International Animation Day – October 28

The International Animation Day (IAD) is celebrated annually on October 28 in more than 50 countries to commemorate the first public performance of an animated motion picture show. The day was proclaimed by the International Animated Film Association (Association Internationale du Film d'Animation) or ASIFA.

On this day in 1892, The French inventor Charles-Émile Reynaud presented his new creation, the Théâtre optique ("optical theater", a projected moving images show) to the delight of an audience at the Grevin Museum in Paris. Moving images were cast onto a screen by an animation device called praxinoscope, a spinning cylindric image projector that Reynaud invented in 1877.

Reynaud's first animated movie, Pauvre Pierrot ("Poor Pete" - 1892) was soon followed by Un bon bock ("A Good Beer") Le Clown et ses chiens ("The Clown and His Dogs"), both in the same year, and quite a few other works in the following years, all made of hundreds of pictures painted by hand.

Some years later, in 1895, the Lumière brothers presented the cinematograph which they had patented. Their success overshadowed Reynaud's venture and drove him to bankruptcy. Tragically, Reynaud ended his life penniless. He died in a hospice for the poor in 1918, at the age of 73. Nevertheless, let us always remember that credit for being the originator of animated motion pictures that cheer us up is due solely to him.

Click on the following link to see Pauvre Pierrot, Reynaud's animated cartoon that inaugurated this genre.

 Pauvre Pierrot

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