Pauvre Pierrot | First Animated Film

We all love cartoons and are fascinated by animation and visual effects. But do you know which is the First Animated Film?

Well, We have all been watching animated movies since the time of Disney. And the animation industry has evolved a lot since then, silent 2d paperwork is replaced by 3d graphics and stunning visuals. Today we have high-quality techniques, high-class machines, render machines, high-end cameras, and highly skilled artists but at that time there was just pure art and hard work. It was a time when there were no famous characters in the market.

First Animated Film Of The World

First animated film
Image from Wikipedia

Well, not many people know the answer to this question. But the answer to this question is Pauvre Pierrot. It revolves a lot around the history of animation. Charles – A French science teacher created Praxinoscope in 1877 and projected one of the first animated films ever in public at the Musée Grévin in Paris. It was hand drawn on hundreds of sheets of glass, each inlaid in leather strips, through which a light was shone projecting the figures on a backdrop, as it was spooled from one reel to another, much like a modern film reel.

Pauvre Pierrot – First Ever Animated Cartoon

This short movie is an 1892 French short animated film directed by Émile Reynaud. It consists of 500 individually painted images and this short movie lasts about 15 minutes originally. It also holds the title of one of the very first 2d short films ever made in the good old days. This movie is also believed to be the first known usage of film perforations. The combined performance of all three films was produced as Pantomimes Lumineuses. Whilst the other two are considered lost, this third has had four minutes restored from its original fifteen minute runtime. And alongside Un bon bock (directed in 1888 of which only a few images survive at the Cinémathèque française) and Le Clown et ses chiens was exhibited on 28 October 1892 when Charles-Émile Reynaud opened his Théâtre Optique at the Musée Grévin.

At a time when there was no technology, no 3d graphics, stock footage, high-end machines, and highly renderable machines, Charles-émile Reynaud gave the entire presentation himself by manipulating the action drawings and the rest is history. It was also the first film to demonstrate Reynaud’s Théâtre Optique system with a strong narrative and a small but talented cast and crew. Even though it was made with limited resources, It got excellent reviews at that time by the audience.

The Story Of Pauvre Pierrot

Pauvre Pierrot is also believed to be an ancient story with historical value about, Arlequin who one night comes to see his lover Colombine. But then poor pete knocks at the door and Colombine and Arlequin hide. Pierrot starts singing but Arlequin scares him and the poor man goes away. It has a straightforward plot consisting of a man teasing another man to scare him away from a woman he was trying to woo. One if the highlights of this show were “Pierrot starts performing a serenade for Columbina, but Harlequin constantly interrupts.”

First Cartoon With Sound.

High-quality colors, 3d graphics and stunning visuals mostly attract kids, adults, and older people as well. They also have a very huge following and fan base. There have been numerous award-winning tv serials, movies, and shorts.

But do you know when was the first time, people saw a caricature display with sound? It was in Disney’s Steamboat Willie which was a landmark in the history of animation. It was the first time an original audio was heard. It was the first Mickey Mouse film released and the topmost animated character with synchronized audio.

First animated movie
Image by Walt Disney

This movie opened at the Colony Theater in New York on November 18, 1928. And this date becomes the famous 2d figure Mickey Mouse’s birthday. The audience was stunned to see this awesome movie as this was the first time animation along with music could be seen. Later Disney re-released it to the largest theatre in the world due to huge demand among people for Steamboat Willie.

Steamboat Willie Song

Mickey Mouse is arguably the most beloved Disney personality ever. He got his debut in November of 1928 when he launched in the form of the first character which was audible in the animated short Steamboat Willie. Steamboat Willie’s ability turns out to be the game-changer in the comic and animation industry. Its plot, picture, and style were well appreciated publicly.

This opened the door for adding music to other projects and a new era began. An era which was having huge possibilities for adding music to other projects. Music on this short was given by Wilfred Jackson.

2 Famous sound and music themes are “Steamboat Bill” and “Turkey in the Straw.”. The scene of whistling by Mickey Mouse on the ship has been used by the Walt Disney logo.

  • “Steamboat Bill” is the first song in the animated short. It was written by the Leighton Brothers in 1910, this song gained became popular in the 1910s and 1920s. Most amazing moment of the animated short is Mickey Mouse standing at the wheel and whistling away. This scene is iconic and even today people love this scene. Also, that musical tune is from the popular song, “Steamboat Bill!” If you’re able, whistle the tune and you’ll see it is a perfect match!
  • “Turkey in the Straw?” is another gem in this movie. After landing on the steamboat, Minnie Mouse (female mouse) starts her music which is having the famous “Turkey in the Straw” which is quickly consumed by a goat. The goat is converted into a record player of sorts.

Walt Disney Quotes

The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.

When you believe in a thing, believe in it all the way, implicitly and unquestionable.

We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.

Disneyland will never be completed. It will continue to grow as long as there is imagination left in the world.

You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you.

The more you like yourself, the less you are like anyone else, which makes you unique.

There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate’s loot on Treasure Island.

All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.

It’s kind of fun to do the impossible.

I only hope that we never lose sight of one thing — that it was all started by a mouse.

Final Thoughts

So This was the article on the First Animated Short movie, we hope you liked it. Animation puts life in itself. So it’s better to know a bit about its origin and spread this among the animation community. Hope you enjoyed it. Stay tuned for more updates.

I am a former Animator and Graphic Designer who has worked on many International and Domestic projects and Tv series and E-learning projects. I created Animation Alerts so that people who are struggling to learn animation can learn this craft and grow together.