Jenkins, Great Britain
    This was a cutout animation.

  • Big Cartoon Database
  •  Die Stadtmaus und die Feldmaus ("The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse"), Ferdinand Diehl, Hermann Diehl, and Paul Diehl, Germany, (23 min.)
    This was a puppet animation.

  • Puppetmania
  •  Tanz der Farben ("Dance of the Colors"), Hans Fischinger, Germany, (6 min.)

    movie Breakfast Pals, Cartoon Films Ltd., (1:21)
    First appearance of Snap, Crackle, and Pop

    movie The Princess and The Pauper, Jam Handy Org., ( 9:52)
    More Chevrolet sponsored animation


    Research conducted by Andi Terhune & Brian Nixon & Amy Seawick, Bowling Green State Univeristy