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Animation Timeline (1980-1989)
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
1980 - 1989 Independent Animations Flourish


Moscow - The 22nd Olympic Games are boycotted by over 50 countries.

The rise of space operas and fantasy adventures in Japan (1980 - 1984).

The Gang of Four trial begins in China.

U.S. - Fred "Tex" Avery dies

Le Roi et l'oiseau (The King and the Mockingbird), Paul Grimault, France
Won the Prix Louis Delluc.

  • IMDB Site
  • Three Monks (The Three Buddhist Priests), Shanghai Animation Film Studio, China. Won the Best Animated Film Prize at the Golden Rooster Awards and a Silver Bear for Short Film at the Berlin Film Festival.

  • Berlinale Site
  • The Fly, Ferenc Rofusz, Hungary
    Won the Academy Award for best animated short film.

  • Academy Awards Site
  • 1981

    Daylight saving time is introduced in the USSR.

    Grendel Grendel Grendel, Alexander Stitt, Australia
    The second full-length animated film ever made in Australia.

  • IMDB Site
  • Tayna tretey planety (The Mystery of the Third Planet), Roman Kachanov (Soyuzmultfilm studio), USSR

  • IMDB Site
  • Vuk, Attila Dargay, Attila Dargay, Hungary

  • IMDB Site
  • Lao Mountain Taoist, Shanghai Animation Film Studio, China
    Uses stop motion-animated puppets and ink paint. Voted as one of the most popular domestic animations by the First Summit Forum on the China Animation Industry's Development and Youth's Healthy Growing in 2006.

  • CNMDB Site
  • China Daily
  • Crac, Frederic Back, Canada
    Won the Academy Award for best animated short film.

  • The Mighty Animator
  • 1982

    Yasuhiro Nakasone becomes Prime minister of Japan.

    Super Dimension Fortress Macross, Shoji Kawamori, Japan

  • Anime News Network
  • Tango, Zingier Rybczynski, Poland
    Won the Academy Award for best animated short film.

  • The Language of New Media
  • 1983

    GA, Stephanie Maxwell, U.S. (5 min)
    This film used hand engraving and hand painting techniques that were used directly on 35mm and clear film stock. The film was accompanied by a recording from Ghana, which had voice and percussion.

  • GA by Stephanie Maxwell
  • Sunday in New York, Jimmy Picket, U.S.
    Won the Academy Award for best animated short film.

  • Academy Awards Site
  • 1984

    The first non-American Disney theme park opens in Japan as Tokyo Disneyland.

    The Nintendo Entertainment System goes on sale in Japan.

    Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (Kaze no tani no Naushika), Hayao Miyazaki, Japan
    Won the Animage Anime Grand Prix prize.

  • IMDb site
  • True Romance, Jan Millsapps, U.S

  • True Romance by Jan Millsapps
  • Charade, John Minnis, Canada
    Won the Academy Award for best animated short film.

  • IMDb site
  • 1985

    Nintendo home entertainment system is introduced in the US.

    (USSR) Feb 20th, Mikhail Gorbachev replaces Chernenko, who died at the age of 73.

    Anna and Bella, Borge Ring, Holland
    Won the Academy Award for best animated short film.

  • Academy Awards Site
  • YouTube Video
  • 1986

    U.S. - The space shuttle Challenger explodes after take off.

    The animation company Pixar is created.

    Russia - Reactor blows up at the Chernobyl Power Station creating the world's worst nuclear accident.

    Super Mario Brothers Dai Peach Hime Kyushtsu Dai Sakusen, Nintendo, Japan
    Includes main characters found in the Super Mario Brothers game for the Nintendo system, and roughly translates to Super Mario Brothers Struggle to Rescue Princess Peach. The title also summarizes the plot - the two plumber brothers must fight their enemies to rescue the princess.

  • Super Mario Brothers Peach Hime Kyu
  • The Great Mouse Detective

    The Great Mouse Detective, Disney (July 2)
    Follows the story of the mouse detective Basil, who uncovers a plot against the Crown as he struggles to rescue a young mouse girl's father, who is a toymaker. This was the first animated film to be aided by CGI.

  • Mouse Detective Site
  • Sophie's Place, Larry Jordan, U.S. (84 min)
    An experimental animation that used the cut-out, collage style to convey the somewhat autobiographical story about Jordan's life. The went unedited and is considered the longest "in camera" film in the world.

  • Sophie's Place by Larry Jordan
  • A Greek Tragedy, Nicole Van Goethem, Belgium
    Won the Academy Award for best animated short film.

  • YouTube video
  • 1987

    World Population reaches 5 billion.

    The Man Who Planted Trees, Frederic Back, Canada
    Won the Academy Award for best animated short film.

  • Direct Cinema Limited
  • 1988

    Oliver and Company, Disney (November 18)
    A kitten named Oliver joins a gang of streetwise dogs who must pickpocket to pay off the mobster boss Mr. Sykes. As Oliver becomes friends with a young girl, he must fight to protect her from the mobster.

  • Disney Archives
  • Trap, Amy Kravitz, U.S., (5:30 min)
    The animation was done using a black lithographic crayon to create abstract images. Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel inspired the movie.

  • Trap by Amy Kravitz
  • Tin Toy, John Lasseter, William Reeves and Pixar, U.S.
    Was the first computer animated film to win an academy award. Itıs a story of a little tin drummer toy that learns that his job is to keep a drooling baby happy. He later finds out that the baby could care less about him as the baby plays with the box the toy came in.

  • Tin Toy by Pixar
  • 1989

    Exxon Valdez oil disaster in Alaska.

    Thousands are killed in China's Tiananmen Square as Chinese leaders fight against demonstrators.

    Berlin - The fall of the Berlin wall unifies East and West Germany.

    The Little Mermaid, Disney (November 15)
    A young mermaid princess makes a deal with a sea witch so that she can walk upon land as a human. The sea witch, in turn, puts the life of her father's kingdom in danger, and she must save the kingdom as a result.

  • Disney Archives
  • Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Robert Zemeckis

  • Who Framed Roger Rabbit
  • Balance, Christoph Lauenstein, West Germany.
    Won the Academy Award for best animated short film.

  • German Cinema Archive
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    Research conducted by Melissa Griffin, Jennifer Chambers & Dustin Page, Bowling Green State University