Since 2003, at the initiative of the International Association of Animated Films (ASIFA), every October 28 the World Animation Day. This date corresponds to the commemoration of the first public screening of animated cinema.
This event was carried out in 1892 by the pioneer of French cinema, Charles-Émile Reynauden at the Grévin Museum in Paris (France). Place where the Luminous Pantomimes were screened, a program that included the films: Poor Pierrot, Clown and his dogs y A good drink.
This pioneer of French cinema, invented and patented the Optical Theater, a sophisticated system of lenses and mirrors that made it possible to project animated images on the screen. That is to say, that his inventions allowed a better and higher quality in the movement of the images.
He also managed to get his projections in sync with music, as well as give him some sound effects. His work, in a nutshell, made it possible to project cartoons on a large screen for a large audience.
The Luminous Pantomimes
After creating the Optical Theater, Reynaud projects his first three stories, framed under the title The Luminous Pantomimes. The musical collection was in charge of Gaston Paulin and was premiered at the Grévin museum that year 1892.
The presentations were a tremendous success, and the acceptance of the public was so great that they had to do twelve performances a day. Also, due to the success, the show was kept for two consecutive years.
In 1894 Reynaud resumed his duties with two new stories: Revé aucoin du feu and Autourd´unecabine. However, in a short time, viewers eager for something new, turned their attention to the invention of the Lumiere brothers: the cinematograph. Thus ending the interest in the Optical Theater
A story in the history of cinema
With the advent of the cinematograph, the Optical Theater fell into decline, so the Grévin Museum The contract with Reynaud ends in 1900. The inventor, for his part, does not give up on continuing to create, so he ventures into the field of cinema with the films: Guillermo Tell and Le premier cigare, then he continued with other initiatives.
Unfortunately, it fails and spends a very good part of the capital earned with The Luminous Pantomimes. In desperation he smashes his equipment with a hammer and throws a number of film strips into the River Seine.
He would end up years later, in a hospice, abandoned and poor.
Everyone celebrates the Animation
There are many countries that join this celebration, which becomes a propitious space to strengthen cultural initiatives in the field of animation.
In the streets, universities, theaters and cinemas we can find a wide variety of activities for the enjoyment of the public: animation awards, screening of shorts, conferences, workshops, video game days, animated feature films, previews of animated films, readings, cinema to open sky and many others.
Let’s celebrate this day by honoring the man who with his talent, ingenuity and creativity managed to start one of the most important distractions of humanity, animated cinema.
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