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The history of French animation is one of the longest in the world, as France has created some of the earliest animated films dating back to the late 19th century, and invented many of the foundational technologies of early animation.

The first pictured movie was from Frenchman Émile Reynaud, who created the praxinoscope, an advanced successor to the zoetrope that could project animated films up to 16 frames long, and films of about 500~600 pictures, projected on its own Théâtre Optique at Musée Grévin in Paris, France, on 28 October 1892.

Émile Cohl created what is most likely the first real animated cartoon to be drawn on paper, Fantasmagorie in 1908. The film featured many morphing figures. He is also thought to have pioneered puppet animation in 1910, pixilation in 1911 and to have started the first animated series in 1916 with La journée de Flambeau (also known as Flambeau, chien perdu).

Other notable French animations

Une Nuit sur le Mont Chauve (Night on Bald Mountain), 1933, directed by Alexander Alexeieff and Claire Parker. Animated entirely using the pinscreen apparatus, a device invented by Alexieff and Parker that gives the impression of animated engravings.

Le Roman de Renart (The Tale of the Fox), 1930/1937, directed by Ladislas Starevich. The first French animated feature film. The animation was finished in 1930 but a soundtrack was only added in 1937, and it was a German one. A French-language version was released in 1941.

La Demoiselle et le violoncelliste (The Girl and the Cellist), 1965, directed by Jean-François Laguionie. Laguionie's first film, which won the Annecy Grand Prix in 1965.

1967 saw the release of Astérix le Gaulois (Asterix the Gaul), directed by Ray Goossens. This was the first movie based on the long-running Asterix comics; it was made without the knowledge of the comics' creators René Goscinny and Albert Uderzo, and is not widely liked by fans. The following year (1968), Goscinny and Uderzo worked with co-director Lee Payant on a sequel, Astérix et Cléopâtre (Asterix and Cleopatra).

René Laloux's first feature film La Planète sauvage (The Savage Planet, 1973), a cutout animation science fantasy that was animated in Czechoslovakia, which won the Grand Prix at the 1973 Cannes Film Festival. Laloux went on to direct two other features; Les Maîtres du temps (1982, a collaboration with the famed French comics artist Mœbius animated in Hungary) and Gandahar (1988, animated in North Korea).

Le Roi et l'oiseau (The King and the Mockingbird), 1980, directed by Paul Grimault. Begun in 1948 as The Sheperdess and the Chimney Sweep; cited by the Japanese directors Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata as an influence. Originally produced in 1948, it had a production time of over 30 years, making it one of the longest production periods in history.

Quarxs 1989–1993 by Maurice Benayoun and François Schuiten, was one of the earliest computer-animated series and the first one produced in HD. Widely broadcast and awarded, Quarxs opened the path to 3D animated series on TV.

Les Aventures de Tintin (The Adventures of Tintin), began 1990, directed by Stéphane Bernasconi. TV series based on the famous Belgian comic of the same name.

Kirikou et la sorcière (Kirikou and the Sorceress), 1998, directed by Michel Ocelot. Critically acclaimed movie based on a West African folktale; the Japanese dub was written by Isao Takahata and released by Studio Ghibli. Azur & Asmar: The Princes' Quest, by the same director and co-produced in Italy, Belgium and Spain, was nominated for a Goya Award for Best Animated Film, its score was nominated for the César Award for Best Music Written for a Film at the César Awards 2007 and it won the best animated feature at the Zagreb World Festival of Animated Films 2007.[1]

Les Triplettes de Belleville (The Triplets of Belleville), 2003, directed by Sylvain Chomet was nominated for two Academy Awards – Best Animated Feature and Best Original Song for "Belleville Rendez-vous" in 2004. Another movie of Chomet, The Illusionist, was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature in 2011 (it was also nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Animated Feature Film).

Kaena: La prophétie (Kaena: The Prophecy), 2003, directed by Chris Delaporte and Pascal Pinon. A CGI fantasy movie co-produced with Canada. It was both critical and commercial failure.[2]

Totally Spies, began 2001, created by Vincent Chalvon-Demersay and David Michel. TV series co-produced with the USA; one of French animation's biggest hits Stateside.

Persepolis, directed by Marjane Satrapi, was released in 2007 and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature at the 80th Academy Awards (it was also nominated for a BAFTA Award for Best Animated Film).

A Cat in Paris, directed by Alain Gagnol and Jean-Loup Felicioli, was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature at the 84th Academy Awards.

The Little Prince is actually the most successful French and Italian animated film.[3]

Films from the 1930s to the 1960s

Films of the 1970s

Films of the 1980s

Films of the 1990s

Films of the 2000s

Films of the 2010s

Films of the 2020s



Short films of the 1910s

Short films of the 1920s

Short films of the 1930s

Short films of the 1940s

Short films of the 1950s

Short films of the 1960s

Short films of the 1970s

Short films of the 1980s

Short films of the 1990s

Short films of the 2000s

Short films of the 2010s

See also


  1. ^ "" (in Croatian).[dead link]
  2. ^ "Kaena: The Prophecy (2004) – Box Office Mojo". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 18 September 2016.
  3. ^ "The Little Prince is now the most successful French animated film abroad to date". UniFrance. 3 December 2015. Retrieved 2 February 2016.